Do we still need ‘Star Wars’ movies?

‘Star Wars’ lives on TV now. Is there a reason for it to go back to cinemas? PLUS: I love the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem’ trailer, and Jon Bernthal brings the Punisher to the MCU.

Do we still need ‘Star Wars’ movies?
Patty Jenkins in the announcement video for the now-canceled Rogue Squadron. / Lucasfilm

There’s a Star Wars movie on Disney’s release schedule for December 2025.

If it’s real is another question.

By December 2025, it’ll have been six years since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hit theaters. Over that time, there have been multiple new Star Wars movies reportedly in the works. Some of them were even officially announced, like Patty JenkinsRogue Squadron movie.

Then you have the movie Kevin Feige was working on. The one Taika Waititi was writing and directing. The one Damon Lindelof is crafting. Let’s not forget the trilogy that Rian Johnson was supposed to deliver after Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

There’s the chance we’ll get some new news about the next Star Wars movie at Star Wars Celebration in April. In the meantime, Variety broke the news on Tuesday that many of the Star Wars movies that had been floating around are dead.

Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron? No longer in active development.

Feige’s movie he had Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness scribe Michael Waldron writing? Also no longer in active development.

Johnson’s movies? Too busy with his Benoit Blanc movies and Poker Face.

According to Variety, there’s a chance Waititi’s movie could hit that December 2025 date. It turns out not only is he still working on it but he now wants to have a part in it too.

And Lindelof’s movie, being written with Justin Britt-Gibson, will reportedly be directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

I have to ask, though … do we still need Star Wars movies?

Before Disney bought Lucasfilm, there were six Star Wars movies. Three of them were released from 1977 to 1983. Three more were released from 1999 to 2005. Part of the fun of the Star Wars movies was that you sometimes had to wait a long time for them. I wasn’t around for when the original trilogy was released, but the pitch that Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith was the FINAL Star Wars movie made that release something special. It was an event.

That’s why Star Wars: The Force Awakens wound up being an unprecedented domestic box office release. Fans had spent a decade believing Star Wars movies were done. Over. No more.

Then Disney tried to apply the Marvel Cinematic Universe model to Star Wars. Getting a new Star Wars movie on a yearly basis — The Force Awakens in 2015, Rogue One in 2016, The Last Jedi in 2017, Solo in 2018, The Rise of Skywalker in 2019 — was only supposed to be the beginning. There was a potential future where multiple Star Wars movies hit theaters every year.

Solo, a movie that would’ve thrived as a Disney+ series, put an end to that. Disney and Lucasfilm quickly showed that they didn’t know how to manage the release of two Star Wars movies at the same time. After The Last Jedi released in December 2017, Solo quickly followed in May 2018. Disney failed to market Solo until just a few months before its release.

The critical response to The Rise of Skywalker didn’t help things. The film was more interested in undoing The Last Jedi (and shelving Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico) than in actually telling a story that honored the Skywalker saga.

Since then Star Wars has become a franchise that thrives on TV.

The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Andor, Tales of the Jedi, The Bad Batch, Star Wars Visions, Obi-Wan Kenobi — Disney+ has had an almost continuous stream of Star Wars content, both live-action and animated.

So do we need new Star Wars movies?

It seems like Lucasfilm hasn’t found a no-brainer idea to justify making a movie since The Rise of Skywalker. What story would rise to the level of needing to be told as a movie? We’re currently watching Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni pull the pieces together through The Mandalorian, Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka to tell a larger story. They’re going to have dozens of hours to tell that story, while a story told on the big screen would have three hours — maybe nine hours if it’s a trilogy? — to tell a story.

We’re likely to get an announcement of some sort on April 7. Hopefully it’s worth Star Wars returning to cinemas.

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The News
Jon Bernthal as the Punisher. / Netflix

Jon Bernthal is back as the Punisher for the Disney+ Daredevil show

Think of the Marvel shows that ran on Netflix a few years back as suggestions. Possibilities of stories that can be told and actors that can fill the roles for those stories. Feige clearly doesn’t consider them as canon when it comes to the MCU, but he has no problem bringing an actor or two over from those shows for the MCU.

After seeing Charlie Cox reprise his role of Matt Murdock/Daredevil in the She-Hulk series, Jon Bernthal will become the next former Netflix/Marvel star to jump into the MCU.

Bernthal will reprise his role of the Punisher in Daredevil: Born Again, The Hollywood Reporter wrote on Tuesday. The actor soon confirmed the news through his YouTube channel.

Oh boy, I cannot wait to see how a certain segment of fans deals with how the Punisher looks and acts in a Disney+ show.

Barry is ending after its upcoming season. Here’s a trailer.

Did we know that Barry was going to end before its fourth season before Bill Hader revealed the news to Variety this week? I knew that Hader and his team were working on the third and fourth seasons together, but I don't recall confirmation that this was it.

“There are still so many questions with the other characters, and with Barry — and there’s so many things unsaid,” Hader told Variety. “What happens in Season 4 is structurally radical in some ways, but it made sense for what I think the characters needed to go through, and what I think the whole show is always kind of headed towards.”

It feels like we’re coming to a natural conclusion for Barry. The title character is in jail. His secrets are all out in the open now. I’m eager to see how Hader spins the story for the final eight episodes of the show.

Barry and Succession calling it a wrap within a week or two is quite the change for HBO.

💬 💬 💬 Wanna share your comments, questions or recommendations? Leave a comment at the bottom of the newsletter.

Trailer Watch

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

I’m not a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles guy. Nothing against them. (Except maybe the Michael Bay versions. Did you know Regal Cinemas was still airing the PSA about silencing your phone that had clips from the 2014 movie in like 2020?) There was only so much TV that I could secretly watch at friends’ houses if I wasn’t allowed to watch it at home.

I’m very interested in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, though.

Twitter was quick to say that the reboot was mimicking the look and feel of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but just because a film doesn’t look like the Disney/Pixar/DreamWorks style that’s become standard over the past twenty or thirty years doesn’t mean it’s copying another movie.

Jeff Rowe, who wrote the fantastic The Mitchells vs. the Machines, jumps into the director’s chair for Mutant Mayhem. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are producing.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem opens on Aug. 4.


Ana de Armas’ appearance in No Time to Die is wildly considered to be one of the best parts of the movie. Unfortunately, that one was the final film in the Daniel Craig James Bond series, and with the Bond series now due for a reboot, the Paloma character had nowhere to go.

That hasn’t kept other studios from working off the potential that de Armas showed as an action star. In addition to starring in Ballerina, a spinoff of the John Wick films, de Armas is returning to an action role for Apple TV+ in Ghosted.

Ghosted premieres on April 21.

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us episode “When We Are in Need.” / HBO

The Last of Us

“When We Are in Need”

One episode of The Last of Us left to go. How will the show top this one? Cannibals. A cult-y religious group. Ellie and Joel’s instantly iconic reunion.

Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal continue to crush every performance they give in this show. I’ll be shocked if The Last of Us isn’t a major player when the next round of the Emmys comes around.

“You have a violent heart.”

Those five words not only sum up Ellie but also Joel. How did that guy go from being on his death bed in that abandoned basement to full-on murder mode in a matter of minutes?

My hope that HBO would release the season finale of The Last of Us early to avoid competing with the Oscars turned out to be wrong. I guess HBO doesn’t see them as a real threat like they did the Super Bowl.

Bo-Katan in The Mandalorian episode “The Mines of Mandalore.” / Lucasfilm

The Mandalorian

“The Mines of Mandalore”

I do not understand the mechanics of Mandalorian helmets.

Last episode, we saw a kid get his first helmet as part of a Mandalorian ceremony. It made a sealing sound when it was put on — even though we could see his hair sticking out from behind it. And then in this episode, Din Djarin makes it clear that he has the option to pressurize his helmet, protecting himself from the potentially toxic Mandalore air. But after he gets rescued from the Living Waters, he’s making sputtering sounds under his helmet. How did water get under there?

Anyways …

This was a good episode of The Mandalorian. It’s still wild to see Bo-Katan perfectly recreated as a live-action character, especially with Katee Sackhoff playing her. And when she’s armed with the Darksaber.

“Din’s not very good at most things” was one of the original vibes during The Mandalorian’s first season. It’s fun to see that storyline back in this episode. Thanks to Grogu’s navigational work, Bo-Katan had to save Din twice, showing off a mastery of the Darksaber in the process.

We’re getting close to Grogu saying real words, aren’t we?

It’ll be interesting to see if The Mandalorian expands on the reveal that the mythosaur still exists or if that was just a cool Easter egg toward the end of the episode. I’m guessing that revelation will shake Bo-Katan’s beliefs about Mandalore.

Mike Ryan over at Uproxx has a fun piece about the return of R5-D4 and how Star Wars action figures used to inspire play beyond whatever their roles were in the movies.

Bob’s Burgers

“These Boots Are Made for Stalking”

The Tina episodes of Bob’s Burgers are often the ones I’m least interested in. I’m sorry. I prefer a Bob or Louise storyline. “Fingers-Loose” bores me. This was a solid Tina episode, though. I enjoyed watching the Belcher family try to guide Tina through her attempt at a meet-cute with the cool kids at the Greek diner.

Running behind on

A few items on my watch list that I haven’t had a chance to get to yet:

  • The Bad Batch (“The Crossing,” “The Retrieval,” “Metamorphosis,” “The Outpost”)
  • Poker Face (“Escape from Shit Mountain”)

The Links

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Odds and Ends

Jenna Ortega hosts SNL

Looks like Saturday Night Live wasted no time checking “the dance from Wednesday” off its list of things to do with Jenna Ortega hosting this weekend.

And what’s going on with Please Don’t Destroy’s newfound SNL spotlight? Their sketches are showing up super early in episodes and now they’re in a promo video?

“Self-Defense” bloopers

Speaking of Please Don’t Destroy, SNL posted bloopers from their “Self-Defense” sketch with Travis Kelce.

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