For some, the departure of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss from Star Wars is nothing but a cause for celebration.
As revealed by Deadline late Monday night, the Game of Thrones executive producers have called it quits on their planed trilogy inside the Lucasfilm space franchise. The reason? Scheduling conflicts with their nine-figure Netflix deal. The money’s burning, time’s a-wastin’, and Netflix wants their first project from them. “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,” they said in a statement to the site.
“David Benioff and Dan Weiss are incredible storytellers,” added Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “We hope to include them in the journey forward when they are able to step away from their busy schedule to focus on Star Wars.”
The pair made waves in 2018, when Lucasfilm hired them to spearhead a new post-Skywalker trilogy set to debut in 2022. It was unclear if they would follow on after the nine-film saga or choose a timeframe well away from the established Star Wars eras, but all seemed bright and right as the duo were sailing from Westeros to that galaxy far, far away.
Then Game of Thrones‘s eighth and final season aired on HBO, disappointing the fans and making the pair personae-non-gratae at Comic-Con International: San Diego this past July. And, as it happens, their reputation among the GoT and Star Wars fanbases took a further hit over the weekend as a Twitter thread relaying their comments from a Q&A session made them look unprepared to adapt George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic and unwilling to take on board valid criticism of their landmark HBO program. It is, of course, unclear if their speaking engagement was in anyway connected to their departure from Star Wars.
As Deadline notes, the post-Skywalker Star Wars future seems in good hands thanks to The Mandalorian and upcoming Disney+ programs focused on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s Cassian Andor and the Skywalker Saga’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. In fact, one would be tempted to suggest prestige format streaming series is the best way forward for Star Wars as a brand.
That said, the continued profitability of the franchise demands their be more Star Wars feature films. A trilogy overseen by Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is in the works and Marvel Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige is working on a Star Wars feature of his own. Hopefully, these will prove to be creatively successful even as they will no doubt break box office records.
Star Wars is evolving into a strange thing, and it seems it has to potential to make even the most seasoned genre creators tremble with fear. And, as we all know, fear leads to the Dark Side.