The state of the Star Wars franchise in cinemas remains a bit unclear. Earlier this month, Lucasfilm announced The Mandalorian & Grogu, a movie to be directed by Jon Favreau based on the popular Disney+ series and that will set our lovable father and son duo on a brand-new adventure. It’s being fast-tracked into production this year, which suggests it’ll be the first new Star Wars movie to come out since The Rise of Skywalker bowed in Dec. 2019.
Interestingly, before that surprise announcement last week, it really seemed like the first movie on Lucasfilm’s docket was the untitled Rey movie, which is set to pick up 15 years after the events of the Sequel Trilogy. It’ll bring back Daisy Ridley to the galaxy far, far away to “build the New Jedi Order, based on the text that she was given and that Luke imparted on her,” as studio head Kathleen Kennedy told Empire last year. We also know that the movie will be directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy from a script by Steven Knight, who replaced Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson as the movie’s screenwriter.
We’ve not heard very much about the post-Sequel era project since last year’s Star Wars Celebration, but Ridley recently caught up with French outlet AlloCiné and shared one particularly interesting little detail about the upcoming movie. When asked what drew her to returning to the role, Ridley replied, “Once I knew what the story was and everything, I knew it was something I really wanted to do. I think it’s a really fantastic exploration of the Star Wars world. It’s a really cool way of taking the story on in a bit of a different direction.”
No, it’s not very much to go on but the keyword here is “different direction.” This new project is not only a sequel to the Sequels but the film tasked with carving out the future of the Star Wars timeline on the big screen and introduce a new era of storytelling, very much in the same way The Mandalorian paved the way for the larger New Republic era. Perhaps “different direction” means we won’t get the level of navel-gazing Lucasfilm has been happy to trade in in recent installments of the franchise. It would be nice to see the next era of Star Wars do something other than “evil Empire-like faction destroys democracy and takes over the galaxy” and/or “it was Palpatine all along.” Please, never say the words “Sith Lord” again, either. Surely, there are other threats waiting in such a huge galaxy?
What we do know is that the new movie will look to answer a few big questions about the future of the Jedi: “There’s a lot of discussion around, ‘Who are the Jedi? What are they doing? What’s the state of the galaxy?” Kennedy teased in an interview with IGN last year.
Perhaps we’ll get a glimpse at a reimagined Jedi Order unlike the robe-wearing monks we’ve seen on screen thus far? I, for one, would love to see the next generation of Jedi lean more heavily into the Samurai vibe of lone warriors wandering the galaxy akin to the old Tales of the Jedi comics from the ’90s. Either way, Lucasfilm will definitely be on the right track if it’s finally thinking “different” instead of more of the same. Now it’s just a question of when we’ll actually see this movie.
In the meantime, check out the complete schedule of upcoming Star Wars movies and TV series here.