Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Lucasfilm Puts Standalone Movies on Hold

If you were wondering about the fallout from Solo's poor box office results...well, here it is. Collider has reported that Lucasfilm is putting their standalone A Star Wars Story movies on hold in favor of focusing on Episode IX (which will start filming very soon) and the next trilogy after that.
Though no future standalone movies were ever actually confirmed by Lucasfilm, THR reported last August that an Obi-Wan Kenobi film was in development with Stephen Daldry directing (recently corroborated by TMZ), and again reported last month that James Mangold would be helming a Boba Fett movie. Now those movies won't be happening for a while—if at all. 

After IX, the next trilogy will be conceived by The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson. Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will also be writing and producing a series of films. All of these films – as well as the animated series Star Wars Resistance and Jon Favreau's live-action TV series are expected to center on new characters in new eras and be separate from the Skywalker saga.

While this news is disappointing to some, it's not that bad for Star Wars in the long run. Kenobi could have been a really interesting and exciting film about a beloved character, and Boba Fett could have at least been a fun team-up movie with lots of familiar bounty hunters. But again, The Last Jedi was all about letting the past die and forgetting about old characters.
"No, no, you're still holding on! Let go!"
That's not to say that we should never have more nostalgic spinoffs or origin stories about familiar faces from the Original Trilogy and Prequels. But Star Wars should never just be about characters introduced 40 years ago in new stories that fill in the gaps between these movies. In terms of both space and time, the Star Wars universe is enormous, and if Johnson and Benioff and Weiss want to explore it, Lucasfilm should by all means concentrate on that.

Unfortunately, Star Wars News Net is reporting that Disney will go back to "proven veteran talent" for their filmmakers instead of younger and riskier choices like Gareth Edwards, Colin Trevorrow, and Phil Lord and Chris Miller—all of whom had serious falling outs with Lucasfilm. While the logic here makes sense to some extent, it's bad news for anyone hoping that Lucasfilm would eventually diversify in terms of the filmmakers they pick. 

After all, there are few female directors or directors of color who have the experience of Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams, or the other Hollywood bigshots who run in Kathleen Kennedy's crowd, simply because they've had less opportunities. If Star Wars – one of the biggest franchises ever – is no longer even considering fresh and unique filmmakers (who also happen to not be old white guys), that's not helping the industry at all.

What do you think of this news? What would you have liked to see in Kenobi and Boba Fett standalones? Tell me in the comments or tweet to @sithobserver, and may the Force be with you all.


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