It feels like this news was inevitable: Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi has been approached about developing a Star Wars movie

The news was broken by THR, but the piece did caution that it was unclear how far along in talks Waititi was with Lucasfilm. What’s also unclear is whether or not this is the same Star Wars project that’s being produced by Kevin Feige or a separate movie entirely.

It makes sense, though. Waititi has already cut his teeth in the galaxy far, far away directing the eighth episode of The Mandalorian‘s first season and it’s established Disney operating procedure they like to keep working with people they know. Considering everything, the news of Waititi potentially directing a Star Wars movie is not all that surprising.

However, what is surprising – and a good sign about the future of the Star Wars universe – is that Lucasfilm is apparently open to a filmmaker with Waititi’s zany sensibilities handling their franchise. To date, Lucasfilm has been precious with its property, with the same tonality and feel running through all eleven movies. It was difficult to envision a movie like Thor: Ragnarok, which blew up the self-serious Thor franchise by taking itself the opposite of seriously, living in the serious space opera world of Star Wars.

After Solo‘s lukewarm performance, however, it was announced that future Star Wars movies would be put on hold while they reevaluated how to move forward after the Skywalker saga wrapped with The Rise of Skywalker. Rian Johnson’s proposed trilogy is up in the air, and former Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss recently parted ways with Lucasfilm, pulling the plug on their own trilogy. But promising hints about the future of Star Wars unfolded with The Mandalorian, a minimalist Western take on the universe that showed Lucasfilm was willing to play around with genre and experiment with its storytelling. It’s a much-needed new direction for a franchise that has essentially been doing the same thing for the last 40 years. Of course, it’s done that thing mostly extremely well and to huge success, but…it’s still the same thing for the last 40 years. Evolution is necessary, especially now that the story of the Skywalker family has been told.

Whether or not Waititi signs on the dotted line remains to be seen, but for now, it’s exciting to know that the future of Star Wars looks to be more experimental, both in tone and in the stories it will tell. There are so many unexplored corners of the galaxy, so many canonical (and non-canon) events and time periods to explore. Star Wars fans should be excited for the future as Lucasfilm has an enormous sandbox to play in now instead of building turrets on the same sandcastle.

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