James Mangold explains why his Star Wars movie is set thousands of years before the Skywalker Saga

James Mangold at Star Wars Celebration
(Image credit: Getty Images for Disney)

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny director James Mangold has another Lucasfilm project in the pipeline: a new Star Wars movie set thousands of years before the events of the Skywalker Saga. 

At this stage, further information on the project is scarce, but Mangold has talked more about how the film came to be – and why it's set so far back on the Star Wars timeline

"I've talked to [Lucasfilm] before and even worked a bit before on other projects," the director told io9. "And I'm always interested in what's going on there and have friends who work on other Star Wars projects. But I understood that much of what they were doing was kind of continuing the saga forward."

Mangold's pitch, though, was rooted in the distant past. "So when I mentioned to Kathy [Kennedy, Lucasfilm president] the idea that I had about going backward – really far backward – I was surprised that it excited her and the other wonderful people she works with at Lucasfilm," he commented. "For me, it’s about, I want to be part of the saga, but I also don’t want to be holding so much lore in the air that you can hardly tell a story. And what I really wanted to do, what I told her, was just can we make a kind of the Ten Commandments of the Force, you know? A kind of origin story of how the Force came to be known, understood, wielded, and harnessed."

The movie was announced at Star Wars Celebration 2023, along with a live-action movie from Dave Filoni and a film focused on Rey. Disney also just reshuffled its Star Wars release slate, with films set to hit the big screen in 2026 and 2027 – though it's unclear which films at the moment. 

Mangold's movie is certainly incredibly intriguing, considering the Force is such a mystery. It's also set in a period of Star Wars history that's entirely untouched, which could make for one fascinating film. 

While you wait for Mangold's movie, check out our guide to all the upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows – or get up to speed on the next release with our roundup of what to watch before Ahsoka

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.