The future of Star Wars remains uncertain now that Disney has wrapped up its third of three main trilogy films. Though we know there are a number of TV shows and prequel movies in the works, the actual story and the look and feel of this franchise could go anywhere at this point. The Star Wars that fans have more or less known for 50 years is over, and a bold new future in a galaxy far, far away awaits.
The good news is that Disney announced on Monday, May The Fourth, that director Taika Waititi will continue to have a major part to play in whatever comes next. Waititi will direct and co-write a new Star Wars movie for theatrical release.
While there are few other details, and no release date at this point, this announcement is a promising sign for the franchise. Waititi has already proven himself to be an ideal choice for a Star Wars movie.
Most recently, he directed the final chapter of the first season of the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian, which was the best episode of the series so far. Waititi brought his gift of comedic timing, and his stylish eye for action and design to the Star Wars universe—no easy feat for a franchise as well established as this one.
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But beyond his resume that includes a writing Oscar for Jojo Rabbit and a list of beloved indie movies, Waititi has already proved himself to be an inventive filmmaker within the corporate confines of the Disney studio system. The Waititi-directed Thor: Ragnarok marked a bold departure for the title hero and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. He brought a bold, pulpy '80s visual style to what had become a predictable franchise. He made Thor cool again, allowed Chris Hemsworth to flex his comedy chops, and found a balance of sci-fi action with comedy that has become a staple of every Marvel movie since.
Part of what polarized fans about the Disney era of Star Wars was its reliance on tired franchise tropes and storytelling. Specifically, the disappointing Rise of Skywalker showed how bad Star Wars movies can be when they refuse to takes risks in terms of storytelling. That's something Waititi—even with Disney execs breathing down his neck—has remained unafraid to do. It's exciting to consider what Waititi can come up with in his vast imagination and the limitless canvas of the Star Wars universe.
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