It’s perhaps the worst kept secret in Hollywood that Kathleen Kennedy is on her way out from running LucasFilm, with most industry insiders believing her departure will be officially announced after the release of Indiana Jones 5.
While Kennedy has had her share of successes—Force Awakens, The Mandalorian—she’s also had her share of disasters—The Rise of Skywalker, the Willow show, The Book of Bobba Fett, and Obi-Wan, to name just a few. And even things that have turned out decently well, like Solo and Rogue One, have been plagued by communication problems and expectation hang ups that have cost hundreds of millions of dollars and countless amounts of valuable time. (Solo, most shockingly, was almost 70% shot by comedy masterminds Lord & Miller before the duo was fired due to “creative differences” and Ron Howard was brought in to direct as they proceeded to reshoot the majority of the film.)
I’ve long since lost track of the number of Star Wars film projects from folks like Patty Jenkins, Ryan Johnson, and even Marvel’s Kevin Feige that have been announced with much fanfare and then quietly scrapped when the lights weren’t on.
Now, with this year’s Star Wars Celebration in our rear view, I thought it would be helpful to do an editorial retrospective of the new film announcements and some of my predictions of the likelihood of which, if any, of these announced projects will see the light of day. (As most of the names for these projects haven’t actually been announced, I’m taking some creative liberties to imagine what they might be called based on their subject matter.)
Rei Skywalker Builds The NEW, new Jedi Academy
(or Star Wars: New Jedi Order)
I personally loved the Rei Skywalker character and was able to actually enjoy her trilogy because Claudia Grey’s amazing books filled in the gaps that were ignored by the movies. With that said, I’m in a minority of folks who actually enjoyed the final trilogy and, even those, like me, who did, would agree that it suffered very badly from not having a unified writers room write the entire thing in its entirety before any cameras rolled. The director they’ve tasked to bring the film to life is Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who’s most well known for being a documentary filmmaker, which feels like an odd choice. As such, I believe we’ve got a 5% chance of this film ever being made, especially with the change up about to happen at LucasFilm—which sucks because this is actually the story I would most like to see, personally.
The Genesis of the Jedi:
It’s 25,000 years in the past, so maybe now we won’t set everything on Tatooine with the Same 8 characters!
If we can break the shackles of modern Star Wars where everything is interconnected with the original trilogy, what could that look like? We got a sample of it in the non-canon video game, Knights of the Old Republic twenty years ago, but no one at LucasFilm has really had the courage to try it in their canon collection before now. To make sure this film has a shot at being good, Logan’s director, James Mangold, is being tasked to direct the film after he finishes Indiana Jones 5. I personally find Mangold to be a hit or miss director as Logan was amazing, but his earlier The Wolverine film wasn’t great and his Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz vehicle, Knight & Day, was a train wreck. Because this could be so unconnected from the previous regime, though, I’m going to actually give this idea a 15% chance of happening.
The Mandalorian Movie:
In this super movie, the feature directorial debut of Dave Filoni, we’ll try to wrap up all the Star Wars shows LucasFilm has released in one huge conflagration! We’re talking Mandalorian, Book of Bobba Fett, Ahsoka, Obi-Wan, Skeleton Crew, and any other things we can fit in here! (They might even try to fit in a Willow cameo for good measure!) It’s all got to go—I mean, end! And we’re going to put it in a theater with the expectations that you’ve watched the 52 hours of Disney+ material ahead of time to make it all make sense! I give this the highest odds of happening at 30% solely because the new regime will probably want a way to wrap up everything that came before and, if they’re far enough a long in pre-production, this might be very attractive. (If it does come out, though, I give it only a 50% chance of ending up in theaters versus going straight to Disney+.)
With so much in flux at LucasFilm and their really spotty track record, it’s hard to take any of the Star Wars Celebration announcements seriously in regard to movies.
Certainly shows like Ahsoka and Visions will come out, as these are already produced, but the ratio of shows the caliber of Andor and Early Mandalorian have been outweighed by those the quality of the abysmal Book of Bobba Fett, the ill-conceived Obi-Wan, and the off-its-game season 3 of Mandalorian. Whether Skeleton Crew will actually makes it across the finish line is anyone’s guess and we’re still probably two years out from a second season of Andor—which, despite being some of the best Star Wars ever shot, had very low viewership.
Weigh in with your thoughts below on what you think would/could happen with LucasFilm in the future! Your guess is probably just as likely to come true as the announcements at this years Star Wars Celebration!
(For additional coverage of this and other movie news, we highly recommend the film coverage of media pundit, John Campea, and the John Campea Show. )