So far, every single Star Wars movie released on the big screen has been set during the Skywalker Saga, a 60-ish-year period of civil wars, empires, rebellions, and patricide. That might change with the next batch of Star Wars movies, though, if a new rumor is to be believed. (Take the following with a spoonful of salt, okay?)
According to Star Wars News Net (via IGN), the upcoming film series being developed by Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will be set during the Old Republic era, a period that takes place thousands of years before the events of the movies in Star Wars lore. Popularized by games like Knights of the Old Republic and comics such as Tales of the Jedi, this fan-favorite point on the Star Wars timeline provides a completely different vision of the galaxy from what we’ve seen in the films.
Star Wars News Net’s source is an alleged insider who “has worked on every Disney Star Wars film.” The source claims that he’s been offered to work on the first movie from Benioff and Weiss, which will reportedly begin filming this fall and is set “hundreds of years prior to the Skywalkers.”
Interestingly enough, there were some who speculated that Rian Johnson’s upcoming trilogy would take place in the Old Republic back in 2017, but the director quickly shot those rumors down. So why is now the time to explore this era on the big screen? According to SWNN’s source, it comes down to Benioff and Weiss’ experience on Game of Thrones:
“Disney wants to open up the Star Wars timeline and appeal to a more Game of Thrones style audience.” The source goes on to suggest that we should think of this new movie as “Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings.”
Indeed, Old Republic stories, which are full of Jedi, Sith, monarchs, romance, ancient technology, and an almost Conan-like approach to the Star Wars bestiary, carry a different tone. There’s a larger emphasis on the Force (read: ancient magic) in these stories (since there are usually plenty of Force users) and the search for the energy’s many secrets. This exploration of the Force sometimes leads to very dark places –just ask KotOR 2‘s Kreia and Darth Sion. There are also plenty of wars to choose from, so there’s no shortage of conflicts and political intrigue if Weiss and Benioff mean to bring themes from Game of Thrones over to Star Wars.
The Old Republic as we know it is no longer canon, mind you, so we have no way of knowing how close Benioff and Weiss will stick to the classic stories. The source claims that the “art departments are in design phases now as the script is being finalized,” so if any of this is true, we’ll likely get confirmation from Disney pretty soon, most likely in an announcement at Celebration Chicago next month.
We’ll keep you updated as we hear more!