There was never any doubt that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were going to be busy once ‘Game of Thrones‘ wrapped. After all, the series is arguably the biggest of the decade, penetrating the zeitgeist in a way that few premium channel dramas can. And that’s without getting into the sheer number of HBO subscriptions (and yes, illicit downloads) for which the show is single-handedly responsible.
All of that is to say that whatever came next for Benioff and Weiss, it was virtually guaranteed to be big. But there’s big and then there’s ‘Star Wars’. That’s right. Once their time in Westeros comes to an end, Benioff and Weiss will be striking out for a galaxy far, far away. Lucasfilm announced today that the duo will be writing and producing a series (no number was specified) of films for the venerable sci-fi franchise. This series, which will be distinct from both the Skywalker saga and the trilogy ‘The Last Jedi’ director Rian Johnson has been charged with, offers another glimpse into the studio’s post-‘Episode IX’ plans. While we don’t have a totally clear picture yet, it seems the direction in which they’re taking the franchise will be one shaped by visionary storytellers. The closest comparison is likely something akin to the Marvel movies, in which ‘Avengers’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ are both identifiably Marvel films, but also unmistakably products of the distinct talents of Joss Whedon and James Gunn respectively.
Of the duo, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said “David and Dan are some of the best storytellers working today. Their command of complex characters, depth of story and richness of mythology will break new ground and boldly push ‘Star Wars’ in ways I find incredibly exciting.”
In a joint statement of their own, Benioff and Weiss added “In the summer of 1977 we traveled to a galaxy far, far away, and we’ve been dreaming of it ever since. We are honored by the opportunity, a little terrified by the responsibility, and so excited to get started as soon as the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ is complete.”
Both this announcement and the timetable (which sees work begin following the completion of ‘Game of Thrones’) raises questions about the status of the duo’s previously announced post-‘Thrones’ project, ‘Confederate’. That series, which was announced as in development at HBO, was to be set in a world in which the South won the Civil War and the institution of slavery continued into a twenty-first century version of the Confederacy. Suffice it to say that this concept, while potentially interesting, also comes across as remarkably tone deaf given the current political climate. Unsurprisingly, the initial announcement was greeted with controversy, and virtually nothing has been heard publicly about ‘Confederate’ ever since.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on these and other upcoming ‘Star Wars’ films as it becomes available.