Kathleen Kennedy on the future of Star Wars movies: “We need to create a whole new saga”

A lot of new content was showcased at Lucasfilm’s major Star Wars Celebration panel. We saw the first official trailer for Andor, got a glimpse of The Mandalorian season 3 (read a description of the trailer here), and a new Disney Plus series from Spider-Man director Jon Watts was confirmed. However, there was no update on the current state of the Star Wars movies.

Following the presentation, we met with Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy to discuss what’s going on with those new Star Wars movies, with Kennedy confirming that Taika Waititi’s movie will be next, although there’s no release date set in place. Here’s our quick Q&A with the producer.

Total Film: Star Wars Celebration has led to some very exciting news, but I would say there was a curious lack of talk about the movies. There were reports that the next movie will now be Taika Waititi’s Star Wars film. Is that correct?. 

Kathleen Kennedy: That’s correct. 

Is that aiming for 2023?

Yeah. Well, not 2023, but late 2023.

The December 2023 release date? 

We haven’t locked anything in.

The future of the movies is still in movement?

Of course, they’ve been in movement all along. As we leave the saga, we have all this great, exciting work happening on the television side that informs so much about where we’re going. We want to be very intentional about that. And we have great talent that we’re working with – people who care so deeply about what the next iteration of Star Wars is and about getting people back into movie theatres, so we can really come out with a bang. That’s important to us.

Do you think that is a hesitancy perhaps in exploring past the Skywalker Saga?

No hesitancy.

So that’s very much on your mind? 

Oh, yes. We need to create a whole new saga. That takes a lot. There’s a lot of conversation around that. 

Obi-Wan’s coming out next, and there’s been such love for the prequels. Will there be more of exploring that era ahead?

That’s exactly what we’re doing with Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni and Jon Watts, especially Dave’s new show Ahsoka. We realize there’s kind of been a pattern of a new generation coming along. All the kids of the kids end up loving the prequels and their parents loved the original movies, and now we have the sequels, not very long ago, there’ll be a whole generation attached to that. It’s always important in Star Wars because it’s one story that we carry forward. That’s the way we look at this. It’s a persistent story that goes on and on. And sometimes we can look back and other times we can look forward. And that’s the way we look at it as we talk about what those new projects might be, whether it’s TV, a movie, and eventually a game. So many of the people in the audience, they’re there, now they’re moving from one to the next at Disneyland, in the parks, you want to have that relate to the experiences you’re having on TV or in the movies or so though. It becomes a very broad subject.

Kathleen Kennedy and Ewan McGregor

Kathleen Kennedy and Ewan McGregor (Image credit: Getty Images)

 There were some quotes before this from yourself implying that we won’t see any more characters recast with younger actors. 

I never say never. It’s certainly not something that we’re doing with any intention right now. We’re still talking about Lando with Donald Glover, for instance, but I don’t think we would intentionally just look back at some of the characters like Luke and Leia and whatnot and decide arbitrarily to do a story. There would have to be a really strong reason why.

And finally, is there a future for Solo?

There’s always a future for Solo!

For more on the future of Star Wars, check out our piece on all the new Star Wars movies heading your way soon.

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