On Friday, April 7, Lucasfilm will kick off Star Wars Celebration Europe with the Lucasfilm Studio Showcase, in which they will highlight The Mandalorian, Andor, and more, and the company presumably will also announce upcoming theatrical films then as well. It has long been assumed, and has more recently been reported, that Lucasfilm will be spotlighting some of these announcements at the Star Wars fan convention.
But when those announcements happen, don’t expect films from Patty Jenkins or Kevin Feige to be among them. According to a report from Variety released today, neither one of those projects are in active development at Lucasfilm any longer.
Jenkins was, at one point, tapped to be the first to venture in to the post-Skywalker saga era of films. At the Disney Investor Day presentation in December 2020, it was announced by President Kathy Kennedy that Jenkins would be directing Rogue Squadron, introducing a new generation of pilots. It was set to release in December 2023, which obviously isn’t happening, and the release date for the next Star Wars film has been pushed back until December 2025. When that delay happened it was assumed that Jenkins’ project was in trouble, and this is the not-at-all-surprising report that makes that more clear.
What was never officially announced by Lucasfilm, though, was a film being developed by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. Back in 2019 then-Disney Studios boss Alan Horn alluded to Kennedy and Feige collaborating on a Star Wars movie, and Michael Waldron was reportedly hired to write it – and he even publicly talked about it in 2021. But Lucasfilm never said anything officially or publicly about the project, and Kennedy was extremely noncommittal when asked about it last year. That led to people beginning to wonder about it, and sure enough, that picture has also been shelved.
As far as what the next movie might be from Star Wars, Variety’s report mentioned two primary contenders for the December 2025 slot. While acknowledging that a currently unannounced project could fill that, the article nonetheless noted the films from directors Taika Waititi (which has been publicly announced by Lucasfilm) and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (which has not). The report mentions that Waititi would likely have an acting role in his film as well, while Obaid-Chinoy’s film reportedly has Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson writing the script.
It’s disappointing news any time we hear about Star Wars movies being shelved, and I think that’s especially true about Rogue Squadron, which was a movie that I thought had plenty of potential. But at the same time this will surely fuel additional criticism of Lucasfilm and their notorious history of shelved projects which, if I’m honest, seems to be blown out of proportion way too often. Undeniably, however, the studio needs to provide clarity on their plan as soon as possible, and then they need to demonstrate an ability to actually see some of these projects through. I think Star Wars Celebration will be a critical time of unveiling some of those plans and beginning to build hype. Some fans will be hesitant to get too excited with the history of canceled projects, but clarity is far better than confusion. If we have more clarity a month from now about the future of the Star Wars theatrical releases, that will be a very good thing.