Star Wars continues to be one of the most popular franchises in the world, with tonnes of spin-offs, shows, games and books. However, there’s no denying that the franchise has been too Skywalker-centric, particularly with Disney’s sequel trilogy. Thankfully, it looks like director Taika Waititi is going to fix that with his new Star Wars film next year.
As a director known for sprucing up franchises such as Thor, Waititi is looking to bring some fresh eyes to the classic franchise. It will be interesting to see how much freedom Waititi will get, especially since executives at LucasFilm are notoriously hands-on with anything Star Wars.
No more Skywalkers
In an interview with GamesRadar, Waititi reveals that he wants to expand the Star Wars universe. Instead of focusing on Skywalkers and existing characters, the director wants to do something all new.
The director explained that Star Wars has remained very narrow over the past few decades. While movies like The Last Jedi attempted to break the mould, Rise of Skywalker jumped straight back in. Waititi pointed out that Star Wars can’t expand if all they do is reference the past.
"Look, I think for the Star Wars universe to expand, it has to expand," he said. "I don't think that I'm any use in the Star Wars universe making a film where everyone's like, 'Oh great, well that's the blueprints to the Millennium Falcon, ah that's Chewbacca's grandmother.' That all stands alone, that's great, though I would like to take something new and create some new characters and just expand the world, otherwise it feels like it's a very small story."
Waititi got his first taste of Star Wars during The Mandalorian, directing the first season finale and voicing IG-11. Most would agree that the episode was fantastic and his sense of humor has always been a high point. It will be interesting to see how much freedom he has with the new Star Wars movie and if this is going to start a new trilogy or be a standalone affair.
The Dark Side of LucasFilm
Everything seems good with Taika Waititi and LucasFilm thus far, though we hope that the studio doesn’t get in his way too much. Most Star Wars fans will remember how executives meddled with the directions of Rogue One, Episode IX, and Solo, the latter of which was supposed to be directed by fan-favorite duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
LucasFilm has also panicked when new ideas didn’t gel with certain parts of the Star Wars fandom. Case in point; The Last Jedi introduced a number of new ideas and story beats that polarized the entire fanbase, leading to The Rise of Skywalker trying too hard to appeal to those viewers, ditching most of Rian Johnson’s ideas. This led to a pandering, yet, watchable Star Wars movie that most are still bitter about.
Taika Waititi definitely has an uphill battle against him but the director has been able to play ball with studios while keeping his signature filmmaking quirks. Most would agree that Thor: Ragnarok is one of the most enjoyable MCU films around and that’s all due to Waititi’s style. Let’s hope he can do the same for Star Wars since few can manage heart and humor like him.