Star Wars production has seen the best of times and the worst of times. The sequel trilogy managed to eclipse the prequel trilogy for worst Star Wars trilogy. Rogue One experienced a rough production, but came out as one of the great Star Wars movies, and Solo: A Star Wars Story got lost in the hatred towards The Last Jedi. Things seemed to turn around on the small screen with the release of Season 7 of Clone Wars, The Mandalorian, and Bad Batch. Each received positive reviews, and now fans look towards projects like Patty Jenkins‘ Rogue Squadron, The Book of Fett and Star Wars Visions among others. What if I told you there is an absolutely terrible Star Wars movie coming. If fans hated the Sequels, they will hate this even more! This may turn out to be the most un-Star Wars Star Wars film ever made…and I can’t wait!
So what movie am I talking about? Why the Taika Waititi movie of course. This is of course not new. We found out Waititi would direct a Star Wars movie over a year and a half ago. Fans greeted this news with eager anticipation, but I don’t think fans truly realize what may be in store when his film hits theater. Are fans truly ready for this after crying “this is not my Luke” for years?
Taika Proves His Talent
Many new and barely proven directors helmed the initial Star Wars projects, and many did not survive the production process. Kathleen Kennedy seems to have fixed this somewhat by breaking in younger directors on Disney+ and then moving the proven talent to to big screen or other Star Wars projects. Taika is not a new talent. Both his acting and directing skills continue to garner praise from critics and fans. Thor: Ragnarok relaunched a struggling franchise in a way few thought possible. Taika brought a humor and outlandish style to the franchise as well as some fresh air to the MCU. His own project, Jojo Rabbit garnered positive reviews as well.
As an actor he continues to churn out roles that sear his presence into viewers’ minds. In Thor: Ragnarok he only voiced the role of Korg, but his simplistic, matter-of-fact speaking style made the character really stand out. His performance got lost in the digitization of IG-11’s voice in The Mandalorian, but fans still loved the character he brought to life. He even shows up briefly in the latest The Suicide Squad, but if you blink you might not catch him. He plays the original Rat Catcher, father to Cleo Cazo, Ratcatcher II. I didn’t realize it was him until the second time he shows up in the film when he and Cleo sit atop the tower.
Okay, but can he do Star Wars? Well…yeah. He already has. Taika directed the season 1 finale of The Mandalorian. It ranks as one of the top episodes of that first year, and ended the first season with a flurry. Fans felt renewed and excited for more. If he could do this much with this little, what can he do with a feature film? Fans can’t wait to find out.
“Worst Star Wars Movie Ever”
Okay, so I just spent the past couple paragraphs praising the hell out of Taika Waititi. Why am I saying his movie will be the worst Star Wars movie ever made? Two words – Free Guy. I had a chance to see Free Guy over the weekend. Taika does not direct this film. Shawn Levy does, but Waititi plays Antwan, the baddie of the film. He turns in an eccentric, eclectic, heartless, psycho performance. It’s a comical, over the top performance that matches the rest of the outlandish movie. This role in many ways personifies the Waititi mindset. Most of Thor: Ragnarok had a similar feel. Can you imagine that style of humor in a Star Wars film?
But that was just his acting. He is set to direct the Star Wars film, not act in it. I think it’s a safe bet he will show up somewhere in his film. He likes to do that, but as a director what can we expect? We need look no further than the Season 1 finale of The Mandalorian. Fans loved it, so what does that show us? The episode had to fit in with the rest of the series, so in some ways a template was already laid out by Favreau dictating what needed to happen. Go back and watch it one more time. Waititi’s fingerprint is still there.
At the beginning of the episode, we watch two biker scouts waiting on the edge of the city. While waiting to bring Grogu to Moff Gideon, the two engage in one of the most out of place, pointless discussions in movie history. All because the one scout wanted to see Grogu. When Grogu bites him he gets mad and punches the bag. If that wasn’t pure Waititi I do not know what is. His signature follows him wherever he goes, in front of or behind the camera.
Can the Fans Take It?
So where is this all going? Taika Waititi is on the verge of making his own Star Wars movie. This time we won’t have the constraints of other people’s visions. This film will be pure Waititi. I am sure he will have action and special effects and all the visuals that make Star Wars Star Wars, but despite all that how can it not have the trademark Waititi feel to it. I expect there to be a heavy mix of over the top humor throughout the film.
Can fans take it? He will have the added benefit of not having to use characters fans know and love like Luke and Han, but Star Wars fans are notoriously picky. Things must ‘feel’ Star Wars. While I admit much of Star Wars does have a signature feel to it, things must change. The prequels got knocked because they lacked the grit and grime, beat up feel of the OT trilogy despite being set in a completely different era. Poe Dameron’s sense of humor in the sequel trilogy received ridicule because it felt more ‘Marvel’ than Star Wars. Fans say they want something new, but then define such small parameters for the movie to fit in that they quickly become cookie cutter.
Do not forget that Taika himself tweeted the following “Ugh, as a long time fan of Star Wars I’m so angry about what I’m about to do to ruin it.” If that doesn’t scream that he’s gonna put his trademark spin on Star Wars I don’t know what does. After seeing his performance in Free Guy, I think we are about to get the screwiest, left field, adventure beyond anyone’s imagination. I can’t wait to see what he does with it, but will the fans accept it?
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