“I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.“
As recently as Monday, there was word that Lucasfilm had nine movies currently in development. But now that might not be the case.
The always reliable folks over at Collider are reporting that Lucasfilm has indefinitely halted their “Star Wars Story” banner films – meaning the Kenobi movie, Boba Fett movie, Lando movie, and whoever else they had planned.
The focus now, shifts a little a bit. The primary focus, of course, is J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX. Collider makes it a point to say that the series of movies announced by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are still happening, as is Rian Johnson’s new trilogy. The pause is just on the established character stand-alones.
I’ll let Palpatine say it:
The best way to describe the irony is from ScreenRant writer/editor Stephen M. Colbert (Not that one).
Some people don't like Rian Johnson's Star Wars movie.
They boycott Solo.
Lucasfilm puts spin-offs on hold to focus on Rian Johnson trilogy.
Star Wars fans are great. pic.twitter.com/E8mAFerSBR
— ☕Stephen M. Colbert (@smcolbert) June 20, 2018
It is curious. Solo didn’t perform nearly as well as hoped, even though the movie is a ton of fun. Marketing seems to be the biggest reason why, but some people’s severe reaction to Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi could have made an impact. So Lucasfilm listened – and are focusing more on Johnson’s trilogy now, instead of a Kenobi movie, or James Mangold’s Boba Fett film.
Those films could always still happen, but like DC, there seems to be a reorganization of priorities at Lucasfilm. The Saga films will always and forever be the top priority, but there is no word of it those will continue in the near future after Episode IX. So instead, they are focusing on new stories in the galaxy.
“Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to.”
The spinoffs have played it safe – everything we have gotten has been between Episode III and Episode IV. In fact, there has been no canon book, movie, or TV show before Episode I or after Episode IX. They’ve relied on nostalgia and fan service to get the spinoffs to work, and for the most part, both Rogue One and Solo did work. The path forward though, is new unconnected stories. Do it thousands of years before the Skywalker Saga, or even more interesting: Thousands of years afterward. Maybe Benioff and Weiss’s series will do that.
Johnson has reiterated several times that his trilogy is completely disconnected from the Skywalker Saga – all new setting, characters etc. Maybe the vitriol aimed at him will die down a bit by the time his new trilogy goes into production.
Not only is the story itself ironic, as Palpatine so kindly reminded us, but the timing of it is as well. Just recently our own Aaron Virola, co-host of The Fanboy Garage podcast, wrote a piece about how we don’t need a Kenobi movie. Lucasfilm seems to agree with him. At least for now.
I am of two minds. On the one hand, the Kenobi movie is no-brainer and is the very first one that should have been made, perhaps even before The Force Awakens. He is the only character that has very rich story telling possibilities. Ewan McGregor is the perfect age, and he is willing and able. That is the toughest loss to me in all of this. On the other hand, I am all for brand new stories with no connection to the main Saga. We are always told the Star Wars universe is big, vast and complicated. But every movie makes it feel just a little bit smaller with everyone being connected to everyone else. We are seeing a very tiny piece of this universe. Maybe it is time to see something different all together. Besides every movie under the “A Star Wars Story” banner has had production difficulties. A break might suit them well.
So what do you make of all of this? Good move? Bad move? I’m sure our Podcast Network will discuss this in depth, so stay tuned for more analysis.