Taika Waititi Knows That Pleasing Star Wars Fans Is No Simple Task

The "Star Wars" fandom is a tough crowd to please — there's even a whole survey about it. And rightfully so, they've been through a lot. The original trilogy films are easily the franchise's finest work in terms of storytelling, and the prequel trilogy that came after left the fandom divided about the fate of "Star Wars" forever. The original trilogy left behind an extraordinarily rich universe for the creators to continue expanding, but their inability to bring back the original cast and recapture the space opera spectacle delivered by the first few films made fans wonder if the franchise would ever be the same again.

Things have changed since. We now have "The Mandalorian," "Obi-Wan Kenobi," and "Andor," among others, that kickstarted a new era of "Star Wars," changing our perception of its future forever. Although the franchise has embraced the episodic format in the last few years, it will soon redirect its ship to the big screen with Taika Waititi's "Star Wars" film. It will be the franchise's first feature since the Skywalker Saga came to an end with 2019's "The Rise of Skywalker." That's a lot of pressure on the Oscar-winning filmmaker's shoulders, but he already knows that he must take his time to develop something everyone will love.

'I'm never gonna please the fans'

New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi is developing his "Star Wars" film with co-writer Krystyn Wilson-Cairns, who earned an Oscar nomination for penning the war-thriller "1917." In an interview with Rolling Stone in July 2022, the filmmaker suggested that while he wasn't interested in just diving into origin stories for characters we had already met and known, he still wanted to take his time to research and write something fans would love.

Waititi cannot help but feel uncertain about how the fandom would react — he doesn't want to "mess" with something that's so "treasured." So no, he won't be making a movie about Chewbacca's grandmother and stuff.

"I just feel like for me, I'm never gonna please the fans. You know, I don't want to mess with something that's so treasured. Also, you feel like you've got to do a lot of research...and I don't have any time. [Laughs] I mean, there's thousands of books that have been written, these volumes of books about 'Star Wars' with all those characters. I just don't have time to get through them. So I can't say like, you know, confidently, I'd be able to do something that's like very close to what everyone knows. I'm not promising that I'm not going to do anything like that. I'm just saying: It'd be easier for me to not do that. Would you like to see a Jar Jar Binks movie?"

'If it's not right, it's not right'

The "Star Wars" franchise is teeming with projects that were abandoned shortly after development — a project centered on Jabba the Hutt included. Taika Waititi addressed the possibility of his film getting scrapped and shared he understood why. If a project wasn't ready and didn't fit in, it's just how it is. As a filmmaker, Waititi is confident about being patient and coming up with a story that fans would be proud to watch. Here's how he sees it:

"Might happen [he says, referring to projects and their cancellation] to me! And I think Taika [of] 10 years ago would be so panicked and nervous at the prospect of that. But if it's not right, it's not right. If it's not ready, it's not ready. [With] Star Wars, I don't want to rush. It's something I wouldn't want to just leap into and not feel that it's unique, it's my film, and it makes sense. Because that would be a disaster. I'm writing at the moment. So I'm gonna do my best to come up with an idea that everyone loves."

Waititi's stellar career as a writer and director makes me feel pretty hopeful about the success of his "Star Wars" movie. Plus, he already has experience with the franchise — Waititi directed the critically-acclaimed season 1 finale of "The Mandalorian." I think it's safe to say his movie is going to be great.