June 5, 2023

According to Belloni’s sources, “Kathy was never enthusiastic about the Feige project.” He goes on to speculate that it comes down to how it would look if Feige succeeded in his Star Wars ventures during a time of great turbulence on the film side for Kennedy: “Even after some recent Marvel stumbles, Feige is by far the most powerful creative executive at Disney. His success in Kennedy’s sandbox would be hugely embarrassing for her, especially given all the problems on the Star Wars films.” That’s all conjecture, though.

While it’s true that Lucasfilm has struggled to get film projects off the ground since 2019’s critically-panned The Rise of Skywalker — besides Rogue Squadron, there’s the canceled David Benioff/D.B. Weiss movie, the Rian Johnson’s film trilogy he’s now too busy to shoot, and the delayed Taika Waititi movie, among others never officially announced — the studio did confirm a slate of upcoming movies at this year’s Celebration. There’s the Dave Filoni New Republic movie that will tie up many of the storylines currently taking place in the Mandoverse, a James Mangold Jedi origin story set 25,000 years before the Skywalker Saga, and a new Rey movie set 15 years after The Rise of Skywalker that will see her finally reunite the Jedi Order.

There even appears to be a clear focus and throughline for these newly announced movies, even if each is set in a very different era. To hear Kennedy explain it, it sounds like each film will track the history of the Jedi in their respective eras of the Star Wars timeline.

“We’ve been talking a lot about going well into the past, and one of the things that’s really knitting this all together, obviously, are the Jedi,” Kennedy explained to EW regarding Mangold’s installment. “What happened with the Jedi over time? How did the Jedi evolve? They were wiped out with Order 66. Then they gradually have been coming back.” Meanwhile, “the question we’re going to ask with the New Jedi Order and Rey is, does the galaxy need them anymore? Do they want them back? So there’s a lot of food for thought in what we’re doing, whether it’s in the past, present, or future.”

The Filoni movie will presumably feature Ahsoka Tano, and perhaps even the return of Luke Skywalker (we’re speculating now!), as central parts of the fight against a resurgent Imperial Remnant, with Thrawn now set up as the big bad of the Mandoverse. We’ve also already seen at least two other Force wielders pop up in the Ahsoka trailer, with the promise of Jedi Knight Ezra Bridger’s comeback also in the books. There are a lot of Jedi-adjacent characters running around in the New Republic period.

In other words, things appear to finally be going in the right direction on the big screen for Lucasfilm, but time will tell how plans solidify or change. For now, they don’t involve Feige.

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