No one seems more satisfied with himself than Taika Waititi. And why shouldn’t he be? The Kiwi filmmaker is on top of the world. He’s got a Tumblr-approved pirate show, an Oscar for writing a whimsical Hitler movie, and a second Thor movie primed for boffo B.O. Plus he’s somehow memory-holed Natalie Portman’s legendary portrayal as Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars prequels. Now that we as a culture like those movies for being a singular man’s boring but startlingly accurate vision of how democracies fall to fascism, we must feign the surprise that anyone could forget a line reading like “I will not a condone a course of action that will lead us to war.” [If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of this writer’s monocle falling directly into his martini glass at the mere hint of someone forgetting about Queen Amidala.]
In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Waititi reflected on his first conversation with Portman when he made that classic Portman faux pas and asked her if she would ever be interested in being in Star Wars.
Natalie said to me, what do you do next? And I said “I’m trying to work on a Star Wars thing. Have you ever wanted to be in a Star Wars movie?” She said, “I’ve been in Star Wars movies.” I forgot about those ones. [Laughs]
With all due respect, Mr. Waititi, Padmé survived the effin’ Clone Wars and the invasion of Naboo, but sadly, not a broken heart, which famously killed her character. So rude. Does he not remember that Kiera Knightly was also in some of those movies? What about Joel Edgerton? Sure, everyone forgets about Edgerton until he turns up in an Obi-Wan Kenobi and reminds people that, yes, the star of Gringo is back, baby.
Of course, being a man of impish frivolity, Waititi was probably goofin’ around. After all, this is the guy who also told Rolling Stone that he retracts saying that his Star Wars movie would be disconnected from the so-called “Skywalker Saga” because he was charmed by the idea of a movie about “Chewbacca’s grandmother.” He continued:
There’s thousands of books that have been written, these volumes of books about Star Wars with all those characters. I just don’t have time to get through them. So I can’t say like, you know, confidently, I’d be able to do something that’s like very close to what everyone knows. I’m not promising that I’m not going to do anything like that. I’m just saying: It’d be easier for me to not do that. Would you like to see a Jar Jar Binks movie?
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!
He also admitted that this Star Wars thing might not even happen because, as we’ve learned over the past few years, Lucasfilm loves to announce Star Wars movies almost as much as they love to cancel them. But if it does happen, maybe Taika Waititi can make Natalie Portman’s dream of being in a Star Wars come true.