Is Kathleen Kennedy Alluding To 'Knights Of The Old Republic' As Inspiration For Future 'Star Wars' Films?

Right now, the next Star Wars film is set for a December 2023 release date, and we do not know for sure what it is about. Kathleen Kennedy’s recent comment regarding the mythology of Star Wars has stirred speculation as to where and when exactly future films could go. Here is the comment that Kennedy gave to The Wrap:

“Stories have been told within this universe over the last 40-odd years, and there’s now the realization that this is a mythology that actually spans about 25,000 years, when you really start to look at all the different stories that have been told, whether it’s in books and games.”

The news outlet Inverse has pointed out the mention of games at the end of that last sentence. While the Dawn of the Jedi novel and comics in the Expanded Universe now known as Legends are set around 25,000 years prior to the films, the mention of games may bring Knights of the Old Republic, as well as The Old Republic MMORPG, to mind. Though those games only take place nearly 4,000 years before the films, they go the furthest back out of the games. So it is not necessarily far-fetched to believe that stories inspired by that era could be explored.

Back in April 2019, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy was interviewed by MTV News at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. When discussing upcoming films, the reporter asked her about Knights of the Old Republic. At the time, this was her response:

"You know, we talk about that all the time. Yes, we are developing something to look at. Right now I have no idea where things might fall, but we have to be careful that there is a cadence to Star Wars that doesn't start to feel like too much.”

She went on to talk about how Solo indicated that Lucasfilm could not put out Star Wars films twice a year, but that they still think about a lot of different stories. The more I think about it, a story like Knights of the Old Republic certainly seems like it would be different from the last five films put out under Disney, if only for the fact that it takes place in a time period where there are no ties to the Rebellion, the Galactic Empire, the Skywalkers, or the Solos.

At the time of Celebration 2019, Game of Thrones showrunners. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were still set to helm upcoming Star Wars films, though that is no longer the case. Right now, things are unclear as to whether The Last Jedi Rian Johnson will still be involved in future Star Wars films, but in early December 2017, when it seemed like a certainty that he would write a new trilogy to follow the sequel trilogy, he told Uproxx that his trilogy would not be based on Knights of the Old Republic:

“Oh, they love Knights of the Old Republic. I played that game when it first came out and it was like, god, I loved it. Yeah, that’s a fantastic game. And I understand it, the instinct to automatically go to something that you know and love, that you’ve already seen.”

Even though Johnson was not working on anything pertaining to those games, there may be a chance that Benioff and Weiss were working on something inspired by them. Even with those two gone, there is still the possibility that something inspired by those games could come to the big screen, whether it be done by Kevin Feige, Taika Waititi, or any other filmmakers we may not have heard are working on Star Wars yet.

However, I cannot help but bring up that Johnson may have been onto something when he mentioned the temptation to go to something with which we are already familiar. Sure, we could see something inspired by Knights of the Old Republic. But what exactly do people mean when they say they want an Old Republic movie? Do they want the exact same story, but adapted the same way? Do they want the same story but with some tweaks, such as having a different character end up becoming Revan? Do they want something set around that era, with some familiar characters in new scenarios? Or do they just want something set anywhere in The Old Republic Era, which goes as far back as the founding of the Old Republic 25,000 years before the films we already have?

Personally, the latter is what I would prefer. New, blank slate characters without any baggage and expectations would be ideal, in my opinion. There is such a huge gap of time that can be explored, and Lucasfilm does not necessarily have to go to the well of the jam-packed period of time that people already know. However, knowing how recent Star Wars projects have leaned on nostalgia, I think it is more likely that, if we do get any film set in the Old Republic Era, it would involve familiar characters from the games. People just love the likes of Revan, Malgus, and Nihilus. I do think that future films should go to the distant past and explore time periods that are beyond what we already know, but I expect that we will probably see familiar characters pop up. Ultimately, enjoyment of such films would depend on the execution.

Source(s): Deseret, MTV News, Uproxx