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Taika Waititi's Star Wars Movie - Will It Ever Happen?

The "Star Wars" franchise has a lot of exciting projects in the works, from the "New Jedi Order" film featuring Daisy Ridley's Rey, to Leslye Headland's long-awaited "The Acolyte" series, to a yet untitled movie from the mind of "Jojo Rabbit" and "Thor: Ragnarok" director Taika Waititi. That last project has particularly captured the imagination of fans ever since the news was announced on Star Wars Day in 2020, mere months after Waititi directed the well-received Season 1 finale of "The Mandalorian."

Unfortunately, further details on the film have been incredibly sparse. Full years have gone by with little in the way of news. With the movie apparently trapped in limbo for reasons that remain unclear, fans are eager for answers. Some just want to know what point it's at in production. Some are curious as to why it's taking so long. Some are wondering if the project will ever come to fruition at all. While things are murky, we do know certain tantalizing details. This is everything we know so far about Waititi's "Star Wars" flick, and whether or not it'll actually come to pass.

Why isn't Waititi's Star Wars movie happening yet?

Taika Waititi has been pretty transparent about his struggle to develop a "Star Wars" script. "I've got a really good idea for it," he told The Hollywood Reporter in May 2023. "It's just as with all films, it's this middle part. You're like, 'What's going to happen?' And then you look at all of those films that are so great, you're like, 'Well, I guess they can't meet some smuggler with an alien sidekick.'" As recently as September 2023, Waititi indicated that the script still hasn't been completed. During a speech to honor "Deadpool 3" director Shawn Levy at the TIFF Tribute Awards (covered by Variety), Waititi suggested that his peer should jump onto a "Star Wars" project. "Unlike me, maybe this guy manages to finish a script for that," he said.

Problems with story development aren't the only issue here — there's also the matter of Waititi's packed schedule. He's spent the last few years directing major film projects like "Thor: Love and Thunder" and "Next Goal Wins," along with contributing to series like "Reservation Dogs," "Our Flag Means Death," and "What We Do in the Shadows." It's entirely possible that the "Star Wars" movie is taking a backseat to several other projects for the time being, such as the upcoming "Klara and the Sun."

With all these struggles to overcome, a fan might assume Waititi's "Star Wars" is dead, or at least massively delayed. But a ray of hope arrived in October 2023. When the prospective film came up on the Hollywood-centric podcast "The Hot Mic," industry expert Jeff Sneider declared, "I definitely checked in on that. A draft is expected. It's not dead." Does this mean Waititi has made headway on his script issues? We can certainly hope so.

What Kathleen Kennedy has said about Waititi's Star Wars movie

Taika Waititi has been pretty open about the process of developing his "Star Wars" movie, but he's not the only one who has offered updates on the project. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has also been fairly candid about progress on the movie. 

In an April 2023 interview with Variety, Kennedy revealed that Waititi is mostly going it alone on the creative front for the film, hence the slow yet steady amount of progress made. "He's writing the script himself," she said. "He doesn't really want to bring others into that process and I don't blame him. He has a very, very unique voice. So we want to protect that and that's what he's doing. But we're going to make that one day."

Roughly a month later, Kennedy shared a similar update on Waititi's "Star Wars" project with Empire Magazine, though she was more specific about just how far along the movie is. "Taika is working away," she said. "He's just, and he won't get mad at me for saying this, slow. We've got a couple of acts, we need a third."

What could be explored in Waititi's Star Wars movie

Considering that the script for Taika Waititi's "Star Wars" movie doesn't seem to have reached the finish line yet, it's no surprise that plot details for the film are virtually non-existent. However, fans can at least be sure of one thing — it's going to be a departure from pretty much anything previously seen in "Star Wars" canon.

While the "Star Wars" franchise has mostly revolved around the lengthy conflict between the Jedi and the Sith, as well as the Skywalker lineage, Waititi has voiced his desire to make something far removed from the most recognizable elements of the series. "Look, I think for the Star Wars universe to expand, it has to expand," he told Total Film in 2022. "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."

With Waiti's comments in mind, it stands to reason that his film will set its story sometime far before or after the events of the current "Star Wars" saga — perhaps in a new, previous unexplored era of the galaxy far, far away. We also expect him to bring his trademark humor to the film. When Variety asked him what we should expect in December 2023, the filmmaker responded, "It will be ... dramatic pause... a Taika Waititi film. It's gonna piss people off."

Who will star in Waititi's Star Wars movie

Most of the cast for Taika Waititi's "Star Wars" movie hasn't been announced yet, but there's at least one actor attached to the project: Waititi himself. According to a March 2023 report from Variety, the director will likely star in his own "Star Wars" project, though the specifics of his role were not disclosed.

Waititi starring in his own projects isn't unheard of. He has notably portrayed Korg in "Thor: Ragnarok" and "Thor: Love and Thunder," as well as Adolf Hitler in "Jojo Rabbit," all of which are films that he directed. Waititi is actually quite an experienced actor in general, having recently appeared in projects like "History of the World, Part II" and "Free Guy."

Interestingly enough, whoever Waititi's character ends up being in his "Star Wars" film, it won't be his first or only acting role in the franchise. The director-slash-actor actually plays the droid IG-11 (later known as IG-12) across multiple seasons of "The Mandalorian." It seems that IG-11 and the new character will be vocal doppelgangers of a sort.