Last week, multiple media outlets discussed how Disney CEO Bob Iger may have put the brakes to the anthology of Star Wars stand-alone films. Then by weeks end, we learned that isn’t the case and that there are still multiple films in development outside of Rian Johnson’s trilogy and “Game of Thrones” producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss series of films. If we take a moment and glance at how movies are made and the process it takes to bring them to the big screen, it’s evident that at least one of the two stand-alone films will not be canceled or put on hold.
Pre-Production and the time it takes to create a universe.
The look and feel of a new era in Star Wars takes time to create. Whether its the new worlds we will be shuffled off to, or the costumes our new heroes will wear. From the new alien species to the language they will speak, to how the cocktail glass should look like at a Crimson Dawn soiree. The vessels, architecture and how a new Stormtrooper should look. Then there are the sets to be built and don’t forget that pesky business of writing and editing the script. Whether it’s a new era for Star Wars: The Force Awakens or Bilbo’s world in “The Hobbit,” the close work performed by the Director and the production staff takes years before the cameras ever get rolling. This vital process takes years, and without it, you don’t have a film.
The Schedule and a slave to space, people, and material.
When you have a franchise that is determined to create and push product out on a yearly basis, they succumb to the same laws of space, and material as any other business. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating toothbrushes or shirts that don’t have to be tucked in, it revolves around these principles. It’s a schedule, built to a clock that moves matter down the assembly line. Most of the work around Star Wars resides in Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom, and across the globe. We will break down the three-stage filmmaking process and place it into a schedule to see if we can release one Star Wars film a year.
For this exercise, we will give each rumored film production the time that was provided for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Each production will go through the three necessary stages of development – pre-production, principal photography and post-production and film release. The only caveat here is that pre-production for the Obi-Wan and Boba Fett films have been rumored for years.
If the goal is to have one Star Wars motion picture a year, this is how each of the rumored projects would slot it. We know from recent reporting at Fantha Tracks that the rumored Obi-Wan stand-alone film will be starting principle photography immediately after JJ Abrams’s Star Wars: Episode IX filming is completed. When Star Wars: Episode IX moves to post-production, the space in Pinewood would be freed for principle photography for the Obi-Wan motion picture.
By beginning with Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story we can see how this schedule comes into play. The most important things to note is the pre-production for Benioff and Weiss’s film. Both are busy with post-production with the conclusion of “Game of Thrones” in 2018 for HBO. Their pre-production work for their series of films would begin at the earliest in 2019.
For Rian Johnson’s new trilogy, which will be entirely new from end to end will require heaps of pre-production time. They have been forging ahead ever since the release Star Wars: The Last Jedi in December. This is where the mystery lies and how it may affect one of the rumored spin-off’s. If you notice in the schedule, there is a possibility that Rian Johnson may get the first of his trilogy out in the same time that the rumored Boba Fett film would be released in 2021. With only two years of pre-production, would Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman have enough time? I wonder with the disappointing returns on Solo: A Star Wars Story did Bob Iger get cold feet about the Boba Fett stand-alone film? Benioff and Weiss will not have enough time to get their first film out by then, But perhaps Rian Johnson might. That would explain the recent rumors circling the Hollywood trades about the Stand Alone films and maybe the shelving of that film.
This is just an exercise after all, but it does make a solid case that the Obi-Wan film is not going anywhere because there is no movie ready to take its place.
The headline image – ‘The Desert Nomad’ by the talented artist Luca Merli.