The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson Breaks Silence On Taika Waititi’s New Star Wars Movie

Porg screeching in Star Wars: The Last Jedi
(Image credit: (Lucasfilm))

This year’s Star Wars Day made for a significant one since it was officially announced that Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi is on board to co-write and direct a film set in a galaxy far, far away. Waititi will join a prestigious lineup of filmmakers, including George Lucas, J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard. But it was The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson who was the first of this bunch to break his silence about the choice. Here are his thoughts:

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That’s two thumbs way up from Rian Johnson! The untitled space epic will also be co-written by Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for 1917 at this year’s Oscars alongside Johnson’s work on Knives Out. As The Last Jedi filmmaker commented on Twitter, he has no idea what to expect from a Star Wars film from the pair, and it's the “most exciting thing” he can imagine.

Alongside the announcement of Taika Waititi’s Star Wars film, it was also revealed that Leslye Headland, the co-creator and showrunner of Netflix’s Russian Doll, would be writing, producing and showrunning a female-centric Star Wars series. In the tweet, he looped Headland in with his thrilled response to Lucasfilm’s picks for behind-the-scenes writing talents.

Taika Waititi was rumored to be joining the film side of the Star Wars franchise back in January, but the Jojo Rabbit filmmaker joked around about it, saying he’d be fired and posting the cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album. Guy can keep a secret. The filmmaker is already hard at work on the Thor: Love and Thunder script ahead of its February 2022 release.

The fourth Thor film was already delayed from November to February, along with the entire Marvel Phase Four slate. Taika Waititi also just finished a biopic called Next Goal Wins, which stars Michael Fassbender, Elisabeth Moss and Armie Hammer. Waititi previously worked on the Star Wars television series The Mandalorian as the voice of the lovable droid IG-11, as well as directed the Season 1 finale.

Rian Johnson previously signed on to his own trilogy of Star Wars films following his work on The Last Jedi, but he’s currently also set to write the sequel to the Oscar-nominated whodunnit Knives Out. Previously Game of Thrones writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss signed on to write a trilogy before stepping away due to their Netflix deal. Marvel chief Kevin Feige also has a Star Wars film in the works.

Star Wars just concluded an over 40-year era focusing on the Skywalker Saga, with J.J. Abrams’ The Rise of Skywalker wrapping up the plot-lines that started with A New Hope in the ‘70s, continued to Revenge of the Sith at the start of the 21st Century and stretched to last year’s box office hit.

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Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.