The marriage of Taika Waititi and a feature-length Star Wars film has been years in the making. Although Taika Waititi’s Star Wars film was first confirmed in 2020, the project picked up steam this year when Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm, announced they were aiming for a 2023 release date. Waititi, known for his unique style of heartfelt humor, had previously proved his Star Wars chops in The Mandalorian, where he voiced droid IG-11 and directed the pivotal first season finale.
"“Look, I think for the Star Wars universe to expand, it has to expand. I don’t think that I’m any use in the Star Wars universe making a film where everyone’s like, ‘Oh great, well that’s the blueprints to the Millennium Falcon, ah that’s Chewbacca’s grandmother.’ That all stands alone, that’s great, though I would like to take something new and create some new characters and just expand the world, otherwise it feels like it’s a very small story.”"
It seems we are living the golden age of Taika Waititi. His new film ‘Thor: In Love and Thunder’ opens in theaters on July 8th. ‘Reservation Dogs,’ a series that Waititi Executive Produces, following four Indigenous teenagers living on a reservation in Oklahoma, will have its second season on Hulu in August. Queer pirate romance ‘Our Flag Means Death,’ which Waititi both Executive Produces and stars in, was recently renewed for a second season on HBO Max. While his busy schedule means an influx of content for us, it does cast concern on the progress of his Star Wars film.
In an interview with The Wrap last week, Waititi confirmed that his film is not as far along as some might have hoped. When asked about the 2023 release date Kennedy spoke of earlier this year, Waititi replied:
"“Not this year. I’m going to be in New Zealand from August until the end of the year with ‘Our Flag Means Death’ and ‘Time Bandits’ and during that time I will still be writing. I’m still trying to figure out what the story is.”"
And then, speaking to the New York Times earlier this week, Waititi let slip another bombshell:
"“I’m trying to write the ‘Star Wars’ idea at the moment,” he said. “I’ve got to see how that goes, because once I submit it, that might determine when it gets made or if it gets made, even.”"
While Waititi seems to have cast a shadow on future of his project, Lucasfilm has said nothing to indicate the project is either delayed or canceled. While there may be some waiting before we enjoy Star Wars in theaters again, there is still an array of streaming content to hold us over, including ‘Andor‘ which will premiere later this summer.