After decades of gaps between trilogies and productions, Star Wars is in the midst of the franchise's biggest years to date. In 2022 alone, Lucasfilm released The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi, with Andor slated for an August debut; but what fans won't be getting this year is a Star Wars movie on the big screen.
In the history of the Star Wars franchise, perhaps no year has been quite as pivotal as 2019.
In November of that year, The Mandalorian debuted with Disney+, uniting a bitterly divided fan base and quickly becoming a pop culture phenomenon. Just a few weeks later, The Rise of Skywalker disappointed those same fans with its lackluster conclusion to the generational Skywalker saga.
While Lucasfilm has announced various Star Wars films in the months that followed, cameras have yet to roll on any of those big-screen projects. Meanwhile, the studio has seemingly leaned into Disney+ for its means of presenting new content.
But despite what audiences have seen and heard, things on the theatrical front may be in for a positive development.
Taika Waititi's Star Wars Movie To Film In 2023
Despite Taika Waititi's claim that he's still working to "figure out what the story is," the Thor 4 director's anticipated Star Wars film may begin filming earlier than expected.
After directing the Season 1 finale of The Mandalorian and providing the voice for the bounty hunter-turned-babysitter droid, IG-11, Lucasfilm announced in 2020 that Waititi had signed on to helm a live-action Star Wars film.
However, in the months and years that followed, both Waititi and Lucasfilm were silent about the film's progress while director Patty Jenkins' Rogue Squadron Star Wars film was delayed.
Leading up to the release of Marvel Studios' Thor: Love and Thunder, it seemed that the director's Star Wars project was still some time away as, according to Waititi, he was "still coming up with ideas."
But ready or not, it sounds like production is ready to jump to lightspeed so that this long-awaited film can arrive in our galaxy sooner than later.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources now suggest that Waititi's tale from the galaxy far, far away is looking to roll cameras in early 2023, meaning it might (with a heavy emphasis on might) squeak into that late 2023 release window previously announced by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.
The film's official release date has yet to be announced.
Should Star Wars Fans Have a Bad Feeling About This?
Just like Rey, Star Wars fans know all about waiting - and just because Lucasfilm announces a film, that doesn't mean it will happen.
This is why news of Taika Waititi's Star Wars film eying an early 2023 start to filming comes as a surprise.
Now, while Star Wars' return to the big screen is good news for fans, there is some cause for concern, since the last fans heard from Waititi, his film still didn't have a story.
If Lucasfilm wants to change the narrative surrounding its last batch of theatrical films, story should come first; there needs to be a reason why this new adventure should be told. And, no, that reason shouldn't be because a popular director like Taika Waititi's name is on it.
Now, to Waititi's credit, he seems to be aware of this. In past interviews he's emphasized the need for the movie to feel like a Star Wars film.
Hopefully, this new report of him starting filming in early 2023 is because he's found that story and Star Wars tone. However, if he hasn't, and due to his already packed schedule, it would be to the benefit of the franchise and the fan base if Lucasfilm alters its theatrical slate one more time.
Whether audiences will be packing theaters late next year (or 2024) for Waititi's Star Wars film remains to be seen. But in the meantime, Star Wars fans can get an idea of the director's unique voice and emotional, while also comical, storytelling this year in Thor: Love and Thunder, in theaters now.