Thor: Love And Thunder Director Taika Waititi Forgot Natalie Portman Was In Star Wars And Had A Really Awkward-Sounding Convo About It

Natalie Portman as Princess Amidala / Padme in Star Wars: Phantom Menace
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

For Thor: Love and Thunder, Taika Waititi brought back Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster after she was left out of 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok and fans wondered where Thor’s girlfriend had gone. While the writer/director was working on the latest Marvel movie, he was hired to make his own Star Wars movie, which is currently in early development. However, Waititi apparently didn’t connect the dots that he was working with a prominent Star Wars actor in Portman at the time. Yeah… that sounds like it could have been awkward. 

When speaking about working with Natalie Portman during an interview with Rolling Stone, he recalled an unfortunate conversation with the actor when he blanked on her time playing Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Said Waititi,

She said to me, ‘What are you up to next?’ I said, ‘Oh, I’m trying to work on a Star Wars thing. Have you ever wanted to be in a Star Wars movie?’

Facepalm.  Taika Waititi admitted to Portman’s involvement in Star Wars slipping his mind, continuing,

She said ‘I’ve been in Star Wars movies.’ I forgot about those ones. [Laughs]

Natalie Portman has not been in a Star Wars movie in nearly 20 years, and she was much younger then, but the Thor filmmaker really forgot about Luke and Leia’s mother and the love interest of Darth Vader? Really? Taika Waititi is 100 percent going to worry some Star Wars fans with that information. But also… there’s been a lot of Star Wars between 2005 and today (including The Mandalorian, in which he had a key role), so hey, it happens?

The Star Wars prequel movies are not exactly the most revered of the franchise when compared to the original films, with the movies Natalie Portman starred in rated low in our Star Wars movie ranking. However, there are plenty of Star Wars fans who love the prequels, especially if they grew up with them. Portman herself has shared recently that despite those movies being criticized, she gets approached all the time about playing Padmé about them being “beloved.” 

Taika Waititi was announced to be making a Star Wars movie back in May 2020, being on board as the movie’s director and co-writer alongside 1917 and Last Night In Soho writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns. The Thor: Love and Thunder filmmaker’s latest update about the mysterious project is that he is “writing” it at the moment and not rushing the project. Waititi has been open about “never” being able to please all the Star Wars fans, but he’s sure spending some time to come up with something “everyone loves.”  

Since the release of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker in 2019, we’ve yet to see another Star Wars movie, but Lucasfilm has been bringing a massive presence to the universe with Disney+ shows. Among the upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows, Rogue One spinoff Andor is premiering on August 31. While we wonder how the filmmaker will build on the Star Wars franchise further, you can see Portman in Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, in theaters on July 8. 

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.