Kathleen Kennedy On The Future Of “Star Wars”

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy sat down with both Variety and EW this week for lengthy interviews to discuss the future of the “Star Wars” franchise up to and beyond 2019. In both the interviews she tackles a number of topics, confirms a few things and paints a better picture of what’s to come. Let’s break it down:

No Opening Crawls
Kennedy has confirmed that with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” there is no iconic title crawl, a trend that will likely to continue on with the future spin-offs and non-episodic “Star Wars” films such as the upcoming Han Solo spin-off.
She says:

“We felt that’s so indicative of what those saga films are. Initially, we probably will begin the film in a way that is traditional, with just the title.”

They will be back for Rian Johnson’s “Star Wars: Episode VIII” and Colin Trevorrow’s “Star Wars: Episode IX” though as they are a part of the ‘saga’ films.

Tone
While “Rogue One” is described as a “World War II-style adventure film,” Kennedy says the Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Han Solo spin-off: “…moves closer to a heist or Western type feel. We’ve talked about [Frederic] Remington and those primary colors that are used in his paintings defining the look and feel of the film.”

Female Director
Kennedy commented on the possibility of a female director heading up a “Star Wars” film at some point saying:

“We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do ‘Star Wars,’ they’re set up for success. They’re gigantic films, and you can’t come into them with essentially no experience… We want to really start to focus in on people we would love to work with and see what kinds of things they’re doing to progress up that ladder now, and then pull them in when the time is right.”

Boba Fett Spin-Off
Kennedy didn’t discuss it, but the EW article has more on the Boba Fett spin-off film which has quietly disappeared from conversation after it seemed to be coming together in 2015. The mag says “Chronicle” filmmaker Josh Trank was attached to direct with Simon Kinberg writing the script, but Trank abruptly left and the project has since fallen silent. It was far enough along that an official announcement and a teaser reel of footage was meant to debut at Star Wars Celebration 2015 but didn’t happen, and Trank was suddenly removed from the panel just days before it began and then left the project altogether a week later.

Beyond Episode IX
The future of the franchise is going to be a primary topic in January when there will be a large sitdown with a group of people to talk about where things will go beyond the planned releases right now and whether there will be any more episodic saga films:

“There are [possible movies] that we have been talking a lot about. But we are planning to sit down in January, since we will have had The Force Awakens released, now Rogue One, and we’ve finished shooting Episode VIII. We have enough information where we can step back a little bit and say, What are we doing? What do we feel is exciting? And what are some of the things we want to explore? That’s a conversation going on right now, too.

I have to honestly tell you, could we [do nothing but stand-alones]? Sure. But I don’t know. We are looking at all of that. I think [the idea of new stories] is exciting for fans. It’s certainly exciting as a filmmaker, the notion that we can explore these stories that genuinely have a beginning, middle and an end, and don’t necessarily have to tie into something specific.”

“Rogue One” opens in cinemas on December 16th, with “Star Wars: Episode VIII” slated to debut next December.