With Star Wars Celebration so close, you could be excused for thinking that (bar a countdown for Obi-Wan Kenobi) there would be very little news on the Star Wars front right now. Well that largely went out the window with the release of Anthony Breznican’s new article for Vanity Fair.
Containing plenty of amazing photos (as we have come to expect over the years) from Annie Leibovitz, the article has plenty of tidbits about the future of Star Wars, which is what I will be giving my thoughts on today.
THAT Recasting Comment
Sadly, what is a fantastic article has somewhat been overshadowed so far by a single paragraph regarding Solo: A Star Wars Story and future decisions about recasting existing characters:
The 2018 movie Solo explored Han Solo’s younger years, with Alden Ehrenreich taking on the role of the smuggler originated by Harrison Ford. The film has its admirers, but it made less at the box office than any other live-action Star Wars movie. Solo’s swagger may be too singular for another actor to replicate. “There should be moments along the way when you learn things,” says Kennedy. “Now it does seem so abundantly clear that we can’t do that.”
Now personally, this doesn’t sit right for me, as it certainly sounds like the lack of success is being put on Alden Ehrenreich. Personally I think that his performance was one of the highlights of the movie! He had to deal with a change in directors (Lord & Miller most assuredly had a very different movie to Ron Howard) and the pressure of living up to Harrison Ford’s performances and passed with full colours. He was instead let down by executives choosing to move away from a December release slot that was proving so lucrative and releasing a month after Avengers: Infinity War, which led to a pathetically short marketing campaign—and now it seems that those same executives are throwing him under the bus. They say they are learning lessons, well they’re learning the wrong ones.
I also can’t understand this comment from Kennedy for a couple of other reasons:
- Why throw an actor under the bus so close to Star Wars Celebration? You’re just encouraging negativity at a time when Star Wars fans should be coming together to celebrate all things Star Wars
- Kennedy suggests that this means they are done with recasting, which would also explain the deepfaked Luke Skywalker. And yet Obi-Wan Kenobi will feature Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse and Grant Feely all playing characters who were originally played by different actors in the Original Trilogy, while future planned series also include Genevieve O’Reilly returning as Mon Mothma and supposedly Donald Glover as Lando—again 2 more recasts. It just makes the comment against Alden and recasting look even worse.
Kennedy may be a great producer, but this is just the latest in a long string of issues with her as President of Lucasfilm. She may understand movies, but it really makes me question if—10 years on from becoming President of Lucasfilm—she has any real understanding of Star Wars and the fandom.
Another New Series
Getting into more positive news, the article also reveals that another untitled series is in development, created and executive-produced by director Jon Watts and writer Chris Ford, who made Spider-Man: Homecoming. While details are minimal, the article states that “the show is being described as a galactic version of classic Amblin coming-of-age adventure films of the ’80s” while casting appears to include a number of children around 11-12 years old.
I’ve enjoyed the MCU Spider-Man movies so like the sound of the Watts/Ford pairing, but the description and the apparent focus on young actors makes me think that this may not be quite in my wheelhouse. I look forward to being proved wrong though!
Taika Waititi’s movie appears to be the first movie up, with Rogue Squadron coming later, which I must admit is a bit of a worry for me as Taika appears to be so busy it feels like we still have a few years to go until we see a Star Wars movie on the big screen.
As for Kevin Feige’s movie, Kennedy’s words make it sound as if it’s (at best) in very early stages, or more likely knowing her tenure ot happening at all, while Rian Johnson’s trilogy is very much on the backburner.
I must admit that after this latest disappointment of Rogue Squadron being pushed back, after plenty of other movies have been announced and fallen by the wayside, I am losing faith in the movie side of Lucasfilm and struggling to get excited by anything they announce as I’m just waiting for the inevitable cancellation.
Did you read the article? What were your takeaways?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you….