It may feel like a Marvel world, but Lucasfilm’s Star Wars still has lots on the calendar for 2022. Following the lukewarm reception to The Book of Boba Fett, Star Wars hopes to reignite nostalgia for the prequel trilogy when Deborah Chow’s Obi-Wan Kenobi debuts later this month.
Kevin Feige is renowned for revamping the superhero genre with his record-breaking Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since 2021, the MCU has made a powerful move to the small screen but its major success hinges on the many blockbusters the Marvel studio releases each year. Following the immense success of Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), director Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) has finally debuted this month.
Written by Loki scribe Michael Waldron, the movie brings back Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange) and Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch) in a Multiversal adventure. Despite commercial success, the Doctor Strange sequel has drawn criticism for its pacing, storyline, and writing, meaning concerns are already brewing over Feige’s Star Wars movie — it is, after all, penned by the very same writer.
It’s safe to say the Star Wars universe is already a fragile beast. After the dismal reaction to the sequel trilogy, which ended with JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker (2019), Lucasfilm is seemingly investing in its television output more so than projects intended for the big screen. The Mandalorian, of course, began this major storytelling medium for live-action Star Wars when Disney+ launched in 2019, leading to The Mandalorian Season 2, Dave Filoni’s The Bad Batch, The Book of Boba Fett, and the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Andor.
With movies like Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (2023) from Patty Jenkins — supposedly — and Taika Waititi on the docket, it will be interesting to see what direction Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy takes when bringing back the galaxy far, far away to the big screen. After all, Mark Hamill’s Jedi Master Luke Skywalker has already transcended medium, appearing in multiple Star Wars series, while rumors that Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca will return to the Millennium Falcon continue to swirl.
As for Feige and Waldron’s project, the latter recently discussed the progress of the future Star Wars movie. He said (via Comic Book Movie):
“We’re finally into it in earnest.”
“I mean, I’m writing away. It’s a lot of fun. I’m enjoying having the freedom on that to do something that’s not necessarily a sequel or anything,” Waldron teased. “It maybe has a little bit less of a — it just doesn’t have a bunch of TV shows and movies that you’re servicing on top of it, the way I did with ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.’ So it’s nice. It feels like a different exercise.”
What will divide fans is plenty, as with any Star Wars franchise project, but what Waldron teases here is the disconnect to other stories. When the sequel trilogy concluded with the arrival of the character Emperor Sheev Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), fans criticized the unoriginality of the franchise, yet two years prior, fans denounced Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi (2017) for Rian Johnson’s sidestep of established Star Wars lore.
All that to say, the unconnected nature of the Feige-produced Star Wars film looks set to possibly dismantle the loose foundation that connected shows like showrunner Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian, The Book of the Boba Fett, and the future Ahsoka Tano series, Ahsoka, has built over the last few years.
And then, to deepen this likelihood of distaste, the attachment of Waldron as the writer has unsettled some after his script for both Loki and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness were deemed, in some cases, weak parts of their respective projects.
Star Wars needs to invest in its big-budget blockbusters in order to restore confidence in the franchise. While the Disney+ series have brought other facets of the faraway galaxy into play and established new stars like Pedro Pascal (Din Djarin) and Ming-Na Wen (Fennec Shand), the greater Star Wars story has to find its roots in cinema sometime soon.
What are you hoping for from Kevin Feige and Michael Waldron? Let us know in the comments down below!
The Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Wars series from director Deborah Chow and starring Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader) will release on May 27 with a two-episode debut.