Last November, Disney+ debuted to all audiences in the United States. Along with the launch was the first episode of the now widely-acclaimed first season of The Mandalorian, which is Star Wars' first live-action TV series. The show centers around Din Djarin, who is a lone bounty hunter trying to make a living in the far reaches of the galaxy with The Child, his new companion commonly referred to by fans as Baby Yoda. The Mandalorian gave many highly-talented directors their first chance at working with a Star Wars property. Among those directors was Taika Waititi, best known for his work on Thor: Ragnarok and Jojo Rabbit. Although Waititi directed the season's finale, touted by some as the best episode, fans shouldn't get excited for an upcoming return from the director in the short term...
During an Instagram Live watch party of Thor: Ragnarok yesterday, Waititi confirmed to viewers that he would not be directing any episodes in the second season of The Mandalorian. While this may be a surprise to some, especially after he directed season one's finale and voiced the popular character IG-11, Waititi had this to say:
“I’m not directing any of the episodes of The Mandalorian because I was doing another film, a soccer film with Michael Fassbender. After Jojo Rabbit, I decided to make a sports film, something I’ve never done, about a sport I knew nothing about and I still don’t.”
WHAT THIS MEANS
After Jojo Rabbit scored a few Oscar nominations earlier this year, and winning for "Best Adapted Screenplay," it's needless to say that Waititi is an exceptionally busy man who is on an incredible run as of late. The soccer film he references in the quote above is titled Next Goal Wins, of which he also co-wrote the screenplay. In addition, the Oscar winner is co-writing and directing Thor: Love and Thunder, the much-anticipated follow up to his previous work on the Thor franchise set to release in February 2022. Looking at this slate, it's no surprise that Waititi was unavailable to direct another episode for The Mandalorian, considering production on season two just recently wrapped. Even though his specific chapter in the show is much beloved by fans and critics, Lucasfilm has plenty of skilled and creative directors lined up for the second season. There were also rumors circulating that Lucasfilm was looking to hire Waititi to direct his own Star Wars film, but nothing has been confirmed for the time being. No matter when and in what capacitiy he returns to the Star Wars universe, it will likely be welcome by all who care about and enjoy the franchise.