If you’re the creators and showrunners of the world’s most popular show, what do you do for a follow-up? If you’re Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, apparently you attach yourself to perhaps the only franchise bigger than yours: Star Wars. Yes, according to StarWars.com, Benioff and Weiss “will write and produce a new series of Star Wars films.” Be still my heart.
There are a couple of Star Wars movie sagas already in development. Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi came out just last year — J.J. Abrams is set to direct Episode IX. Meanwhile, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is set to helm a separate trilogy. Whatever films Benioff and Weiss make will be separate and apart from both of those series.
Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, is excited by the new move: “David and Dan are some of the best storytellers working today,” she said. “Their command of complex characters, depth of story and richness of mythology will break new ground and boldly push Star Wars in ways I find incredibly exciting.” In a joint statement, Benioff and Weiss also sounded like happy campers:
In the summer of 1977 we traveled to a galaxy far, far away, and we’ve been dreaming of it ever since. We are honored by the opportunity, a little terrified by the responsibility, and so excited to get started as soon as the final season of Game of Thrones is complete.
There’s no word on how this will affect Benioff and Weiss’ plans to produce Confederate, an HBO show about what America would be like if the Union hadn’t won the Civil War and slavery still exists. However, the last line in the joint statement — the one about getting started on the Star Wars movies “as soon as the final season of Game of Thrones is complete” — doesn’t bode well for the series. And considering how much blowback HBO received following its announcement, we wouldn’t be surprised if Confederate was left to die a quiet death.
No release date for the Star Wars movies was given, though with the final season of Thrones debuting sometime in 2019, we can assume they’ll come sometime after that. We also don’t know if Benioff and Weiss will direct the movies, or just “write and produce” them. They’ve directed select episodes of Game of Thrones, but not many. Either way, they’ll being set up to be the main creative force behind them. George Lucas is seen as the main force behind Star Wars, but he didn’t direct The Empire Strikes Backi, after all.
We’re getting a Benioff and Weiss-helmed series of Star Wars movies. Is this real life?