Though the Star Wars TV shows have been popping up on Disney+ at an impressive rate, but three years since the last movie, The Rise of Skywalker, there has been some serious uncertainty about where the film side of the franchise is headed. That picture became a little clearer on October 23 when Deadline reported that a new Star Wars film is in the works, to be written by Lost co-showrunner Damon Lindelof, with documentarian and TV-director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy at the helm.
There are a handful of other Star Wars movies in various stages of pre-production, including projects with such directors as Patty Jenkins and Taika Waititi, but Deadline indicated that this movie “seems to have the most momentum out of all the films currently in development at the studio”—though little is known about it other than its creative minds.
The prolific Lindelof has written both critically acclaimed TV series (Lost, Watchmen, The Leftovers) and sci-fi blockbusters (World War Z, Prometheus, Star Trek Into Darkness).Obaid-Chinoy has an impressive and varied filmography, with Academy Award wins for her short documentaries on acid attacks suffered by Pakistani women (Saving Face), and honor killings (A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness). While she hasn’t directed any features on a Star Wars scale, she’s not a stranger to Disney franchise fare, having directed two episodes from the inaugural season of Miss Marvel. (Miss Marvel, and Obaid-Chinoy’s episodes specifically, received tremendous praise from critics.)
Puck had more details on the project, as well as the broader state of the Star Wars film world. Matthew Belloni wrote that, prior to this announcement, there was not another Star Wars film slated to be released “before at least December 2025,” which is a massive gap compared to the multiple movies put out annually by Marvel and DC. (Bob Iger’s original approach was to release one Star Wars film per year.) Per Puck, a main reason for the long gap is the tepid response to the most recent trilogy, which also had significant behind-the-scenes drama like the firing of Colin Trevorrow from Rise of Skywalker or the significant rewrites on The Force Awakens. Both films’ creative struggles came partly as a result of rushing to meet release dates, which may be another impetus to slow down. The outlet emphasized that there is quite a lot of pressure on Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy for this next movie to be a success, and to establish what in the Star Wars canon belongs on the big screen instead of in the streaming shows.
Beyond the movies directed by Obaid-Chiony, Jenkins, and Waititi, Marvel head Kevin Feige is developing his own Star Wars movie with writer Michael Waldron (Rick & Morty, Loki). On the TV front, the animated anthology Tales of the Jedi comes out October 26, featuring the fan favorite Jedi Ahsoka Tano and villainous Count Dooku. A third season of the hugely popular Mandalorian series is due out in February 2023, while Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi show may receive a second season.