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Waititi joked that he had no idea Thor: Love and Thunder star Portman was directing the prequel trilogy, starting with 1999’s The Phantom Menace.

There are even too many Star Wars movies for Taika Waititi to keep track of.

The Oscar-winning writer-director is gearing up to helm his own franchise but seemed, perhaps jokingly, to have overlooked the central role of Thor: Love and Thunder star Natalie Portman in the prequel films .

After completing the third Thor movie, in which Portman reprized her character Jane Foster, Waititi asked her if she would be willing to star in his Star Wars movie…you know, after meeting Princess Leia’s mother, Padmé Amidala famously embodied in “The Phantom Menace”, “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith”.

“Natalie said to me, ‘What are you going to do next?’ And I said, ‘I’m trying to work on a Star Wars thing. Always wanted to be in a ‘Star Wars’ movie?’” Waititi told Rolling Stone. “She said, ‘I’ve been in ‘Star Wars’ movies.”

Waititi said, laughing, “I forgot about them.”

To be fair, Portman previously admitted that the critically planned Star Wars prequel trilogy was a “disaster” at release, but then became popular decades later.

Perhaps for the best, Waititi’s Star Wars film will be nothing like its predecessors. The film, co-written with 1917 Oscar nominee Krysty Wilson-Cairns, will introduce new characters and sever ties with the core crew of Princess Leia, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

“Look, I think for the Star Wars universe to expand, it needs to expand,” Waititi told Total Film of his yet-to-be-titled film. “I don’t think I’m going to be of any use in the ‘Star Wars’ universe if I’m doing a movie where everyone’s like, ‘Oh great, well that’s the Millennium Falcon blueprints, ah, that’s Chewbacca’s grandmother .'”

Waititi, who has been chosen for the upcoming Star Wars movie with an expected release date of December 2025, added: “For everything to stand on its own, that’s great, although I like to take something new and create some new characters and just would expand the world, otherwise it feels like a very small story.”

And the creator of Our Flag Means Death is well acquainted with the modern era of Star Wars. Waititi previously voiced The Mandalorian character IG-11 and directed an episode of the first season of the critically acclaimed Disney+ series.

Also, Portman has no bad feelings about Waititi’s “Star Wars” teasing. The actress gushed exclusively to IndieWire that Waititi is a “creative person who I admire so much,” particularly for the concept of bringing the Mighty Thor storyline to the big screen, which her character Jane Mjolnir wields.

“It was that kind of dual opportunity to be able to work with him and have Jane develop into this superhero that was really exciting,” Portman said of signing up for Thor: Love and Thunder in in theaters July 8th. “His requirement that every take be different and new and fresh is something I hope to bring to every project I work on.”

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