Trying to create something original within a major franchise controlled by a megacorporation must be like getting blood from a stone, but if anyone can do it, Taika Waititi can. His (relatively) innovative work on Thor: Ragnarok made him one of the most sought after filmmakers in Hollywood, enough so that he was given the keys to the Star Wars kingdom.
Neither Marvel nor Lucasfilm are known for being hands-off with their properties, but nonetheless Waititi has somehow managed to thrive under these conditions. Luckily, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy is in the market to “create a whole new saga,” and Waititi is just the man for the job.
Speaking with Total Film, the director said, “Look, I think for the Star Wars universe to expand, it has to expand.” Yes, that’s the kind of genius wisdom modern cinema needs. Seriously though, leaving behind the Skywalkers is easier said than done–Waititi has even been involved in The Mandalorian, which has plenty of Skywalker fingerprints on it.
When he’s in the driver’s seat, though, things will be different: “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,’” he said. “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.”
If you’re making a Star Wars movie that has no connection to the previous Star Wars movies, why not just make an original sci-fi film? The state of modern cinema being such as it is, that’s probably too much to ask.
Still, he is correct that the Skywalker timeline is getting a bit too crowded. Rather than expanding the universe, the Disney+ series have crammed so many new stories in the years between the trilogies that the canon is threatening to implode. The safest route to avoid fandom ire is to simply start anew. As long as Waititi sticks to the basic principles of the Force, he should be in the clear.