It's been an interesting week for Star Wars fans. While ever day brings us closer to the highly anticipated release of The Rise of Skywalker, there was a major shakeup regarding the future of the franchise. Namely, that Game of Thrones creators D.B Weiss and David Benioff have parted ways with Lucasfilm, and will no longer be developing a series of films. This was a serious shock to the fandom, and now we might have a better idea about why the filmmakers separated from studio. And it might have to do with the Star Wars fandom, especially following their recent experience with Game of Thrones' final season.
HBO's fantasy drama Game of Thrones was a pop culture phenomenon during its long run, but its eighth and final season was the subject of some backlash. Fans were unhappy with the show's pacing and plot twists, especially when it came to Dany. Meanwhile the Star Wars franchise saw a similar pushback after the release of Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi. This pressure was reportedly a big reason why Weiss and Benioff parted ways with Lucasfilm, especially after recently feeling the heat from GOT watchers.
This report comes to us from THR, which quotes an unnamed source allegedly close to production. The source indicates that D.B. Weiss and David Benioff didn't want to deal with more backlash from potentially toxic fans, with that individual saying: "Who wants to go through that again? Not them." While this is technically unconfirmed, it would make sense. After all, Weiss and Benioff cancelled their appearance at last year's San Diego Comic-Con, seemingly to avoid the angry fans in attendance.
Additionally, Weiss and Benioff recently took a new deal to produce content at Netflix, which would have gotten in the way of their possible Star Wars trilogy. Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy referenced this scheduling issue in her official statement about the departure, which quickly went viral on social media. There's no way the filmmakers could do both gigs at the same time, so they left the galaxy far, far away before making their official entrance.
This latest development makes the future of the Star Wars franchise all the more unclear. J.J. Abrams' The Rise of Skywalker will wrap up the nine-film Skywalker Saga that began with A New Hope. As for the space opera's future in theaters, the plans are a mystery to the public. Rian Johnson is set to develop his own possible trilogy of movies, but he hasn't moved forward with that process since the announcement was made. After all, he's been too busy shooting and promoting Knives Out. Marvel's Kevin Feige will also be working on something set in the galaxy far, far away. But there's been non timeline provided.
Luckily, there will be some new content coming on the small screen. Disney+ will be releasing The Mandalorianwhen it launches, breaking history as the franchise's first live-action series. Additionally, Ewan McGregor will reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in an untitled series on the application.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will hit theaters on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
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Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.