The iconic opening to George Lucas‘ Star Wars back in 1977 introduced moviegoers to John Williams‘ powerful score and established an expositional intro through a title crawl. Those facets have become such an integral part of the Star Wars film universe that they’ve been included in all seven feature films released to date and will almost certainly continue with Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX. Gareth Edwards‘ standalone anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, however, looks to shake things up a bit.
In a new write-up from Variety, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy teased that Rogue One, described as a World War II-style adventure film, will open in a manner that’s more in keeping with that genre’s tradition rather than Star Wars‘ own spin on things. Kennedy also talked about the tone of their upcoming Han Solo spin-off that stars Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, and Emilia Clarke.
Here’s her exact quote regarding the opening of Rogue One:
“We felt that’s so indicative of what those saga films are. Initially, we probably will begin the film in a way that is traditional, with just the title.”
It seems like it’s important to the creative folks behind the scenes of Rogue One to establish right off the bat that this film exists within the Star Wars universe but stands apart from the Skywalker family saga. There’s no better way to start off than by switching up the narrative crawl. We’ll find out for sure if that’s the case once Rogue One opens on December 16th.
As for the untitled Han Solo film, here’s how Kennedy described its tone:
“This moves closer to a heist or Western type feel. We’ve talked about [Frederic] Remington and those primary colors that are used in his paintings defining the look and feel of the film.”
While that film will be directed by the super team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Kennedy also commented on the possibility of a female director heading up a Star Wars film at some point:
“We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do “Star Wars,” they’re set up for success. They’re gigantic films, and you can’t come into them with essentially no experience.”
So, for reference, Colin Trevorrow went from “essentially no experience” to directing the $1.67 billion-earning Jurassic World and was then tapped for Star Wars: Episode IX, so they want a female director to follow suit. That being said, Kennedy mentioned that the Lucasfilm team is trying to identify talented female directors at the early stages of their careers:
“We want to really start to focus in on people we would love to work with and see what kinds of things they’re doing to progress up that ladder now, and then pull them in when the time is right.”
I’m not sure exactly when the time will be right considering their existing film slate is already pretty much set as far as directors go. The good news is that the Star Wars machine shows no signs of slowing down, so there should be plenty of opportunities for all sorts of filmmakers in the years to come.