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Taika Waititi on Why His ‘Star Wars’ Movie Will be Different Than What We’ve Seen Before

Taika holding up peace signs at comic con

Director/writer/actor/producer/extremely busy man about town Taika Waititi is no stranger to Star Wars. He has directed episodes of The Mandalorian, he’s played the droid IG-11 in the series, and he’s taking on his own Star Wars story in a new movie that he’s co-writing as well as directing. As Waititi is still in the writing phase (with Last Night in Soho’s Krysty Wilson-Cairns), we’ve had little to go on as to what shape that story will take. Now he’s dropped some tidbits of information in a way that is so Waititi it makes us think to ourselves: Well, what did we expect from him?

In a new interview for Games Radar, Waititi talked about what to expect from his Star Wars movie and while he’s right about Star Wars as a whole, he is giving us nothing and everything all at once. Meaning that he’s just addressing the franchise in its entirety and not really getting into what his movie is about, but we can still draw some vital conclusions from his statement.

“Look, I think for the Star Wars universe to expand, it has to expand,” Waititi told Games Radar. “I don’t think that I’m any use in the Star Wars universe making a film where everyone’s like, ‘Oh great, well that’s the blueprints to the Millennium Falcon, ah that’s Chewbacca’s grandmother.’ That all stands alone, that’s great, though I would like to take something new and create some new characters and just expand the world, otherwise it feels like it’s a very small story.”

Moving on in the galaxy

As our Princess Weekes wrote, the continual return to the Skywalkers has made it so everything comes back to Anakin or Luke or Leia or even Ben. But telling a story completely separate from them can expand the universe and give us a look at characters that aren’t connected to the Skywalkers or the story we already know in some way. That’s refreshing and much-needed.

Sure, The Mandalorian was more of its own entity at the start, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t become a new aspect of Luke’s story. I’m not complaining, I love it. But it is connected to a larger story in a way that everything else has been. When you think about Star Wars, everything can go back to the prequels or the original trilogy or the sequel trilogy, and all of those are connected through the Skywalker saga. Everything is bound up in them. It’s time for a change, as The Rise of Skywalker made abundantly clear. Bringing back Palpatine, making Rey related to him, having the antagonist be Leia and Han’s son—wouldn’t it be nice to meet people in other families for a change?

Having someone like Taika Waititi take us to a new place? Now we’re talking. Combine this with what we know about Leslye Headland’s The Acolyte, which will be exploring pre-Skywalker times, and it feels like Disney and Lucasfilm are headed into more uncharted territory. It’s time for some creators who have been game-changers in other franchises and mediums to bring that energy to a galaxy far, far away. As much as we might love to meet Chewbacca’s grandmother, I also want to meet a whole new cast of characters that will inspire the same kind of fervor for their grandkids one day in the future.

It’s an exciting moment to be a fan of the Star Wars universe, and the idea of getting to see different stories and brand-new characters should excite everyone. Yes, we love the Skywalkers and those in their orbit, but sometimes they need to not be the focal point of what’s going on or connected to the story as a whole. In the same way that Waititi reimagined Thor and brought a fresh perspective to material that felt stale, Star Wars could use his unique vision. I personally can’t wait to learn more about his plans and what story he wants to tell us.

(image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.