In a riskily-timed move, Disney CEO Bob Iger today confirmed via a sales call the seeminglyinevitable: Game of Thrones show-runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will be overseeing the next wave of Star Wars films.
It was only last week that the House of Mouse announced there would be a three-year wait for more big-screen Star Wars after this year’s upcoming Rise of Skywalker, with a new trilogy to begin in December 2022. With Benioff and Weiss being one of the two already-revealed film-makers entrusted with the keys to a galaxy far, far away – the other being The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson – speculation quickly became like that which surrounds the unveiling of the next host for the Olympics: we know who it might be, but who will win out?
The backlash against Johnson’s interpretation of Star Wars may have played a contributing factor; up until a few weeks ago, the runaway success of Game of Thrones might have been another. In a strange twist of fate, however, reaction to the eighth season of that show has mirrored that of the eighth installment of the Star Wars saga – widespread fan disgruntlement.
Therein lies the risk of this announcement. This week’s episode of the fantasy epic (The Bells) has left such a bad taste in many fans’ mouths that Benioff and Weiss have received a hearty backlash both directly and indirectly. With such bad feeling so fresh in the air, was this the right time to put the two men square in the targets of another possessive fan-base?
Usually, an announcement with franchise-sized implications like this would be met with gossip over what the film’s story will be (the safe bet seems to be on a storyline similar to The Old Republic, given the two men’s obvious experience with historical fiction). However, the flames of viewer dissatisfaction still smoulder after the controversial events of Sunday night. Instead, the question on everyone’s lips is now simply, “Will it even be any good?”
What do you think? Are Benioff and Weiss still the right men for the job? Does a decade of success outweigh a few bad episodes? Is it really that difficult to go wrong with Star Wars? Hit up Kernel on your favorite social media channels and let us know!