Star Wars fans know how the Jedi fell (damn you, Order 66) and soon may see some kind of resurrection (hello, Rey!). But where did they come from in the first place? We almost found out and now, may never know.
At the time, it was unclear what those movies would have been about save for being “separate” from the Skywalker saga and Rian Johnson films.
Well, Variety did a deep dive into the reasoning behind the pair’s exit and the story includes this fascinating tidbit: “The Star Wars period the pair was interested in exploring was how the Jedi came to exist.” Gizmodo reached out to Lucasfilm for clarification, but was told the company had no more to offer outside of the quotes in this Deadline article.
Assuming Variety is accurate, though, we can begin to go down the “What If?” wormhole. In official Star Wars canon, we don’t know where the Jedi came from. The Expanded Universe, now called “Legends,” does shed some light on the subject. (These stories are no longer considered canon, but creatives have been known to borrow pieces of them for new films, shows, novels and more.)
Two Dark Horse comic series, in particular, called Tales of the Jedi and Dawn of the Jedi, told stories set tens of thousands of years before the films, where a group of Force followers called the Je’daii Order lived on a planet called Tython. Eventually, after many great wars and factions of that group, some of those people became early versions of the Jedi as fans knew them in the films. It wasn’t a clear cut origin, but it offered enough breadcrumbs that a line could be drawn.
So, to explore that story, centuries before the events of the films, certainly seems like an intriguing idea. Alas, whatever Benioff and Weiss had planned apparently didn’t mesh with what Lucasfilm executives had in mind. It also didn’t help that they signed a massive, lucrative deal with Netflix that was sure to divide their attention.
We urge you to head to both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter to read more about the behind the scenes drama and potential reasons why Benioff and Weiss exited. They’re simultaneously enlightening and disheartening.
But, from a story standpoint, it seems this story set more than a long time ago will remain untold.
The final film in the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, opens December 19. After that, the next film—whatever it may be—won’t be out until December 2022.