What's happening with Star Wars? Jon Favreau and Taika Waititi hold the key

Star Wars on Disney Plus
Star Wars on Disney Plus (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Taika Waititi is being courted by Disney to create a new Star Wars movie.
  • This movie will likely be released in the next few years alongside other standalone films, replacing the trilogy format for the next phase of Star Wars.
  • Additional Disney+ shows and movies are likely to be created by Dave Filoni, Jon Favreau, and Taika Waititi, according to rumors.

When Disney originally purchased the Star Wars franchise for $4 billion at the end of 2012, the direction of the series seemed pretty clear. A new trilogy, a couple of solo movies featuring the antics of one or two characters at a time, and a bright outlook on the horizon. Fast forward half a dozen years and the future has become less clear. While the trilogy turned out to be a big financial success for Disney, grossing $4.3 billion as of this writing, the critical reception of Disney's Star Wars projects has been quite mixed. That mixed response has seen Disney change plans time and time again, with rumors flying in every direction over the future of the franchise and its tried-and-true trilogy format.

But one thing seems certain: the work of Dave Filoni, Jon Favreau, and Taika Waititi is universally loved. Dave Filoni, who has been responsible for much of the animated Star Wars series and had a hand in The Mandalorian, is well respected among critics and fans alike. Jon Favreau and Taika Waititi both had a huge hand in the making of The Mandalorian as well, and it's the commercial and critical success of this show that seems to be driving the direction of Star Wars going forward.

In a rumor posted by Hollywood Reporter, Taika Waititi's performance as the director of Chapter 8 of The Mandalorian, Thor: Ragnarok, as well as being the voice of IG-11 (and the lovable Korg in The Avengers), has uniquely positioned him to help direct the vision of at least one new Star Wars movie this decade. Details are light on Disney's courtship of Waititi and little is know at this point, but all signs point to Favreau, Waititi, and Filoni's heavy involvement in the future of the Star Wars cinematic universe, and it's entirely likely that much of this work will appear on Disney+.

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So, what's happening with the next Star Wars trilogies? The last we heard officially from Rian Johnson (above), the director of Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi, his trilogy was still under development and planning to release sometime later in the 2020s. The Old Republic trilogy, once headed by Game of Thrones creative leads, seems to be completely canceled at this point. Disney is going forward with more of The Mandalorian and the new Kenobi mini-series on Disney+, and has additional new series featuring the Rebel antics of Cassian Andor and K-2SO of Rogue One fame.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu
  • I thought the point was to have that franchise be profitable, not only in the short term, but long term as well. As of now the only thing Disney has managed to do is basically break even on their investment...barely. And yes the movies, with perhaps the exception of "Solo A Star Wars Story" made money, but even there everything has to be taken with a grain of salt. The devil is in the details. Given the high production and marketing costs, all the expensive and extensive re-shoots on some of the movies, the mixed results in other "Star Wars" related ventures (e.g. toy sales, "Galaxy's Edge" park attraction) nevermind all the drama and negative publicity, those profit margins might not be as high as they could have been. And this is the lesson for Lucasfilm and Disney... always have a damn plan for the long term viability of the franchise, instead of a "make it up as you go" short term gains scheme. Also, "Star Wars" is not Marvel, especially in terms of source material to draw upon...not when the original Expanded Universe, now Legends, was thrown out. Another thing... maybe it's not a good idea to completely ignore and dismiss George Lucas and his advice... after all this is the guy who created the franchise you purchased...
  • These two men have a proven track record of being capable and creative story tellers. It's probably the first thing Disney has done right in a while regarding feature length films. Now if the execs can just cut these guys a couple checks and then get the heck out of the way so they can build their respective visions, we might actually get some good star wars cinema again.