Report: Taika Waititi May Be Developing a Star Wars Movie

Taika Waititi attends the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California.
Taika Waititi attends the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California.
Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association

Serious question: Does Taika Waititi ever sleep? We’ve long had our suspicions about the very busy writer-director-actor for some time now, but the latest nugget of news about the Oscar nominee hints at yet another major project in the works—one that could return him to a certain galaxy far, far away.


The Hollywood Reporter cites “sources” that claim Waititi “has been approached to develop a Star Wars movie.” That’s the entirety of the rumor; there’s no further details on whether that means he may be tapped to direct or write or co-write or anything else. But this seems like a likely, not to mention exciting, prospect for several reasons—including but not limited to Waititi’s much-loved contributions to Disney+ series The Mandalorian (both behind the camera, directing the season one finale, as well as his work voicing the heroic breakout character IG-11).

Waititi also, of course, already has a solid relationship with Marvel head and newly-minted Star Wars guy Kevin Feige, thanks to Thor: Ragnarok and the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. Does Waititi’s potential Star Wars project have anything to do with Feige’s project? Maybe, but who can say?

Basically, we have zero ideas at the moment as to what Waititi’s contributions to big-screen Star Wars might involve, but considering how The Rise of Skywalker was positioned as a lavish send-off to the Star Wars of old, bringing someone in who’s proven he can bring vision, energy, quirkiness, and originality to anything he touches seems like an excellent choice for the franchise as it moves forward.

In the meantime, he’s got the Oscars (Jojo Rabbit is up for six awards, including Best Picture), acting roles in movies like Free Guy and Suicide Squad, another season of FX’s What We Do in the Shadows (which he executive produces), and seriously like a zillion other projects, including a sports movie called Next Goal Wins, that Time Bandits TV series, an animated Flash Gordon reboot, and maybe even an Akira movie one day. Whew.

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io9 News Editor, here since 2016. Previously SF Bay Guardian newspaper (RIP), SFSU (MA, Cinema Studies), member of the SF Bay Area Film Critics Circle, big fan of horror, metal, and verrry small dogs.



Something to keep in mind for any and all parties developing a Star Wars movie:

  • Star Wars is more than just a “space fantasy” — a comprehensive pastiche of 20th Century visual culture filtered through space opera and mythic storytelling (not necessarily just the Campbellan monomyth either). To get it right, rather than looking obsessively at previous Star Wars movies you should immerse yourself in the stuff Lucas drew upon — comics, pulp SF, all kinds of movies, architectural drawings, advertising, propaganda, industrial design. In the words of John Hurt, find the style and you find the reality. (The overwhelming problem with the ST is that it has very little style of its own.)
  • Star Wars always appropriated material from other sources under Lucas. This is not a big deal. In fact, one can argue that the history of the last twenty years of Star Wars is that it has been constantly lapped by movies based on Lucas’ primary sources, like LotR and Marvel. The problem is when new filmmakers treat the franchise as some sort of gospel truth that can never be altered or challenge. E.g., complaints about “new” Force abilities when the Force was always vaguely defined in the OT (the sheer wtf-ery of the Emperor’s lightning in RotJ).
  • Star Wars doesn’t need to to take place exclusively on the frontier or in the city exclusively, but it is about power differentials and inequality, and to ignore this is to ignore the core themes.
  • That said, you don’t need to always make it about a doughty band of revolutionaries fighting an overwhelming bad guy. Sometimes the rot comes from within the good guys’ institutions.
  • You don’t always need the Force, but if you do have the Force, you don’t need to have Jedi and Sith. It’s a big universe.
  • “Fan service” is always ornamentation. It is not a solid basis for a narrative.