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Kathleen Kennedy isn’t using that word anymore.
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 spoke about plans for a return to the big screen — and cast doubt on two big projects.
Spoiler alert: Future Star Wars movies will be rather different from what’s gone before.
The last Star Wars movie 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 proposition 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 set-up, which the franchise has used three times during its history, is a thing of the past.
“I hesitate to use the word trilogies anymore because Star Wars is much more about persistent storytelling,” Kennedy said.
The piece indicates that the first new Star Wars movie to arrive will be Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi’s, 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 back.
Then asked about the much-discussed Star Wars movies from Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige and The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson, Kennedy did not have good news…
Johnson’s trilogy, it seems, is very much on pause, with Kennedy saying “Rian has been unbelievably busy with Knives Out and the deal that he made at Netflix for multiple movies”.
As for Feige’s movie, it seems things aren’t nearly as advanced as it was suggested. : “I would love to see what movie he might come up with,” Kennedy said of Feige, “But right now, no, there isn’t anything specifically.”
As to a more general plan for Star Wars movies, Kennedy wouldn’t be drawn, only telling Vanity Fair: “We have a road map”. She goes on to say that it’s partly down to the huge expectations that were placed on the films, adding: “I do think a little bit of fun has gone out of making these gigantic movies. The business, the stakes, everything that’s been infused in the last 10 years or so. There’s a kind of spontaneity and good time that we have to be careful to preserve.”
Analysis: Is Star Wars now a TV franchise?
For the foreseeable future, probably.
The successful formula used to make The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise Of Skywalker was to blend old and new, to match a returning Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hammill with a new cast, trading off the past, but stirring in a new energy. You can’t use that recipe twice, not until Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are much, much older.
Kennedy’s plans seem to be event-style Star Wars movie, released every few years rather than on a relentless yearly cycle, more in the style of Rogue One, with the bulk of storytelling done on Disney Plus. And frankly, that’s fine with us.