Of all the odd things for the Star Wars universe to be known for, perhaps the oddest is its tendency to replace directors, producers and writers at an impressive clip. The latest? Game of Thrones duo David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who have left their upcoming, new Star Wars trilogy some 18 months after first getting hired for the job. The move comes after the two signed a $250 million overall deal to produce content for Netflix—the equivalent of a major blockbuster film in and of itself. Now, Benioff and Weiss seem to have finally realized that after a year and a half of brainstorming Star Wars, they can simply move on to greener pastures and not have to worry about disappointing an entirely new fanbase.
“We love Star Wars,” said the duo in a statement. “When George Lucas built it, he built us too. Getting to talk about Star Wars with him and the current Star Wars team was the thrill of a lifetime, and we will always be indebted to the saga that changed everything. But there are only so many hours in the day, and we felt we could not do justice to both Star Wars and our Netflix projects. So we are regretfully stepping away.”
It’s just the latest in a series of big names that have either been relieved of their duties or outright fired, when it comes to Star Wars movies. Most visibly, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired during the production of Solo, replaced on the fly with Ron Howard. Colin Trevorrow of Jurassic World was also slated as the original director for Rise of Skywalker before being replaced with the safer choice in the form of Force Awakens helmer J.J. Abrams. And even looking back at the success of Rogue One, although Gareth Edwards is still credited as director, he was essentially replaced on set by Tony Gilroy for the film’s third act—just one more instance of Disney getting antsy with a director and giving them the sack. Perhaps Benioff and Weiss simply figured they should bail while it was still their decision? We can only imagine that the still loud grumbling of disgruntled Game of Thrones fans, upset at the rushed way the series concluded, didn’t make matters any better—nor did recent Benioff and Weiss appearances, wherein they essentially admitted their own incompetence when it came to shooting Got.
The question now, of course, is whether Disney simply replaces Benioff & Weiss with another team of producer-writers for this particular trilogy, which was slated to be the first Star Wars theatrical content to arrive after Rise of Skywalker, or if they dump the trilogy entirely. There’s an almost embarrassing among of Star Wars content already planned, after all, between the Benioff & Weiss trilogy, the separate Rian Johnson-helmed trilogy that is also planned, and whatever Star Wars movie Marvel architect Kevin Feige is apparently attached to. Would we really be losing that much by simply letting one of those trilogies wither on the vine?
Not if there’s money to be made, of course. We’ll see what route Disney plans to take, but at least the next Star Wars trilogy presumably won’t end in a big battle that is too dark to see what’s going on, right?