How do you follow up on making the highest-grossing movie of 2021, and one of the most popular movies of all time? If you’re Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts, you go to work on Star Wars. After helming all three of Peter Parker’s first adventures in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Watts planned to bring the Fantastic Four to the screen. However, late last month Watts revealed that he was leaving the Fantastic Four film to focus on a secret Star Wars project, which had the codename “Grammar Rodeo.”
Thanks to the Lucasfilm panel at Star Wars Celebration, we now know that “Grammar Rodeo” is in fact a Disney+ series entitled Star Wars: Skeleton Crew. Even better, we know that it will star Jude Law, who had long been rumored to be involved in a Star Wars project.
Watts explained during the panel that Skeleton Crew will be set during the same period as The Mandalorian and Book of Boba Fett, which take place five years after Return of the Jedi. As you might expect from that placement, the series will be executive produced by the creators of those shows, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. Watts will also be joined by his Spider-Man co-writer Christopher Ford.
At this point, we still know relatively little about the series. While Law is the biggest name on announced, Watts told festivalgoers that the protagonists will actually be “a group of kids who are about 10 years old who gets lost in the Star Wars universe.” But despite the young protagonists, Watts is quick to clarify the series’ tone: “It stars four kids but it’s not a kids show,” he assured attendees.
Watts has experience working with young actors on projects for larger audiences. Not only do his Spider-Man movies have wide appeal, despite their teenage cast, but Watts’s breakout film Cop Car was a horror film with young stars. The 2015 movie followed two boys who steal a police car that belongs to crooked cop Kevin Bacon, who will go to any lengths to retrieve the vehicle and the incriminating evidence it holds.
With these credentials, Watts can help Star Wars explore new storytelling avenues. With The Phantom Menace still holding a fraught position in the hearts of fans, the franchise doesn’t have the best reputation for its work with kid protagonists. However, as rival sci-fi franchise Star Trek has shown with Prodigy, an animated show on Nickelodeon, youthful heroes can bring a fresh set of eyes to a galaxy that so many know so well.
Will these young people show us the universe rebuilding after the Empire’s fall in Return of the Jedi? Will they watch in horror as the roots of the First Order begin to take root? Or will they take a more optimistic tone than Favreau and Filoni’s other series, The Mandalorian, Book of Boba Fett, and the upcoming Ahsoka? More details are sure to emerge as we near the series’ 2023 premiere on Disney+.