In a lengthy interview with Vanity Fair that goes into great detail about the franchise and its many TV offshoots, Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy opened up about her plans to return to the big screen — and cast doubt on two big plans.
Spoiler alert: Future Star Wars movies will be quite different from what’s come before.
The last Star Wars film was 2019’s Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker, which ended the trilogy that began with 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Since then, Star Wars has largely become a small-screen proposal with The Mandalorian, The Book Of Boba Fett and, shortly, Obi-Wan Kenobi (all debuting on Disney Plus).
There are a number of projects in active development, but Kennedy said the approach will be different: The trilogy setup, which the franchise has used three times in its history, is a thing of the past.
“I hesitate to use the word trilogies because Star Wars is much more of a lingering story,” Kennedy said.
The piece says the first new Star Wars movie to arrive will be from Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi, which has a script from 1917 writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns. Rogue Squadron, which will be overseen by Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins, is now further afield.
Then, when asked about Marvel chief Kevin Feige and Rian Johnson’s much-discussed Star Wars movies of The Last Jedi, Kennedy didn’t get any good news…
Johnson’s trilogy, it seems, is on hiatus, with Kennedy saying “Rian has been incredibly busy with Knives Out and the deal he made with Netflix for multiple movies.”
As for Feige’s film, it looks like things aren’t quite as advanced as has been suggested. “I’d love to see what movie he could come up with,” Kennedy said of Feige, “But right now, no, there’s nothing specific.”
As for a more general plan for the Star Wars movies, Kennedy would not be drawn, only telling Vanity Fair, “We have a roadmap.” She goes on to say that it’s partly because of the huge expectations that have been placed on the films, adding: “I think a bit of the fun has gone out of making these gigantic films. The business, the stakes , all of which has been infused over the last 10 or so years. There’s a kind of spontaneity and good times that you have to be careful to preserve.”
Analysis: Is Star Wars now a TV franchise?
For the foreseeable future, probably.
The hit formula used to create The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise Of Skywalker was to mix the old and the new, to match returning Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hammill with a new cast, swapping the past , but stirring in new energy. You can’t use this recipe twice, not until Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are much, much older.
Kennedy’s plans appear to be an event-style Star Wars movie, released every few years rather than on a relentless, more Rogue One-style annual cycle, with most of the storytelling done on Disney Plus. And frankly, that’s fine with us.