×

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy wasn’t joking when she told Total Film magazine last month that “Star Wars” will need “to create a whole new saga” in order to return to the big screen and not just rely on threads from the past. That’s exactly what Taika Waititi wants to do with his upcoming “Star Wars” movie, which will be the franchise’s first movie since the Skywalker saga came to a controversial end with “The Rise of Skywalker.”

Waititi recently told Total Film that he’s not interested in making a movie with pre-existing characters and story threads (think “Rogue One,” which connects directly to “A New Hope” through the Death Star ) or telling origin stories (think Ron Howard’s polarizing Han Solo prequel “Solo”). The “Thor: Love and Thunder” director aims to “create some new characters” and “expand the world” of “Star Wars” with his movie.

“Look, I think for the ‘Star Wars’ universe to expand, it has to expand,” Waititi said. “I don’t think that I’m any use in the ‘Star Wars’ universe making a film where everyone’s like, ‘Oh great, well that’s the blueprints to the Millennium Falcon, ah that’s Chewbacca’s grandmother.’ That all stands alone, that’s great, though I would like to take something new and create some new characters and just expand the world, otherwise it feels like it’s a very small story.”

Waititi is developing his “Star Wars” movie with co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who earned an Oscar nomination for penning Sam Mendes’ one-take war thriller “1917.” While “Star Wars” has pivoted away from movies and embraced TV in the last couple years, most recently with the premiere of the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” limited series on Disney+, Kennedy stressed to Total Film that the big screen remains a priority for the franchise.

“They’ve been in movement all along,” Kennedy said of the franchise’s secretive film slate. “As we leave the saga, we have all this great, exciting work happening on the television side that informs so much about where we’re going. We want to be very intentional about that. And we have great talent that we’re working with – people who care so deeply about what the next iteration of ‘Star Wars’ is and about getting people back into movie theaters, so we can really come out with a bang. That’s important to us.”

Waititi’s latest Marvel offering, “Thor: Love and Thunder,” opens in theaters July 8.