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A Taika Waititi Star Wars Film, Leslye Headland Star Wars Series, and More Star Wars Day Goodies!


Rey and Kylo Ren lightsaber battle on the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker poster.

The world of Star Wars is one that branches out to many throughout the galaxy. Whether it is through The Mandalorian or the original series, we’re taken to a galaxy far far away and we fall in love with each character in our own way. So, many of us anxiously wait for May the Fourth because we know that it is going to be a day filled with Star Wars news, and today definitely delivered!

What I’m most excited about with today is that we got confirmation that Leslye Headland is going to write, produce, and showrun her own Star Wars series, while Taika Waititi is directing his own film, cowritten by 1917′s Krysty Wilson-Cairns. Honestly, this is delightful to me because I constantly think that maybe Star Wars should have both a female and male head on all their movies to help their success. You know, like a lot of The Mandalorian with female directors.

While we don’t know much about Headland’s show, I love her work—especially Russian Doll, Sleeping With Other People, and Bachelorette—and know that the franchise is in good hands with her. It’s a momentous occasion, because Headland is the first woman to be a head writer for a Star Wars property. It’s nearly 43 years in the making, and it’s going to be interesting to see where she takes us. (I’m still hoping for a Mara Jade series.)

To be honest, this announcement is bittersweet, though, because we’re seeing this change in 2020 as if Star Wars hasn’t been around for nearly 50 years. It’s taken so long to see the change, and I do think that the success of The Mandalorian is part of the reasoning behind the shift.

The first episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian premiered today and focused on the directors of the series. From Deborah Chow to Taika Waititi, Rick Famuyiwa, and beyond, the show is filled with some of the most talented eyes in the business. Joining together to talk about the beauty to directing a Star Wars, each director brought their unique perspective to the franchise and how working on The Mandalorian differed from their other work. At just a little over 30 minutes, the first episode was brilliant because it’s just Jon Favreau talking to some of my favorite people. So you know, great for me.

We all have our issues with the sequel trilogy, but most everyone I know loved Jon Favreau’s TV series take on the years after Return of the Jedi. With a beautiful collection of talented directors and writers, the series turned over a new leaf for Star Wars and opened the door for Deborah Chow to take on the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, as well as Headland’s new show.

Waititi getting his own Star Wars film (and having it cowritten by a woman) is something that I’m personally very excited about, and no doubt Disney is, too, after his directing success on Thor: Ragnarok. I think a lot of the problem with the franchise is that there is a nostalgia that many want to go back to, and few have mastered the art of that. The Mandalorian is the only newer Star Wars property that I think nails the feel of the original trilogy without hurting itself in the process.

Who knows what Taika Waititi’s movie is going to be about (the official statement just says that he’s directing a feature film), but hopefully this is a new trend with Star Wars. This May the Fourth is a bit strange because I know I’ve always spent it celebrating with other Star Wars fans, but since we can’t, at least we know that the future of the franchise is in pretty incredible hands.

(image: Lucasfilm)

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Rachel (she/her) is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album, and would sell her soul for Pedro Pascal as Kraven the Hunter. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. Secretly Grogu's mom and Lizzie Olsen's best friend.