For a lot of fans, news that David Benioff and DB Weiss were no longer going to be making films in the ‘Star Wars’ universe was not that much of a blow, especially for the ones who did not enjoy the direction they took and ended ‘Game of Thrones’ on. Now, thanks to Variety, there is more news about the kind of film they had been looking to make for ‘Star Wars,’ which is sure to make a large group of those fans even happier that the films are not moving forward. According to the Variety story, the trilogy of movies that Benioff and Weiss were developing would:
“… exist apart from the Skywalker family saga,” and focus on “exploring….how the Jedi came to exist.”
The last time ‘Star Wars’ tried to “explore” any part of their mythology was when George Lucas tried to explain the nature of the Force in the prequels with the midi-chlorians, and fans have still not gotten over complaining about that. And in this situation, since rumors had been flying that Weiss and Benioff would be doing movies set in the days of the “Old Republic” and fans were hoping for something similar to what they saw in the game ‘Knights of the Old Republic,’ i.e. a good story told in earlier days of the Star Wars Universe with new characters that we had no attachments too, all of sudden getting a story trying to explain how the Jedi came to be, and tie together all the lore and mythology, would have been a massive disappointment.
I seriously cannot imagine any scenario where Weiss and Benioff could have come up with an origin story for the Jedi that fans would have found satisfactory, which means they may have dodged a bullet in leaving the franchise. Which is something they had been worried about from the beginning anyway, with The Hollywood Reporter claiming that the duo had originally been nervous about taking on any ‘Star Wars’ project due to the “toxic fandom” that has sprung up in recent years (which Rian Johnson could attest to).
All of which might explain why Benioff and Weiss hedged their bets and also signed a deal with Netflix, a decision that weighed heavily on the pair, especially as Variety reports that Netflix apparently was hoping for “exclusivity” with the pair, a fact that was kept quiet and not public knowledge. Meanwhile, the story at the Hollywood Reporter claims that it was actually Lucasfilm, namely Kathleen Kennedy, who was unhappy about Benioff and Weiss signing a deal with Netflix. According to THR, Kennedy:
“…is said to have been unhappy with the Netflix deal the duo signed,” and wasn’t convinced that Benioff and Weiss could “could truly juggle a sci-fi trilogy while also overseeing film and TV projects at Netflix.”
To which Kennedy most likely had a point, as taking on a trilogy of any movies, let alone major blockbusters heavy on action and special effect takes a lot of time and trying to juggle that with a $250 million production deal with another studio who wanted their full attention does not seem very likely, and even if they had managed to pull it off, clearly none of their projects would have gotten their best work.
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It is most likely for the best that Weiss and Benioff left ‘Star Wars,’ although I hope the idea of a story set in “Old Republic” times does not die with them, and hopefully Lucasfilm will see the fan reaction to the “origin of the Jedi” idea and shelve that one for now.
What are your thoughts on that potential story-line? Are you interested in seeing how the Jedi came to be? Sad to see Weiss and Benioff gone from the project? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments below!