In the wake of the latest Star Wars sequel trilogy, one of the most exciting projects Lucasfilm announced was a film helmed by Damon Lindelof, the creator of Lost and The Leftovers. Though, after April’s Star Wars Celebration—where we learned of three new films, none of which involved Lindelof—it became clear that his project would not be moving forward.
It’s a bummer. Lindelof certainly would have made something compelling. According to rumors circulating online, Lindelof’s script had an elderly Rey training two new Jedi knights—one of whom would be played by Watchmen star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. But Disney announced this past spring that documentarian Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy would helm a film led by Rey, which may explain the studio’s reasons for moving in another direction.
Now, in the latest episode of Esquire’s “Explain This,” Lindelof revealed for the first time that he did not leave the Star Wars universe by his accord. “I was in more than talks to join the Star Wars universe,” Lindelof says. “I joined the Star Wars universe and was asked to leave.” Previously, he told Variety that his axed script was a “true labor of love,” and that there would still be a new film, “but unfortunately not with me.” Whatever went down, it must have been a matter of creative differences from Lucasfilm’s side—especially since they’re bringing back Daisy Ridley.
“Will I get back in line outside the club and try to get back in again?” Lindelof asks himself in the interview. “Absolutely.” The original Star Wars was the first film the director ever saw in theaters, and he’s still in love with the storytelling. “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again,” he jokes, “or again again try, as Yoda would say.” Lindelof is currently working on a new Peacock original series titled Mrs. Davis, about a woman who goes on a quest to destroy a controlling A.I. that influences the entire world. But if Star Wars ever rethinks their future (which they do a lot), they know who to call.
Josh Rosenberg is an Assistant Editor at Esquire, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day. His past work can be found at Spin, CBR, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.