Game of Thrones creators share what they learned from their canceled Star Wars movie

Before they made 3 Body Problem, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss spent some time developing a Star Wars movie, but it didn't work out.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Luke Skywalker lightsaber duels Darth Vader. Image Credit:
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Luke Skywalker lightsaber duels Darth Vader. Image Credit: /

After the end of Game of Thrones, creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss were among the hottest producers in Hollywood. Even with the much-publicized backlash to the end of Thrones, they'd still made the most popular show in a generation, and everyone wanted to work with them.

But that doesn't mean their projects came to fruition. Benioff and Weiss signed up to make Star Wars movies for Lucasfilm, but the deal fell apart. We're not sure of the details, but this was around the time that Lucasfilm was greenlighting and then shelving an embarassingly large number of Star Wars projects, including a Rogue Squadron movie directed by Patty Jenkins, a movie from Marvel boss Kevin Feige, a trilogy from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, a movie from Damon Lindelof, and a movie from Taika Waititi. We don't know if all of those are dead for good, but none have materialized. My sense is that Lucasfilm was flailing for a while after The Rise of Skywalker, with Benioff and Weiss' project just one of many ideas they announced before they really knew if it would work.

We know now that Benioff and Weiss' project would have been about "The First Jedi." As Benioff said a while back: “Basically how the Jedi Order came to be, why it came to be, the first lightsaber …”

"[Lucasfilm] ended up not wanting to do a First Jedi story. We had a very specific story idea in mind, and ultimately they decided they didn’t want to do that. And we totally get it. It’s their company and their IP, but we weren’t the droids they were looking for."

While out promoting their new Netflix series 3 Body Problem, Benioff was asked if he and Weiss would ever return to the galaxy far, far away. "No, I don't think so," Benioff said on the Inside Total Film podcast. "I think you know, when you've got a franchise that's already so well established, like Star Wars or James Bond or so forth, I think there's less independence when you come in to try to tell a story that you want to tell and so I think what Dan [Weiss] and I have learned is that it's more fun for us to start something afresh."

3 Body Problem is based on a book series about humanity's first contact with an extraterrestrial species, so Benioff and Weiss aren't starting completely from scratch, but there's a difference between getting the adaptation rights to a book and working within a carefully managed shared universe like Star Wars. "Obviously, we're coming in on the shoulders of [author] Cixin Liu here, he's the one who created these novels and everything but because we're the ones adapting them, at least for the English language, we have a lot of flexibility in terms of the story we want to tell and that's a lot more fun for us than the other version," Benioff said.

I think I prefer Benioff and Weiss finding their own projects like this rather than playing in someone else's playground. The results on 3 Body Problem speak for themselves:

dark. Next. 3 Body problem. All 8 episodes of 3 Body Problem, ranked worst to best

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