‘Star Wars’: Kathleen Kennedy Updates On Films By Taika Waititi, Kevin Feige, Patty Jenkins, And Rian Johnson

Lucasfilm dropped a ton of explosive news over the weekend during Star Wars Celebration, revealing new feature films from James Mangold, Dave Filoni, and the return of Daisy Ridley in a third from Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. But fans still have questions. What’s happening with Taika Waititi’s movie? Rian Johnson’s supposed trilogy? Is Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron still happening? And what about Kevin Feige’s film?

Kathleen Kennedy gave updates on all of those because she was never going to be able to escape without being hammered by questions about them. Starting with Feige and Jenkins, Kennedy said…

“Well, they haven’t been shelved. Most things haven’t been shelved. Development is a complicated long-term process. [With] some people, we’re dealing with scheduling, because obviously really talented people are working. So, it’s often not a shelving, it’s just, ‘is it ready?’ That’s really what it comes down to.”

Her statement is interesting considering what she said next about Feige, which is that the Marvel Studios chief’s project was never actually a thing. Fans sorta conjured it into existence…

“Well, Kevin Feige’s project was something announced in the press or, I suppose, fandom, but nothing ever got developed. We never discussed an idea. As everyone knows, Kevin is a huge “Star Wars” fan, and if he did come up with something, I would be all ears, but that’s never really happened. So, it’s not really an abandoned project: it just didn’t happen.”

Kennedy also made it clear that Rogue Squadron isn’t totally dead yet. In fact, it may arrive as a series rather than a movie…

“”Rogue Squadron,” that is definitely something that we still talk about,” Kennedy said. “Whether it’s a movie or it ends up in the series space, that’s definitely something.” 

Lucasfilm has been developing Rogue Squadron for three years with very little public movement, other than to basically put the film on ice. If moving it to a Disney+ series gets the engine revving on it, that would be a good thing.

While those projects are cool, fans are probably most excited to see what Taika Waititi and Rian Johnson can do. Waititi, the filmmaker behind Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love & Thunder, has been developing his own Star Wars movie for a while and it looked to be ahead of others in terms of progress. Then it didn’t get a mention during Lucasfilm’s presentation. So what’s its status now?

Kennedy tells Variety

“Taika is still working away. He’s writing the script himself. 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.”

It would be nice to get an idea of what it’s about, but I guess it’s too early for that.

Finally, in regards to Rian Johnson’s set of films. It seems he’s still too busy doing the Knives Out thing…

“Rian and I talk all the time,” Kennedy said. “He is unbelievably busy. So we’re not actively involved in anything at the moment because he’s doing another one of the Glass Onion movies and then God knows what else. But he really wants to step back into the space. It’s a big commitment of time, so that’s really on him.”

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.