So you know how the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a massive box office juggernaut that spent the past decade firing out a 23-film intergalactic saga? That’s all because of Kevin Feige. Despite how you feel about the Marvel movies and their potential toll on the filmmaking industry, there’s no denying that Feige runs a well-oiled machine that no other studio has come close to replicating. Christ, Warner Bros. had the closest thing you can get to Marvel with DC Comics, and its attempt to ape The Avengers exploded on the runway leaving the charred bodies of Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman behind. Feige pulled off nothing short of a miracle with the MCU, and that’s why the news that he’s developing a new Star Wars movie is butt-loaded with implications for both franchises.
Some see this move as a prelude to a larger role for Feige within Lucasfilm, while others say it merely reflects the Marvel executive’s passion for the franchise. A top Disney source says Kennedy remains in charge with no plans for any changes. One knowledgeable source says Feige has told a major actor that there’s a specific role he would like that person to play if and when he makes the movie.
However, with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker set to hit theaters Dec. 20, it is understandable that Disney would like to keep as much about the future of the franchise under wraps as possible. Skywalker, otherwise known as Episode IX, is meant to be the final installment of the series that was first launched by George Lucas in 1977. It is also meant to win back fans after the last sequel trilogy entry, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, divided audiences, even though reviews were largely positive and the film grossed $1.3 billion worldwide.
Before I go spinning off into Speculation Town, this news could easily be nothing more than a huge Star Wars geek cashing in a well-earned chip after making Disney enough money to buy its own continent. If I somehow took down Avatar with a movie about a Murder Space Grimace that’s literally a clip show of my entire cinematic resume, you bet your ass I’d put my hand out and say “Star Wars please!” They’d have to post armed guards outside Kathleen Kennedy’s office to keep me away. Although, in fairness, my elevator pitch would be “Fifty Shades of Grey meets Ewoks with lightsabers,” so maybe shoot to kill.
That said, Sean O’Connell has a compelling piece at CinemaBlend that makes a damn good case that the groundwork has already been laid for Feige to jump from Marvel to Star Wars. Although, O’Connell’s argument — which, again, is pretty solid — does hinge on reading into creative executive Eric Hauserman Carroll sitting in on Feige’s interviews during promotion for Spider-Man: Far From Home, and well, there’s a reason why Feige might’ve been checked out when it comes to Spider-Man. There’s also the rather large question of whether Disney really wants to risk an MCU without Feige at the helm, but it’s not like the guy didn’t just spend a solid decade delivering results that other studios can only dream about. If the guy’s ready to move on, let him move on. Otherwise, you get things like beloved characters committing war crimes before ruminating on the power of stories. Nobody wants that again. (Please.)
But while all of this is exciting, the elephant in the room is something that Disney is still trying to figure out after it got burnt releasing Solo almost directly on the heels of The Last Jedi. Can you treat Star Wars like the Marvel movies without diluting what’s made it such an enduring property for over 40 years? My personal opinion is NOPE, but I didn’t spend $4 billion prying the franchise out of George Lucas’ neck pouch. I’m just some guy on the internet who keeps buying all of the Blu-Rays, LEGOs, and collectible figurines thus creating a demand for more content— oh shit, I’m the problem. Dammit.
UPDATE: Ladies and gentlemen, there’s about to be blood in the streets.
Wow. So, um, there's been a development and if this is the "major star" Kevin Feige wants to do a Star Wars with, make me all the fucking popcorn because online wiener-nerds are going to RIOT. https://t.co/FFDoEQ6s3A— Mike Redmond (@theredmond) September 27, 2019
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