Star Wars fans are buzzing right now as news came down that Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige will be producing a film in the franchise. A number of questions bubbled to the surface in the immediate aftermath of the announcement, including if Rian Johnson's trilogy plans would be delayed because of this news. That concern is understandable as this would constitute a bold move for the company going forward.
Walt Disney Studios co-chairman Alan Horn told The Hollywood Reporter about the move first, and the executive was quick to point out how this would energize the studio moving forward. He said, "“With the close of the Skywalker Saga, Kathy [Kennedy] is pursuing a new era in ‘Star Wars’ storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a ‘Star Wars’ film together.”
Well, it is hard to read those words and not immediately think about the work that Johnson's trilogy was supposed to do. The Rise of Skywalker will present both an ending and a new beginning for the franchise going forward. From all indications, it sounds like the legacy characters will be taking more of a backseat to flesh out the other characters in that expansive universe. Johnson mentioned what he was planning in an interview last year.
"It's fun because it's kind of thinking, 'Okay, outside of the Skywalker story and outside of the recognizable iconography, what is this? What is Star Wars?' Or what do we need to retain from that, to pull forward for it to still be Star Wars — and what can we leave behind?" Johnson shared with the interviewer. "They're all the big questions that need to be thought of. And even the ones that we don't know the answers to are things we need to figure out if Star Wars is going to be vital and alive moving forward and not just be a waxworks. We're going to have to figure out how to tell vital new stories."
Figuring out those new stories will be paramount, and they wouldn't bring in an established force like Feige just to have him sit in the margins for the entire thing. He will probably have a seat at the table along with Kennedy and the other filmmakers to sort this all out. The Marvel Studios boss brings an established sort of style and affectation to the movies under his control. He might look to make some tonal tweaks along the way to the larger mythos of these films moving forward.
At any rate, things are about to go into uncharted territory heading forward in Star Wars. The future is uncertain, but these developments are very exciting for fans. Johnson's fans shouldn't freak because they will still receive that output. People on the other side of things can be comforted because of the cohesive style that Feige might help bring to all of the future projects.