What’s Happening With Disney’s Canceled and Stalled Star Wars Projects?
Following Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, the studio quickly started making live-action Star Wars films for the first time in a decade. Disney delighted fans by releasing a new Star Wars film annually from 2015 to 2019, but following the conclusion of the sequel trilogy with Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, the films tapered off. Fortunately, during Star Wars Celebration 2023, three new Star Wars projects were announced. These include Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi, a new film featuring Daisy Ridley’s Rey, and a film tying up the stories in The Mandalorian, Book of Boba Fett, and Ahsoka TV series.
This news is exciting, but fans can’t help but notice that the first new Star Wars film isn’t expected until 2025, about six years after the premiere of The Rise of Skywalker. Meanwhile, there is evidence Disney may not have intended for this long of a gap between films. After the disappointing box office performances of The Rise of Skywalker and Solo: A Star Wars Story, Disney noticeably shelved a lot of pending Star Wars projects that could’ve easily filled some of the space between 2019 and 2025.
While the three films announced at Star Wars Celebration impressively made the final cut, here are 10 other Star Wars projects that are either canceled or have an uncertain future.
During Star Wars Celebration 2023, Kathleen Kennedy claimed that Rogue Squadron was still on the table and could still become a film or series, but there’s no telling when or if this might happen. It seems like it may depend on what is happening with Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman future, which is still up in the air. So, this one hasn’t been outright canceled, but was at least temporarily shelved.
If Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron film hadn’t been shelved, it would’ve been released later this year. Jenkins was first hired to direct Rogue Squadron in 2020, and the film was to follow the starfighter squadron of the same name founded by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). The squadron was named after Rogue One, a group of Rebels who gave their lives while stealing the Death Star plans. Rogue Squadron was initially slated for release in December 2023 but was delayed before reportedly being shelved in 2023.
Kevin Feige’s Star Wars film
Kevin Feige is currently the head of Marvel Studios, but not that long ago, he was also rumored to be meandering over into the Star Wars realm. His untitled Star Wars film was first reported to be in development in 2019, with Loki writer Michael Waldrop tapped for the script. It was believed that Feige was creating a standalone project, perhaps, similar to Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi. However, his film was reported to have been shelved alongside Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron. Meanwhile, during Star Wars Celebration, Kennedy alleged that the film never was in official development, but was merely rumored by the press and fandoms.
Star Wars: Duel of the Fates
Instead of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, we almost had Star Wars: Duel of the Fates. The latter was the initial plan for the final installment in the Star Wars sequel trilogy and was written by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly. Trevorrow, best known for his Jurassic World trilogy, was initially supposed to write and direct the third film in the trilogy. However, after submitting his script—titled Duel of the Fates—in 2017, he was dropped from the project due to creative differences and replaced by J.J. Abrams. The premise of his film is unknown, save for the contents of an allegedly leaked portion of the script. This unconfirmed leak saw Luke’s spirit and Leia Morgana (Carrie Fisher) in an elevated role, Rey (Daisy Ridley) being blinded by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), and a new Sith lord named Tor Valum training Kylo.
David Benioff & D.B. Weiss’ Star Wars film
Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were set to helm a new Star Wars trilogy that would’ve begun in 2022. Few details were released about the trilogy, but it was believed it would take the franchise in a new direction after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. However, by 2019, it was reported that Benioff and Weiss had opted to depart from the project after striking a $200 million deal with Netflix. At the time, Kennedy stated that she’d be open to working with Benioff and Weiss in some capacity when their schedules permitted, but for now, their trilogy has been shelved.
Star Wars Detour
Star Wars Detours got caught in the middle of Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars. Lucasfilm shared a first look at the series in mid-2012, but by December 2012, Disney had acquired Lucasfilm, and it didn’t feel like the right time to debut such a project. After all, Star Wars Detours was set to be an irreverent animated parody of what allegedly took place between the prequel and original trilogies. As a result, Disney confirmed they were “postponing” the show’s release. Over a decade has passed since and there’s still no sign of Star Wars Detours, so we’re pretty sure we’re not getting the series, even though 39 episodes were produced.
Boba Fett movies
A Boba Fett film was reportedly first attempted by Josh Trank and later by James Mangold, with neither succeeding. Trank’s project was supposed to be another Star Wars Story film, like Rogue One or Solo, but featuring Boba Fett. However, Trank left the project in 2014, the same year he was first announced to be directing the film. The reason for the cancellation of the project is unclear, but rumors suggest that Trank’s Fantastic Four (2015) disaster might’ve been the cause. Mangold was rumored to have taken up the project after him, but Kennedy has denied he was ever involved in the project. (He did, however, go on to direct another sequel in a major franchise for Disney: the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.) The Boba Fett project was ultimately reworked into the Disney+ series The Book of Boba Fett.
Obi-Wan Kenobi trilogy
The Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series, like Book of Boba Fett, was initially developed as a film written by Stuart Beattie. The project ended up changing course, with Beattie’s script inspiring several episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which is why he has a story credit on the series even though he didn’t actually write any of the individual episodes. Beattie also revealed that he had pitched his initial idea as a trilogy and that Lucasfilm was on board with it. However, Solo‘s poor performance led to the reworking of the Obi-Wan Kenobi trilogy into a Disney+ series.
J.D. Dillard’s Star Wars movie
In 2020, Devotion director J.D. Dillard was reported to be developing a Star Wars film with Luke Cage writer Matt Owens. Unfortunately, in 2022, he confirmed that the project was no longer in development. He did not explain the reason for its shelving, but did indicate that it wasn’t for a “lack of trying.” Dillard also mentioned that the PC game Star Wars: TIE Fighter had a huge impact on him as a child. It’s unclear if the game inspired his movie, as he has opted not to divulge details about the film’s premise.
Rian Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy
After serving as writer and director on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in 2017 Rian Johnson was tapped to write and direct a Star Wars trilogy. It would’ve taken place outside of the Skywalker saga and introduced a new set of characters to the franchise. Unfortunately, no progress seems to have been made on the trilogy since the initial announcement. Kennedy confirmed during Star Wars Celebration that the project isn’t in active development, as Johnson has been “unbelievably busy” with the Knives Out franchise and Poker Face. However, she confirmed that the project could still become a reality, and it’s “on him” to commit to it.
The Rangers of the New Republic
The Rangers of the New Republic was set to be another Disney+ TV series that would’ve tied into The Mandalorian. The series was announced in 2020 with Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni producing. Its exact storyline was never confirmed, aside from it taking place in The Mandalorian timeline. However, some viewers speculated it was to star Gina Carano’s Cara Dune. After Carano was fired by Lucasfilm in 2021 for her controversial social media posts, progress on the show lagged. By late 2021, Kennedy confirmed the show was scrapped and that some of its concepts would be absorbed into The Mandalorian instead.
(featured image: Lucasfilm / Disney+)
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