The Whills

New Star Wars movie could make George Lucas' weirdest fan theory canon

Michael Waldron, the writer behind Marvel's latest hit is also crafting a Star Wars movie. Chaos for the Force?

Originally Published: 
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 23: (L-R) Director Kate Herron and Writer Michael Waldron of 'Loki' too...
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The biggest Marvel shakeup has arrived in the form of Loki. Although we’re only one episode in, the time-twisting series has all but confirmed the coming of a multiverse, and retroactively made the biggest bad of all, Thanos, into something of a kitten. The brilliance of Loki is all in the way it recontextualizes our perception of huge, epic events while at the same time creating a whole new set of stakes for the Marvel Cinematic Universe

But if you’re a Star Wars fan, you might be starting to wonder what this means for the faraway galaxy. Rick and Morty veteran Michael Waldron is the head writer on Loki, and he’s currently pulling triple duty at Disney, working on Loki, Doctor Strange 2, and a mysterious upcoming Star Wars movie from Marvel boss Kevin Feige.

So what does Loki reveal about Feige’s Star Wars movie? The answer may be even weirder than you think.

Kevin Feige’s Star Wars movie

Mr. and Mrs. Feige at the premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

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Other than the fact that Waldron is writing a Star Wars movie that Feige is working on, we don’t know anything about this movie other than it is, presumably, a movie and not a TV show. (But considering the long and winding road of the Obi-Wan TV series, you never know!)

Recently, Waldron has said “It’s very early days on [Star Wars],” and that he loves collaborating with Kevin Feige.

We don’t even have a release date, though Waldron is certainly pretty busy at the moment with Loki and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But a closer look at those movies and their connective tissue might reveal Feige’s plans for that galaxy far, far away.

Is Star Wars getting ready to do a multiverse?

Welcome to the Star Wars multiverse

Well, this Star Wars multiverse looks amazing already.

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While some internet trolls might like nothing better than a Star Wars movie that somehow “erased” several aspects of the sequel trilogy, if we do get a multiverse, it might not even touch the existing Star Wars films.

In Loki, the Time Variance Authority so concerned with huge cosmic events that the machinations of Thanos are somewhat trivial. If you applied a Loki-style multiverse to Star Wars, it’s easy to imagine that the notions of “the Chosen One” could become just as meaningless.

In fact, there are all sorts of precedents in which the events of the Star Wars canon already gesture at multiverse:

  • If Qui-Gon Jinn survives The Phantom Menace, the Force might still have been balanced, just differently.
  • If Ezra Bridger doesn’t travel back in time and save Ahsoka in Rebels, the timeline of The Mandalorian doesn’t really exist the way we saw it.
  • And, for a hot second, Dark Horse Comics released Star Wars: Infinities, teasing three different timelines in which the Death Star wasn’t destroyed, Luke died on Hoth, and also, one in which Vader turned back to the Light Side but didn’t die.

To be fair, the notion of alternate timelines or other dimensions is rarely made explicit in the Star Wars canon, but there is one way that Feige and Waldron’s movie could bust out the Star Wars equivalent of the TVA.

Star Wars: Return of the Whills?

Is George Lucas thinking about the Whills at this moment? Maybe?

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In an early George Lucas draft of Star Wars, the entire narrative would have been folded into something called “The Journal of the Whills.” This would have been a narrative device in which beings from another plane of existence would have had a different point of view on Star Wars.

In Lucas’ own words:

“Originally, I was trying to have the story be told by somebody else [an immortal being known as a Whill]; there was somebody watching this whole story and recording it, somebody probably wiser than the mortal players in the actual events. I eventually dropped this idea, and the concepts behind the Whills turned into the Force. But the Whills became part of this massive amount of notes, quotes, background information that I used for the scripts; the stories were actually taken from the Journal of the Whills.”

The Whill are mostly canon insofar as in Rogue One, Chirrut Îmwe is identified as a “Guardian of the Whills.” In George Lucas’ mind, the Whills are “microscopic single-celled life-forms,” who from our point of view are “essentially Good.” Lucas has also said, “The midi-chlorians are the ones that communicate with the Whills. The Whills, in a general sense, they are the Force.”

Other than two tongue-in-cheek first-person stories found in the two From a Certain Point of View books — and that mention in Rogue One — the onscreen canonicity of the Whills matching up with Lucas’ description is debatable. But it’s right in this grey era where a Michael Waldron Star Wars movie could exist. The Whills are outside of the Force but they’re also inside of it, much like the TVA. At the same time, the vague purpose and power of the Whills make them similar to the off-screen Time Keepers in Loki.

In either case, you can already see a strong case could be made for using the Whills as a jumping-off point into an entirely different kind of Star Wars movie. Now, this doesn’t mean Waldron would fulfill the George Lucas idea of having Star Wars sequels set in a “microbiotic world,” but depending on how you define “reality” within the TVA, it might not be far off.

Modern day lightsabers? It could happen in a Star Wars multiverse.

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The larger point is, if Waldron is doing a Star Wars movie, the whole setting of the story could be flipped inside out. In Loki, what we thought we know about the MCU is getting subtly — and not-so-subtly — amended. Waldron has also penned the script for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which you might not think sounds like a Star Wars subtitle, but then again, everyone was shocked when Lucas said Episode II was called “Attack of the Clones.”

Star Wars fans might think that changing the rules of the Force or the basic Star Wars galaxy amounts to blasphemy. But the history of how Star Wars was made proves much of the world-building was concocted on the fly.

Waldron’s unique storytelling skills actually work well with the wonky DNA of the Star Wars narrative. In Loki, he’s using chaos to make some sense of the MCU. There’s no reason to think he won’t do the same with the Force. After all, maybe the Force needs a little chaos?

Loki is streaming now on Disney+.

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