The year 2019 was a watershed moment for the Star Wars franchise. In November of that year, The Mandalorian debuted on Disney+ to huge success. But when December's The Rise of Skywalker premiered in theaters, it quickly soured fans on the trilogy and the studio's direction. While Lucasfilm claims Patty Jenkins, Rian Johnson, and Taika Waititi's Star Wars movies are coming, the status of the studio's film slate has been as difficult to locate as the Death Star plans.
Meanwhile, the future of the galaxy far, far away has seemingly been on Disney+. In addition to two seasons of The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni released The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi, with Andor set to release on August 31, followed by The Mandalorian's third season, Ahsoka, and now, Star Wars: Skeleton Crew starring Jude Law.
As for the franchise's theatrical ambitions, fans have been anticipating some clarification at Star Wars Celebration; and while the answers aren't as definitive as some might like, Lucasfilm finally provided some answers.
Waititi's Star Wars Film Confirmed for Late 2023
In talking with Total Film, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that Taika Waititi's Star Wars film is the studio's next film from that galaxy far, far away with the new goal of a 2023 release.
However, fans should expect the film closer to 2024 because, when the Lucasfilm president was specifically asked about its release window, she clarified, saying, "Yeah. Well, not 2023, but late 2023."
As to whether the Marvel director's film would be assuming the December 2023 slot that originally was slated for Patty Jenkin's Rogue Squadron's release, Kennedy only said, "We haven't locked anything in."
As of now, Lucasfilm hasn't confirmed when the film is set to begin filming or any additional details relating to its cast.
However, while Waititi is best known in the franchise world for helming Thor: Ragnarok and the soon-to-be-released Thor: Love and Thunder, he's no stranger to Star Wars. In addition to directing an episode of The Mandalorian, he also provided the voice for IG-11 in Season 1 of the Pedro Pascal-led series.
So When Will Waititi's Movie ACTUALLY Release?
In the years following Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, fans have come to accept that just because a Star Wars film or project is announced, that doesn't mean it will happen.
Game of Thrones writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss' Star Wars trilogy, which would've been released this year, was canceled after it was announced, and audiences are still waiting for Rian Johnson's delayed trilogy.
While Taika Waititi's film is likely on track, Kathleen Kennedy's statement still gives off a sense of uncertainty, particularly in terms of when this movie will arrive in theaters. The fact that she emphasized "late 2023" before admitting that Lucasfilm hasn't "locked anything in" suggests little has been finalized or nailed down.
In addition, theatrical Star Wars has little to no presence at Star Wars Celebration, suggesting the studio has nothing new to share or confirm.
While a Taika Waititi Star Wars film appears to be happening, just when it will arrive in theaters is the question; and according to Lucasfilm, it's one that the studio still can't answer.