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We Have No Idea What’s Happening

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Taika smiling looking at a camera.

Taika Waititi on the set of Thor: Love and Thunder.
Image: Marvel Studios

Flashback to May 4, 2020. That was the day the official Star Wars website announced that recent Oscar winner Taika Waititi was going to make a Star Wars movie, one he’d direct and co-write along with Oscar nominee Krysty Wilson-Cairns. A few months after that, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy reconfirmed Waititi’s project, calling it a “fresh, unique, and unexpected” movie in the franchise and revealed a silly-looking purple logo.

Now, from all of that, one would expect Waititi had some general sense of what the movie was going to be about. Maybe not a full script but a pitch, an outline, an idea. Something that would make Kennedy tell people who own Disney stock that it’s “fresh, unique, and unexpected.” And yet, in recent months, the only thing that’s unexpected is the fact Waititi makes it sound like there’s no idea at all.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the director of this week’s Thor: Love and Thunder was asked about the trend of Star Wars projects being abandoned and the response was interesting. “Might happen to me,” Waititi exclaimed. “And I think Taika [of] 10 years ago would be so panicked and nervous at the prospect of that. But if it’s not right, it’s not right. If it’s not ready, it’s not ready. [With] Star Wars, I don’t want to rush. It’s something I wouldn’t want to just leap into and not feel that it’s unique, it’s my film, and it makes sense. Because that would be a disaster. I’m writing at the moment. So I’m gonna do my best to come up with an idea that everyone loves.”

So, wait, there isn’t an idea? See where the confusion is? It gets even weirder when you recall, a few weeks back, Waititi similarly hedged his bets by explaining that he wanted to do something new with the franchise, but didn’t quite know what it would be. “Look, I think for the Star Wars universe to expand, it has to expand,” he said to Total Film. “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.”

Rolling Stone mentioned this quote to Waititi, pointing out that if he really does want to go away from Star Wars tropes, maybe the movie doesn’t even need to be “Star Wars.” Waititi agreed. “You know what? Whoever said that is actually probably right,” he said. “Now that I think about it. Like as you were saying that, I was like, ‘Yeah, if you take away all of the Star Wars stuff, it’s not Star Wars.’ So I retract my thing that I said a couple of weeks ago!”

So what is the truth? Does Waititi have an idea, or is he still formulating one? Is it possible an idea was settled on two years ago but has since been reworked for some reason? Are these quotes just Waititi’s way of putting us off the scent? Is it possible this project goes the way of the Rian Johnson trilogy, Colin Trevorrow’s Episode 9, or Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Solo? It’s a lot to think about and unfortunately, Lucasfilm couldn’t give us a comment. Seems like, for now, we’ll just have to wait and see if and when we get a real update. Maybe we’re just being messed with.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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