Lucasfilm Confirms Star Wars' Return to Theaters With Taika Waititi Movie in 2023

After revealing Star Wars' return to theaters is not very far, far away, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirms Taika Waititi's Star Wars movie will be the franchise's first to play in theaters since The Rise of Skywalker in 2019. In a new interview out of Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, Kennedy said the untitled movie from the Thor: Love and Thunder director is targeting a "late 2023" release. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, which Kennedy says has been pushed aside at Lucasfilm as director Patty Jenkins continues to develop the script about the new generation of starfighter pilots, previously landed on the December 22, 2023 release date. 

Interviewed by Total Film at Star Wars Celebration, Kennedy confirmed reports that Waititi's film will mark the franchise's return to theaters after a four-year hiatus. Kennedy clarified Waititi's Star Wars is aiming for "not 2023, but late 2023," adding, "We haven't locked anything in." 

The next era of Star Wars films has been "in movement all along," Kennedy said of Lucasfilm's post-Rise of Skywalker slate. "As we leave the [Skywalker] 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."

Kennedy continued, "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." 

On Thursday, Lucasfilm's Studio Showcase panel touted Obi-Wan Kenobi, the live-action Disney+ series reuniting Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan and Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, revealed the first Andor trailer, and announced Star Wars: Skeleton Crew, a new live-action series from Spider-Man director Jon Watts. While Lucasfilm showcased Harrison Ford in the upcoming Indiana Jones 5, in theaters June 2023, the theatrical side was lacking as the studio focused on its Star Wars TV galaxy on Disney+, home to The Mandalorian and the upcoming spinoff Ahsoka.  

"We're building on theatrical right now, developing scripts," Kennedy told ComicBook in an exclusive interview, which you can watch above. "We've got a couple of directors that we'll announce shortly and you can expect to see Star Wars in movie theaters very

Waititi previously directed the first season finale of The Mandalorian, where he voiced the droid IG-11. Disney-Lucasfilm has not yet dated the untitled Waititi-directed Star Wars film he co-wrote with 1917 screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns.