The Star Wars franchise tries it’s best not to be predictable and maintain some twists and secrets about the plots of the films, even during the age of leaks and spoilers. One of the big reasons behind this is that they don’t look towards the existing body of source material from the books, comic books, or video games to ultimately mine for scripts, they tend to write them from scratch and that is meant to keep an air of mystery with the films which the franchise is known for.
While speaking with RollingStone, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy explained the toughness of getting these movies written given that unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe they don’t exactly have a huge amount of source material to adapt and are relying on screenwriters/filmmakers to develop these new films based on their own ideas.
KENNEDY: “Every one of these movies is a particularly hard nut to crack. There’s no source material. We don’t have comic books. We don’t have 800-page novels. We don’t have anything other than passionate storytellers who get together and talk about what the next iteration might be.”
She also talked about what that development process looks like.
KENNEDY: “We go through a really normal development process that everybody else does. You start by talking to filmmakers who you think exhibit the sensibilities that you’re looking for. And I would argue that the list is very small — people who really do have the sensibilities about these kind of movies, and then the experience and the ability to handle how enormous a job these movies are. So we try to be as thoughtful as we possibly can about making those choices. I would also argue that sometimes people get involved in the normal development process, and then they realize, ‘Oh, my God, this is so much more than I ever imagined’. So it’s pretty common that when you’re working on movies, you’re not making choices and decisions that necessarily work out exactly the way you want from the get-go. It’s been an evolving process with lots of people and lots of opinions, and then you try to shape something into what it eventually becomes.”
Even if some existing factoids, canon details or mythology are pulled from different corners of the franchise it’s hard to deny that what makes the Star Wars franchise different is that they at least attempt to do new things and if they were adapting material it would become more predictable ultimately losing that mystery angle.
Fans can certainly debate the quality of the new movies, but they’re certainly less predictable than the prequels and to the point that it may have led to a lot of the backlash railed against Rian Johnson/Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which basically played-out the complete opposite of what fans had speculated/theorized for months (those Snoke theories went up in smoke in an instant).
You can’t really blame them for trying to be original with the scripts given that they’re trying to usher in a new era of the franchise and this is certainly being highlighted with the Disney+ series The Mandalorian and their new strategy to tackle new trilogies/films moving past the Skywalker Saga.
Both Rian Johnson and Kevin Feige (more of suggested) have given us the impression that their movies will tackle new characters, places, and corners of the universe instead of rehashing existing material, which is certainly good news for people like myself that want to see something different from these future installments.
According to TheHollywoodReporter, Lucasfilm is going to announce the next Star Wars feature film (unlikely either from Rian or Kevin) set for release on December 16th, 2022 sometime in January.
A couple options could be the rumored Jedi origin film that Benioff/Weiss were developing as writers before they exited the project or even the the Knights of The Old Republic (set many years before the events of the Skywalker Saga but before the origins of the Jedi) movie that BuzzFeed reported that was being written by Shutter Island screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis (Altered Carbon, Avatar, Ghost In The Shell, Alita: Battle Angel) as a possibly trilogy of films.
Speaking of The Old Republic, Kathleen Kennedy did confirm to MTVNews at Star Wars Celebration this year that they were developing something within The Old Republic era but didn’t expand upon they were considering it.
MTV: Knights of The Old Republic, a lot of fans wanna see that, is there any development of that?
KENNEDY: “You know, we talk about that all the time. Yes, we are developing something to look at. Right now, I have no idea where things might fall..”
An Old Republic film would certainly allow the studio to reboot the franchise in a way where they’re not reliant on existing films/source material, despite fan desire to see them rehashing the lore from the video games. However, this would defeat the idea of starting fresh as then you’ll have a whole new wave of expectations and criticisms if they don’t adapt the material to everyone’s mindset/specifications (which would be impossible to predict).
The era spans a very long time and could allow the studio to create brand new characters/lore within it. Along with exploring things like the Sith Empire and Jedi-Sith War, removing the need for The Rule of Two giving fans more that re-skinned Imperial forces like with The First Order.
It could essentially be a blank slate for them to creative something new.
I think if you want things like an Obi-Wan Kenobi standalone story told a Disney+ series will certainly feed that desire and I wouldn’t be shocked if they mined more Skywalker Saga connected projects or pulled stuff out of the Expanded Universe (comics, novels, and video games) for future shows.
I’m not really of the mindset that Lucasfilm has to make future films directly based on a video game or a certain novel that fans adore, that way of thinking feels counterproductive to keep things fresh and continue this push to have storytellers come up with original scripts.
All you have to do is look at Solo: A Star Wars Story to know that telling stories we can piece together is a bit dull and predictable, a film that is considered the only flop Lucasfilm has had under Disney and Kathleen Kennedy.
This is likely a huge reason why the Boba Fett movie was retooled into The Mandalorian and Ewan McGregor’s Kenobi movie turned into a streaming series.
Existing material can always be adapted for Disney+ and feels like a better place for it, to be honest.
SOURCE: ROLLING STONE