The future for Star Wars is definitively on TV over the next several years, though Lucasfilm does plan to continue releasing theatrical films. What the next Star Wars movie will be and and when it will land in this galaxy are largely unknown, though Kathleen Kennedy has stated her intention to have Taika Waititi's project be the next one up. The director is currently putting the finishing touches on Thor: Love and Thunder, and presumably, all his attention will be geared towards his new space opera next.
Patty Jenkins' Rogue Squadron was originally slated to be the next Star Wars to hit theaters, marked with a December 2023 release. The project has hit a snag, however, as issues with the script have forced a delay for the film as Jenkins works on rewrites. Waititi's movie, which has been in development since 2020, is now intended to take next Christmas' slate, jumping up from what was presumably the Star Wars film coming in 2025 before.
For those wondering how the director will pull off such a quick turnaround, there appear to be more questions than answers. Kennedy was tight-lipped about all things theatrical Star Wars during Celebration, though she recently insisted the movies will get an update in the coming months. As for Waititi, there's still a ways to go. The director recently explained why development on his movie is taking so long, noting the importance of getting Star Wars right in the writing phase.
Waititi Focused On Nailing Star Wars Feel
In an interview with Screen Rant, director Taika Waititi shared that he's still early in the process of mapping out his Star Wars film and is uncertain of when it will release:
"That’s yet to be seen. I don’t know. I’m still writing. I’m still coming up with the ideas and storylining it and just wanted to make sure that it feels like a Star Wars film."
Above all else, the writer/director is taking his time to carefully ensure that the story has a place in the galaxy far, far away:
"Because, I could say, “Oh yeah, we’ll just write any old thing and set in space and then put Star Wars on the front.” But it wouldn’t be a Star Wars film without certain elements and a certain treatment, so I’ve just got to make sure that it stays within that wheelhouse."
Will Waititi's Film Release In 2023?
It seems as though Kathleen Kennedy's hopes of a holiday 2023 arrival for Waititi's Star Wars film were overly optimistic. With the director still in the early phases of generating ideas and mapping out the story, there likely isn't even a script yet - certainly not one that's ready for shooting. There have been no details on a cast or shooting locations, either, further indicating that a release next year is little more than a pipe dream.
This isn't exactly a bad thing, though it will come as a disappointment for fans eager to see Star Wars on the silver screen again. The Rise of Skywalker's development was infamously short, with the entire project being completed in 18 months from conception to release. In some ways, Lucasfilm is still paying the price for such a rushed product, as reception turned many away from elements of the franchise and new stories have to account for the messy lore introduced by the film.
Waititi should be taking all the time he needs to ensure that his Star Wars film can be as good as possible. Another thing that should be encouraging to fans is the director's understanding of how to treat things for Star Wars. Known for his goofy and fun tones in his films, Waititi recognizes that there are certain directions not to go with Star Wars. This will hopefully allow the film to avoid criticism of misplaced like The Last Jedi received, and a story that feels authentic to Star Wars will make the wait well worth it.
A December 2023 release seems all but impossible. Perhaps Disney will move Avatar around and give Waititi's film the Christmas 2024 slate instead, allowing for ample time to get the project right. Rogue Squadron should be ready to go the year after at that rate, assuming it does indeed get made. From there, it's anyone's guess as to what Star Wars' theatrical future holds.