Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff & D.B.Weiss joke about Star Wars fan backlash as they prepare to oversee a new film trilogy in the iconic franchise. This December, the Skywalker saga comes to a close with J.J. Abrams' Episode IX, but Lucasfilm has plenty of other projects coming through the pipeline. In addition to Benioff & Weiss' series, Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is spearheading a trilogy of his own. Both of these will be completely separate from the Skywalker saga as the studio explores fresh horizons.
These movies have yet to be officially dated, but they've still been making headlines. Back in March, it was reported Benioff & Weiss' trilogy would be set during the days of the Old Republic, though nothing's been confirmed at this point. Regardless of what era and subject matter the duo cover, they know their movies will be under an intense microscope. Luckily, they have plenty of experience working in that realm.
In an interview with EW, the pair laughed about the inevitable backlash their Star Wars movies will face whenever they come out. Weiss cracked, "We feel we're not quite hated enough by people we don't know." Benioff then teased that, "Our Captain Phasma origin story is going to blow people away," alluding to the history they have with Gwendoline Christie.
As popular as Star Wars has been for the past 40+ years, it's always been open to intense criticism and scrutiny. The heated (and at times, toxic) debates surrounding the merits of The Last Jedi are a more recent example, but George Lucas' prequel trilogy was no stranger to backlash either. While some have come to appreciate those films' contributions to the overall franchise in the years since, at the time of their release, the prequels were routinely lambasted by longtime fans. The vitriol was so intense that Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best revealed he contemplated suicide. It goes without saying that whenever something as big as Star Wars is involved, it's impossible to please everyone, but unfortunately Star Wars fans have a nasty way of telling creatives when they really don't like something.
Time will tell how general audiences will judge Benioff & Weiss' Star Wars movies, but hopefully they're well-received overall. One thing that may work in their favor is that they will be about all-new characters that fans have yet to form a connection with or ownership over. In the case of The Last Jedi, some spent years fantasizing what an older, more powerful Luke Skywalker would look like onscreen and were disappointed by the direction Johnson took the story in. In contrast, Rogue One introduced a different band of Rebels and wasn't nearly as divisive. Viewers have wanted to see the Old Republic in canon for a long time, but they might be more open to whatever Benioff & Weiss have to offer since they'll be unfamiliar with the cast. Ideally, it will all turn out for the best as Star Wars begins an exciting new era.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019