Like C-3PO and R2-D2 back in the day, “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss just took an escape pod off the “Star Wars” mothership.
Benioff and Weiss signed on last year to do a new trilogy in the galaxy far, far away, but walked away from the mega-popular franchise Monday night to focus on their upcoming projects that are part of a $200 million Netflix deal.
“We love ‘Star Wars,’ ” Benioff and Weiss said in a statement. “When George Lucas built it, he built us, too. Getting to talk about ‘Star Wars’ with him and the current ‘Star Wars’ team was the thrill of a lifetime, and we will always be indebted to the saga that changed everything. But 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. So we are regretfully stepping away.”
The “Thrones” duo was set to kick off a new series of “Star Wars” movies, the first after “The Rise of Skywalker” finishes off the current 42-year, nine-episode saga this December. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told USA TODAY at Star Wars Celebration in April the film slate was going “to take a pause” and she was meeting with Benioff and Weiss “to start talking about where we are going for the next decade.”
Their departure is the latest in a history of high-profile “Star Wars” exits. In June of 2017, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from “Solo: A Star Wars Story” weeks before filming was complete – Ron Howard stepped in to finish. And in September of that year, “Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow left “Star Wars: Episode IX” (which would become “Rise of Skywalker”) and was quickly replaced by “The Force Awakens” filmmaker J.J. Abrams.
But there’s still plenty of “Star Wars” in the works to keep fans satiated in the future. “The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson is still developing his own trilogy, while Disney+ streaming service has the live-action series “The Mandalorian” (premiering Nov. 12) as well as a Cassian Andor show with “Rogue One” star Diego Luna and an Obi-Wan Kenobi project bringing back Ewan McGregor as the fan-favorite Jedi.