Even though Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker concluded the Skywalker saga, there is much coming down the pipeline as far as the franchise goes. For one, we've got several shows to look forward to on Disney+, such as the Rogue One prequel series, which will focus on Cassian Andor. There are also several projects that are in development at any given time, such as the Boba Fett movie(s) that nearly happened. I recently had the chance to speak with visual effects guru Neal Scanlan about both of these projects, in particular.
Neal Scanlan has worked on all of the live-action Star Wars movies made by Lucasfilm during the Disney era. I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Scanlan in honor of the home video release of The Rise of Skywalker. At one point, Scanlan revealed he is already working on the Cassian Andor series, which was announced for Disney+ in November 2018. Scanlan explained that they are making no compromises in making it feel like part of the Star Wars universe, while also explaining an interesting approach to making use of previously crafted characters.
"What is fun about this is, in many ways, I don't think it feels different than working on a movie. It certainly doesn't feel like we are making any compromises. It's the same creative conditions in every department to do what we can do. We also have this backlog of characters. A lot of the characters that we built for all of the films either didn't make it to the final cut, because that's just the way that the film process happens, or that they are seen so momentarily that there is this wonderful second opportunity to bring back some of the characters that we've made and bring them to this new storyline in a more, shall we say, integrated way. I think it's going to be tremendous. I find that it's a second opportunity for everything that we've made, plus the opportunity of moving TV along, in a sense, at what will not at all be diminished as far as the level of quality, the level of things that we are going to try and achieve."
This is all interesting for a few reasons. For one, it's a creative way to make use of all the time and resources that went into crafting some of these practical creatures and characters. Neal Scanlan, specifically, focuses on practical effects, which is time-consuming and can be very costly. Lucasfilm and Scanlan are finding ways to repurpose some of that hard work for the Cassian Andor series. It's also good because we haven't heard much about the show since it was announced, but things seem to be on track. When last we heard, Diego Luna revealed the show would film sometime this year.
Elsewhere in the conversation, we discussed Boba Fett. Not once, but twice, the fan-favorite bounty hunter was set to be the subject of his own movie. Once with director Josh Trank (Fantastic Four), before he and Lucasfilm parted ways just ahead of Star Wars Celebration 2015, where a teaser for the movie was going to be shown. Again in May 2018, James Mangold (Logan) became attached. But then once Solo underperformed at the box office, Lucasfilm shifted strategy. I asked Neal Scanlan if he was involved in discussions about the projects. Here's what he had to tell me.
"In a sense no, but in a sense yes. In a sense, dare I say, within the Star Wars family, or the Star Wars world, which is quite enormous, between Lucas[film] and Disney, etc. We are all aware of conversations that are being had and potential things. So much of this is in development, and parallel developments are taking place at all times. It's oftentimes very difficult to predict which particular project will gain momentum and move forward. So, not yet. Not yet. There's nothing positive I can give to you yet."
Boba Fett, when last we saw, was falling into the Sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi. Did he survive? Was his demise truly that unceremonious? For now, we're left with more questions than answers. But at the very least, it seems Neal Scanlan was aware of these movies being discussed. Whether or not we'll ever see Boba Fett on screen again remains to be seen. In the meantime, fans can check out Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which is available now on Digitial HD and hits Blu-ray/DVD and 4K Ultra HD on March 31 from Disney.