Star Wars' Upcoming Jedi Origins Movie Gets New Story Details

By Klein Felt Updated:
Yoda with lightsabers

The director behind the upcoming Jedi origins movie, James Mangold, offered up some story details about his Star Wars film. 

Announced back at Star Wars Celebration 2023, Mangold's first dip into the galaxy far, far away will explore the “first Jedi to wield the force" set 25,000 years before the beginning of A New Hope.

The film has been described as a biblical epic, taking inspiration from Hollywood classics like Ben Hur

Since the project's initial announcement, updates have been few and far between. This is aside from the idea that because Mangold has a couple of other movies also in the works (including DC's Swamp Thing), this Dawn of the Jedi film is still likely years away. 

Dawn of the Jedi Story Details Revealed

Star Wars High Republic
Star Wars

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny director James Mangold shared some of the first story details for his upcoming Dawn of the Jedi movie. 

Speaking with Gizmodo, Mangold said that his Star Wars project will not necessarily be about the origins of the Jedi but about the first people to feel and utilize the power of the Force. 

He said he had "worked a bit before on other projects" at Lucasfilm and "understood that much of what they were doing was" was looking forward:

“Well, I’ve talked to [Lucasfilm] before and even worked a bit before on other projects. And I’m always interested in what’s going on there and have friends who work on other Star Wars projects. But I understood that much of what they were doing was kind of continuing the saga forward.”

So it surprised him when he talked to Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy about potentially "going backward—really far backward:"

“So when I mentioned to Kathy [Kennedy, Lucasfilm president] the idea that I had about going backward—really far backward—I was surprised that it excited her and the other wonderful people she works with at Lucasfilm.”

The Star Wars filmmaker then let slip that his movie is going to focus on "A kind of origin story of how the Force came to be known, understood, wielded, and harnessed:”

“For me, it’s about, I want to be part of the saga, but I also don’t want to be holding so much lore in the air that you can hardly tell a story. And what I really wanted to do, what I told her, was just can we make a kind of the Ten Commandments of the Force, you know? A kind of origin story of how the Force came to be known, understood, wielded, and harnessed.”

In a separate conversation with Variety, Mangold revealed the movie is very much about "the birth of the Force," asking questions like, "Where did it come from? How is it found? [And] who found it?:"

“It’s a chance to tell the entire story of its own, the birth of the force. When I first talked to Kathy Kennedy about it, I just said, ’I just see this opening to make kind of a ‘Ben-Hur’ or ‘The 10 Commandments’ about the birth of the force.’ The force has become a kind of religious legend that spans through all these movies. But where did it come from? How is it found? Who found it? Who was the first Jedi? And that’s what I’m writing right now.”

Why Is the First Jedi Movie So Important?

There's plenty to be excited about in the future of Star Wars filmmaking, whether it's Rey's return, a Taika Waititi-directed Star Wars epic, or even the MandoVerse crossover fans have been waiting for. 

However, one could argue nothing has the storytelling potential of Mangold's Dawn of the Jedi film. 

For decades, Star Wars had (aside from some Legends stories like Knights of the Old Republic) played in the same sort of 50-year period and that was about it. Recently, of course, that has expanded a bit to include a 100 years prior with The High Republic initiative. 

But there is so much more of the timeline that could possibly be explored, and it seems Mangold is taking that to an extreme. 

This Jedi origins film could be the opening of an entirely new era of Star Wars storytelling, exploring the beginnings of the Jedi, the Sith, and so many other aspects of the universe audiences have come to know and love.

If the Dawn of the Jedi movie is done well, this could be the revitalization of the franchise some have been calling for for years. 

There is no known release date for Mangold's Star Wars project, but it is expected to occupy the currently open December 2028 release slot on the Lucasfilm slate. 

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.