It is no secret that Director Orson Krennic is one of my favorite characters in the new Star Wars canon. An ambitious weasel who wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. A main character in both Catalyst and Rogue One, it would make sense for him to appear in the final season of Star Wars Rebels. Besides getting a namedrop and his project Stardust (the Death Star) also getting brought up, Krennic was an important figure in the Galactic Empire.
That empty seat seen during the Imperial meeting in A New Hope? That was Krennic’s. As Rebels inches closer and closer towards the events of Rogue One/A New Hope, it would make sense that Krennic would make an appearance. It would be interesting to see just what he was up to prior to events of Rogue One as well. As seen in Catalyst, he has a very intense rivalry with Grand Moff Tarkin. In fact, he started a war just to keep Tarkin busy and out of his hair. Something that Tarkin was much aware of. In Rogue One, it is clear that the two have issues with one another.
This has also been a recurring trope in Rebels as well. Every time we see the Empire at work, there has always been infighting and subterfuge at foot. Krennic has a large ego and it would be cool to see him interact with Thrawn. The Death Troopers, seemingly a Krennic creation, have already made an appearance in Rebels as of the third season finale. There are many clues here and there that Krennic will make some type of appearance. Maybe not in the first half of the season but probably the third.
Ben Mendelsohn is too great of an actor to just have him appear once as well. Most of the animated series that have come out since the start of the new canon, actors will reprise their roles. I am sure that Mendelsohn would quickly return to the role if asked to as voicing a character does not take that much. Forest Whitaker and Felicity Jones have reprised their roles in various other projects since the release of Rogue One. It might not be a matter of if but a matter of when.
So after another director shakeup for Star Wars directors, J.J. Abrams is directing Episode IX. He previously directed The Force Awakens and was heavily involved in The Last Jedi as a producer. So it was an easy choice to make when came to him jumping back on board. It was also the safe choice.
I do slightly agree that The Force Awakens played as something of the greatest hits of Star Wars. Some people would have you believe that the movie was a complete rehash of A New Hope. I do not fall into that camp as there was enough new to help smooth out the treading of old ground. Also all the blame cannot be put on Abrams for that as that huge was multiple hands playing a factor.
I do think fresh blood would have been best for the project. New ways of thinking always brings out something new in projects. Of course the director would still have to answer to Kathleen Kennedy, the head of Lucasfilm. It’s like any job where you can bring your ideas to the table but you’ll still have to do it within the confines of whoever’s in charge. With all the director shake ups lately, it is easy to blame Kennedy for being the problem but who really knows?
A benefit of Abrams finishing what he started is that things are very much different from when he started. The Force Awakens was a rushed product with numerous script changes. Episode IX is not supposed to start filming until mid 2018 and Disney pushed the release date back to December 2019. That gives Abrams enough time to work and develop the script with Chris Terrio and hopefully not deliver a rehash of Return of the Jedi like everyone fears. I am someone who does not have these fears as I think Abrams is very much aware of the criticisms that faced him with his first Star Wars outing.
Though I am a little apprehensive about Abrams returning as like I previously stated, it is far from the worst choice. Lately I have been trying to approach things with a more open mind and be more positive. All the previously released Star Wars films, The Force Awakens and Rogue One, both had issues but turned out to be solid films. I believe Abrams will deliver a solid final outing for the trilogy that he started.
First and foremost, I love Rian Johnson’s films. Brick and Looper are some of my favorite movies I have ever seen. He directed some of the best episodes of Breaking Bad. So when he was announced as the director of The Last Jedi, I was ecstatic. I don’t have this bias against J.J. Abrams like some people do but I was glad he was not going to direct any other films post The Force Awakens. Rian Johnson has a certain grit to his films that could bring something new and needed to the Star Wars franchise. So when Colin Trevorrow was announced as not directing Episode IX, many people hope Rian Johnson steps in to direct. I do not.
One of the best things that I liked about the original trilogy and something that was lacking from the prequels was the lack of different directors. Sure George Lucas ultimately had final say over the sequels to A New Hope but there were still other people there so it’s not like he had total control. Of course with the prequels, Lucas had no one to answer to or even go to for checks and balances and those films ultimately suffered. So when Disney bought the rights and they announced different directors for each film, people were happy as variety does keep things fresh.
As of this writing, The Last Jedi is 99 days away from being released. No one outside of Disney and Lucasfilm knows how the film actually is. As far we know, it could be the greatest thing ever or a huge dumpster fire of a film. Since I do have faith in Johnson to make a competent film, I am not worried about the quality of the film. It was filmed early last year and has been worked on for over a year and by the time it comes out, it will have been worked on for about a year and half. It is not a rushed film like The Force Awakens was.
But I still think Johnson should stay away from Episode IX. I think he would be able to deliver a quality film and work with some of the issues going into the film especially since he worked on the previous entry in the franchise. But I like directors to be fresh and in the right state of mind. On Twitter, Johnson has been candid about being open to returning to the directing helm and of course he would. He wouldn’t bad mouth the franchise especially before his film comes out. If he skipped a film and came on to the next one, I think that would be a better move as he would be refreshed. I can’t imagine working on a Star Wars film under the Disney banner.
It is an interesting time in the Star Wars franchise. Since this new incarnation of Lucasfilm under Disney is still relatively in its infancy, there are going to be some stumbles. This whole director stuff seems to be things trying to figure itself out. If Johnson returns for Episode IX, I’ll be disappointed but I won’t be upset. If he chooses not to and another person steps in, I hope they do a good job on finishing the trilogy. Now who in Hollywood is willing to step in to direct this film.
Colin Trevorrow, the director of Jurassic World and Book of Henry, has officially left Star Wars Episode IX. I can’t say that I’m bummed out about the news since I’m not a fan of any of the director’s works. Not saying that this could not have been a great film with him at the helm but it was the one I was least anticipating. This news comes at a time where directors cannot seem to stay on a Star Wars film. Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired three weeks before the untitled Han Solo movie was supposed to finish principal photography. Gareth Edwards, though credited as director of Rogue One, was not involved in the heavy reshoots that the film underwent.
I can’t say that I’m really going to blame Kathleen Kennedy, the head of Lucasfilm, for this. Being hired to direct a Star Wars film is not something you should go in expecting to direct an auteur type of film. This is a billion dollar franchise and so there are going to be a lot of eyes on it and that means it is ultimately at the heed of its owners. They fund the project and so what they want is what goes. I know it’s “cool” to be against big studios and all that but that’s just the base about it.
The news came out that it was “creative differences” and I tend to believe that. Since there isn’t much to go off and the film is so far off, I tend to believe it. The film has a lot going on for it and maybe Trevorrow just wasn’t up for the task. Episode IX is wrapping up the current Star Wars trilogy, they have to deal with the unexpected death of Carrie Fisher, and who knows what repercussions from The Last Jedi the film will have to deal with. If a director who is also serving as a writer isn’t handling it up to the studio’s expectations, then maybe they should go. The film wasn’t supposed to start filming for a few months anyways. If it was in the middle of filming or close to ending filming, then I’d be worried. But this is just business as usual but since it’s a Star Wars movie, it’s under extra scrutiny.
Now the big question is…who will director Episode IX?
Next month the fourth and final season of Star Wars Rebels premieres on Disney XD. Seeing as this is the final season, there is a sense of dread throughout the trailer. Seeing as we know that only Hera and Chopper will survive the events of the series, we do not know what will happen to the characters we have grown to care about in the series. The biggest question marks would have to be Kanan and Ezra seeing as they are two Jedi, per the original trilogy all the Jedi are long gone. Obi-Wan even encountered Ezra within this series so something must happen to the two.
- Kanan and Hera’s relationship finally comes full circle. The two have always been close to one another with strong hints that they are attracted to one another. So when you hear the two directly talk to one another about their importance to one another, it is comforting and sad. As mentioned, we do not know if Kanan will survive the series.
- Grand Moff Tarkin confronts Grand Admiral Thrawn about a project that Krennic is working on. Referring to it as “Stardust”. If you saw Rogue One, you know that Stardust is none other than the Death Star. Will we actually see Krennic and/or Galen Erso? No doubt at least Krennic would have had some interactions with Thrawn.
- Speaking of Thrawn, we see more of Rukh. Rukh is a very important character in the Legends continuity of Star Wars that has an interesting relationship with Thrawn within that continuity. Whether this series will pay homage to that continuity or make its own path, is anyone’s guess.
- The Mandalorian Civil War seems to be reaching its end. That and the fate of the DarkSaber. The DarkSaber has played an important part in Clone Wars and Rebels and no doubt continue to be important in the new growing mythology.
- Saw Gerrera makes a return after his two episode appearance last season. He looks more in line with how he looked in Rogue One with the graying hair. He does not yet to seem to have his breathing problems that he had in that movie.
- Speaking of Saw, it looks like we will finally see what drove him apart from the rest of the Rebels that was only mentioned in Rogue One. Seeing Saw speaking negatively about Mon Mothma and how things need to be amped up to combat the Empire and their ever growing power.
- The timeline has been moving closer and closer to the events of Rogue One/A New Hope. This season looks to be the final push. Whether the series actually continues past those two movies is up in the air at this point. Dave Filoni has said just because we saw the Ghost in Rogue One does not necessarily mean that is the end point for Rebels.
As someone who was hesitant about Star Wars Rebels when it started, I am heavily anticipating its final season. In this golden age of television, it is bittersweet to have shows with endings now. On one hand, you hate to see something you love end. But at the same time, you have enjoyed the ride and know that it is not overstaying its welcome. October 16th cannot come soon enough.