July 10, 2024
by Bespin Bulletin

In April 2023, Daisy Ridley was brought out on stage at Star Wars Celebration to reveal that she’d be returning as Rey Skywalker in an untitled Star Wars movie written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders) and to be directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Ms. Marvel). There’s been very little update on the project officially since the announcement, granted an industry wide writers strike ran for five months last year, but movement on the project still seems to be relatively slow.

The project was first conceived by Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers) around three years ago, who was writing the project with Justin Brit-Gibson (Into the Badlands). The duo exited the project in the Spring of 2023 and Knight was brought in to take over writing duties.

In April of 2023, Kennedy revealed that Knight was due to submit a draft in May, but development on the draft halted when the writers strike started in the May that Knight was due to submit a draft and run until September of the same year. Knight is now believed to have submitted at least one draft since the WGA strike ended, though the star of the film, Daisy Ridley, has said multiple times throughout the year that she was yet to read a script.

During a recent episode of the podcast Smartless hosted by Jason Bateman, Shawn Hayes and Will Arnett, Daisy Ridley featured as a guest and offered a very brief update on the film. She told the podcast that she had still not read a script for the movie and that she thinks filming on the movie “might” begin next year.

Lucasfilm never publicly dated the New Jedi Order (working title) movie. In 2023 Lucasfilm shared three dates for untitled Star Wars movies, May 2026, December 2026 and December 2027. It was widely believed that New Jedi Order was set to lead Lucasfilm’s newly announced slate which at the time included an untitled Jedi origins movie from James Mangold (Logan) and a MandoVerse crossover event film from Dave Filoni (Ahsoka). In the Summer of 2023 it was reported by Jeff Sneider on The Hot Mic that Lucasfilm were looking to begin filming New Jedi Order in the Spring of 2024. Due to delays in the script writing process, New Jedi Order’s production was delayed. It was reported last year by MakingStarWars that Lucasfilm and Disney were considering making the fourth season of The Mandalorian as a movie instead of a series due to the impact the WGA and SAG strikes on various productions. In February of this year Lucasfilm announced that a new movie, The Mandalorian and Grogu, would be the first Star Wars movie to enter production since 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker and would arrive in theatres on May 22nd, 2026.

Recently I reported that I had been told for months that New Jedi Order was off the calendar to shoot this year and that the reason behind the delays were to do with the script. I shared that I had been told that Lucasfilm are taking their time with the project and not rushing it into production. I added that one source told me that Lucasfilm were looking for another writer for the project, not to replace Knight, but more than likely to polish up what’s already there, do a fresh pass on Knight’s draft or even to write with Knight.

At this time Lucasfilm have still not confirmed what movies will release in December 2026 or December 2027. The belief at this time is that New Jedi Order is aiming for December 2026 and that Mangold’s Dawn of the Jedi is aiming for December 2027. Today (July 10th, 2024) Deadline mentioned that the December 2026 date is believed to be occupied by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s New Jedi Order. It might be in Lucasfilm and Disney’s best interest to delay New Jedi Order as Warner Bros. Discovery and Legendary Pictures recently announced a new film from Denis Villeneuve will release on the same day, December 18th 2026, and it’s widely believed to be Dune: Part Three, an adaptation of Dune: Messiah. Interest in Star Wars has been down in recent years for various possible reasons, over-saturation, decline in quality, lack of films etc. and during this time, Dune has risen to be one of the most critically acclaimed film franchises and is the second most successful Hollywood release of the year. I personally think that releasing New Jedi Order and Dune: Part Three on the same day will hurt both releases, though I think Dune ultimately wins the war, even if New Jedi Order wins the battle of opening weekend.

If Lucasfilm and Disney did decide to delay the film into 2027, I would hope that they avoid May 2027 as Avengers 6 is slated to release that month. At this time The Mandalorian and Grogu is slated to release just twenty days after Avengers 5 in May 2026…it’s almost as if Disney learned nothing from the Solo: A Star Wars Story fiasco in 2018 which was sandwiched between Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2 and The Incredibles 2. I know there’s heritage with Star Wars movies releasing in May and Disney made December releases a new normal for the franchise, but I think if New Jedi Order does suffer a delay, I’d like to see it release in the months before May like February or early March for example. I enjoy the fan-fare, but I believe it’s time for Star Wars movies to be released in any month of the year and not just May or December.

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