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Star Wars: Kennedy on Daisy Ridley, Rian Johnson, Taika Waititi

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy provides some updates on Rian Johnson and Taika Waititi's Star Wars movies and also talks about bringing back Daisy Ridley.

It has taken some time, but it seems like Star Wars is returning to the big screen. At Star Wars Celebration Europe, the room full of fans was the first to find out that three new Star Wars projects were in the works. We sort of already knew about one of them, and that was by director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. We don't have many details about the movie, but we do know when it is taking place, and one major cast member that is returning. It was announced that this would be a post-The Rise of Skywalker film and that Daisy Ridley would return as Rey. While many on social immediately started asking if there would be other returning cast members, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy isn't focusing on that. Variety asked her about the decision to bring back Rey and to surprise fans with Ridley's appearance at Celebration.

"It was a pretty straightforward phone call," she said. "I started out by just saying, 'Hey, I think we're getting near being ready.' We've been talking a lot about what we're doing in the movie space, and I said, 'I think we're getting close to being ready. How would you like to go to Celebration?' That was really the beginning of it. She was out of her mind excited."

Star Wars: Kathleen Kennedy On Daisy Ridley, Rian Johnson, Taika Waititi
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 07: Kathleen Kennedy onstage during the studio panel at Star Wars Celebration 2023 attends the studio panel at Star Wars Celebration 2023 in London at ExCel on April 07, 2023, in London, England. (Photo by Kate Green/Getty Images for Disney)

Two other Star Wars projects were announced at Star Wars Celebration, including live-action films by James Mangold and Dave Filoni. However, those aren't the only Star Wars projects out there. Kennedy also provided some minor updates on Rian Johnson's trilogy of films that feels like it gets further and further away as the years go on. Kennedy said what we were all thinking: Johnson is very busy, but he wants to return.

"Rian and I talk all the time," she said. "He is unbelievably busy. So we're not actively involved in anything at the moment because he's doing another one of the 'Glass Onion' movies, and then God knows what else. But he really wants to step back into the space. It's a big commitment of time, so that's really on him."

Another Knives Out film and another season of Poker Face will keep Johnson busy, but it sounds like Kennedy is more than willing to keep the door open for him. That says a lot about how much they enjoyed working with him on The Last Jedi that they are willing to keep that door open for him to make those films. Finally, the most surprising thing was the lack of information on Taika Waititi's Star Wars film. All of the rumors seem to suggest that his movie was the furthest along in production, yet he was nowhere to be seen. Kennedy provided an update, and now it sounds like it isn't as far along as people thought.

"Taika is still working away," she said. "He's writing the script himself. He doesn't really want to bring others into that process, and I don't blame him. He has a very, very unique voice. So we want to protect that, and that's what he's doing. But we're going to make that one day."

So the script isn't done yet, which is fine, and Waititi should be given the time to write the script at his own pace. Nothing good comes from a rushed script, but the buzz for a little while there was that they were getting ready to cast that movie which usually means production is gearing up. However, if the script isn't even done and with the words "we're going to make that one day" from Kennedy? Not as far along as we thought. So which of these Star Wars films will make it to the big screen first? If I were a betting woman, I would say Filoni's film could be next. We know that it is wrapping up all of the TV shows, and it seems like several of those are coming to an end. It also means that the movie is mainly cast already, which also helps. So yeah, I'm betting Filoni's is the first film we see on the big screen, with Obaid-Chinoy's being a solid second choice.

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Kaitlyn BoothAbout Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Film critic and pop culture writer since 2013. Ace. Leftist. Nerd. Feminist. Writer. Replicant Translator. Cinephillic Virtue Signaler. She/Her. UFCA/GALECA Member. 🍅 Approved. Follow her on Twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on Instagram.
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