Lucasfilm and the Disney era of Star Wars have had a contentious relationship in the development and execution of their feature films. We’ve seen plenty of examples of this with Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi movies between retooled as Disney+ shows as they ditched the A Star Wars Story wave of movies entirely after Solo: A Star Wars Story didn’t do stellar business at the box office.
There is a new rumor/report coming from Matthew Belloni (former The Hollywood Reporter editor) at Puck stating that both Patty Jenkins’ Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (only announced last December) and Rian Johnson’s original trilogy have been shelved at Lucasfilm.
The reason for Rogue Squadron seems to be down to Jenkins and Lucasfilm brass being unable to agree upon a script. Filming had been expected to begin next year at Pinewood Studios UK and this would mean that the studio might have to select a replacement project to appease Disney or forego their December 2023 release spot for the next Star Wars movie.
I talked to a few insiders this week that said the real culprit was the dreaded “creative differences”; specifically, Jenkins couldn’t agree on the script with Lucasfilm executives, including senior V.P. Michelle Rejwan. That’s not unusual, of course, but it’s a laughably recurring problem at Lucasfilm under president Kathleen Kennedy, say agents: Top filmmakers are dying to make a Star Wars movie—until they sign on and experience the micromanagement and plot-point-by-committee process. It happened to the Game of Thrones guys, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, who were hired to create a new trilogy but bailed. It also happened to Rian Johnson, writer and director of 2017’s The Last Jedi, whose own planned trilogy was shelved.
It’s been rumored for ages that Johnson’s trilogy has been scrapped only for the filmmaker to debunk reports online and unclear if this rumbling is real or not. Time will tell.
Could it be a case of Disney and Lucasfilm caving to the Fandom Menace? The vocal minority within the Star Wars fandom had been quite vocal of their distaste for Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi and the idea of a female director handling a Star Wars film or anything female-centric.
To be fair, the outlet doesn’t have the most favorable opinion of Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy if their headline is any indication, which skews a bit hyperbolic. They’re actively pushing the idea of removing her from the Star Wars franchise, despite the report also mentioning a contract extension adding another three years to her tenure at Lucasfilm, so her removal won’t be happening.