Damon Lindelof's Star Wars movie could be the most divisive ever — and also the best
Get ready for The Last Jedi round two.
Damon Lindelof is undeniably good at writing stories. Best known as the co-creator and co-showrunner of Lost, he also created hits like The Leftovers and the 2019 HBO series Watchmen. However, his film career has been more spotty, with his resume including Prometheus, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Tomorrowland.
The sequel trilogy, in retrospect, was a dark time for the Star Wars fandom. Fans didn’t like how The Force Awakens was a rehash of A New Hope, so the franchise switched directors from Lindelof’s former Lost collaborator, J.J. Abrams, to Rian Johnson. Then The Last Jedi divided fans, and Abrams was brought back to bring the trilogy home with The Rise of Skywalker.
Now, while the ever-growing Star Wars TV universe has managed some image repair, the film side of the story needs a fresh start. Damon Lindelof could provide just that. Whenever he takes on an existing property he brings a unique perspective to it, for better or worse.
But the Star Wars fandom is fickle, and threading the needle between “didn’t feel like Star Wars” and “just a retelling of an existing Star Wars story” is a tall task. Lindelof’s Watchmen is an intriguing example of the middle ground he’s capable of carving out. While the HBO series was set within the world of Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel, it told a completely new story.
While Moore and some hardcore fans may have critiqued Watchmen, the series was generally well-received. Can Lindelof achieve similar success with his Star Wars movie? Like many of his projects, Lindelof is set to co-write, and there’s still no sense of who he’ll be collaborating with. Maybe that second name will be the deciding factor in garnering fan support.
The director for the film may also prove divisive, as Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, best known for her work on Ms. Marvel, is set to helm the project. That would make her the first woman to direct a Star Wars movie, and the second director to jump from Marvel to Star Wars after Taika Waititi. That’s a lot of change for Star Wars fans, who can be somewhat opposed to big shakeups, so the fan reaction could prove intriguing.
Damon Lindelof may be a hit-and-miss movie screenwriter, but when paired with the right franchise and collaborators, he can make truly new and inventive films. “New and inventive” may not be what some Star Wars fans are looking for, but it’s definitely what the movie side of Star Wars needs. Whatever Lindelof’s movie ends up looking like, brace yourself for the discourse that will follow in its wake.