During Disney's 2020 Investor Day meeting, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced, confirmed, or updated several Star Wars projects in the works. Many of which will be TV series headed straight to Disney+. With the success of The Mandalorian, a focus on direct-to-consumer content came with little surprise.
However, only two Star Wars films were announced or addressed during the meeting. Patty Jenkins' Rogue Squadron will be the next Star Wars film to hit the big screen, and Lucasfilm also confirmed Taika Taititi's movie is in the works. There was no official update on the Rian Johnson trilogy, which the director says is still happening.
After the success of a fellow Disney film, Thor: Ragnorak, and his work on The Mandalorian, Waititi's film is one of the most anticipated Star Wars projects amongst fans. While Rogue Squadron is eyeing a 2023 release date, there's no expectation of when the Waititi film will be released.
A recent interview with the director hasn't shed much light on the situation.
NO SET START DATE FOR TAIKA WAITITI'S STAR WARS FILM
During a recent interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, director Taika Waititi said he doesn't know if his Star Wars project will be next for him once he expects to finish work on Thor: Love and Thunder in February next year. Waititi admitted that after Love and Thunder he has several other TV and film projects he will be working on.
When asked what will be next on his agenda after his upcoming MCU project, Waiti gave an uncertain response while noting that he "hope(s)" it's his Star Wars movie.:
“I don’t know if that’s going to be Star Wars. I hope it’ll be that but there’s a whole lot of other little things that I’ve got my sticky little fingers attached to so we’ll see.”
IS THE FUTURE OF STAR WARS ON DISNEY+
With over nine upcoming Star Wars Disney+ series, it is clear that this is the future for stories a Galaxy Far, Far Away. The aforementioned success of The Mandalorian has a lot to do with this new-age plan. The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka, and (maybe) Rangers of The New Republic are all planned spin-off shows to The Mandalorian. Even the long-awaited Obi-Wan project will be a Disney+ series, after the initial plan of it being a film.
The uncertainty around the Taika Waititi film is further proof of a lack of urgency when it comes to Star Wars theatrical experiences. At least in the near future, most of Star Wars live-action content will live on Disney+.
Another major factor in this emphasis on Disney+ content is Disney CEO Bob Chapek's desire to have a more direct-to-consumer future. This strategy amongst fellow media companies is seen as the future, and part of the reason WarnerMedia and Discovery are merging.
Lucasfilm is surely planning more films behind closed doors, but after a roller-coaster sequel trilogy that split fans apart, they appear in no rush to get back to the theaters. For fans waiting for a new Jedi-centric trilogy or Episode 10, don't hold your breath.
While production remains unclear, and it would just be a blind guess at when it'll release in theaters, fans are excited to see what Waititi will add to the Star Wars film catalog.