At The Walt Disney Company’s 2020 Investor Day virtual event last week, the news was coming fast and it was challenging for even the most dedicated viewers to keep up with everything that was being announced.
Nearly buried in the shuffle of Lucasfilm’s Investor Day segment — which included confirmation of “roughly ten” new Disney+ streaming series, two of which are direct spinoffs from The Mandalorian — were additional details about Academy Award winner Taika Waititi’s upcoming Star Wars movie, currently set for a 2025 theatrical release.
During the blink-and-you-miss-it announcement, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy noted:
“Star Wars’ theatrical slate is pushing forward into a new future era. Taika’s approach to Star Wars will be fresh, unexpected, and unique. His enormous talent and sense of humor will ensure audiences are in for an unforgettable ride.”
While Kennedy said this, a brand new Star Wars logo [featured above] — that looks a bit “stone age” instead of “space-age” — appeared on the screen behind her. The logo appears to be made from cracked rocks and almost has a The Flintstones vibe, indicating that we could be traveling way back in time for Waititi’s Star Wars movie installment.
Some Investor Day viewers have noticed:
..the blocky, stone-like typeface for Star Wars that bears an uncanny resemblance to the equally iconic logo of the 1959 religious epic, Ben-Hur. At the time the most expensive Hollywood movie with a budget of $15 million, Ben-Hur tells the story of Judah Ben-Hur, the Jewish prince and merchant in Jerusalem who becomes a slave and finds glory in chariot racing.
Aside from the many, easy-to-Google scholarship devoted to analyzing the religious themes in Star Wars, there is no direct parallel to the story of Ben-Hur in Star Wars.
With Lucasfilm’s apparent move away from trilogies following the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga with Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019), there’s no reason Waititi’s movie couldn’t go in a completely new and different direction from Patty Jenkins’s upcoming Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (2023) — and where better to draw inspiration from than the Golden Age of Hollywood?
The same viewers noticed another intriguing potential plot clue during Kennedy’s December 10 presentation. At one point, a diamond-shaped ship appeared on the screen, seemingly hurtling toward an unknown planet.
The floating pyramid-shaped structure bears a resemblance to Tho Yor, a great pyramidal ship and weapon that housed the Force-sensitive predecessors to the Jedi during the “First Migration.” Tho Yor is featured prominently in Dawn of the Jedi, a sub-series within the Star Wars franchise that encompasses both a 2012-2014 comic book series and a 2013 novel by Tim Lebbon. While Kennedy didn’t acknowledge whether the strange structure behind her was in fact Tho Yor, that hasn’t stopped fans from connecting the dots themselves….
…What makes this theory extra interesting is that Dawn of the Jedi is a “non-canon” story, as part of the pre-Disney “Legends” family of extended universe stories. Lucasfilm has made it clear that material from Legends isn’t off-limits. (The inclusion of Thrawn in new, recent stories is proof that Legends can and will be recycled.) Since Taika Waititi can theoretically and legally adapt Dawn of the Jedi, fans suspect his movie is in fact his own take on Dawn of the Jedi.
The Star Wars Wookieepedia describes Tho Yor as:
…the name given to the eight great pyramidal ships that carried the Force-sensitive ancestors of the Je’daii Order [Jedi Order] to Tython in 36,453 BBY, in what was termed the First Migration. Following their arrival on Tython, the ships spread out around the planet and deposited their passengers onto the world where they constructed cities and temples at the spot of their arrival.
Intriguingly, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni’s hit Disney+ streaming series, which already has two planned spinoff Star Wars series, has been set-up as the epicenter of the next era of Star Wars stories — and Tython has played an important role in the second season of the show. In fact, it is where Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) stole Grogu from Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal). Furthermore, Waititi has Mandalorian experience — he voiced droid IG-11 in Season 1 and directed the first season’s finale, Chapter 8: Redemption.
If anyone is willing to delve into a brand new, never-before-seen-in-canon age in a , we’re willing to bet it’s Taika Waititi.
Waititi himself has teased his Star Wars directorial debut, quipping he can’t wait to “ruin” Star Wars for the notoriously fickle fandom.
What do you think? Has Lucasfilm already given us clues about what Oscar winner Taika Waititi’s Star Wars movie plot will be? Next up for Waititi under the Disney banner is Marvel Studios’ Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), a follow-up to Thor: Ragnarok (2017).