Taika Waititi forgot Natalie Portman was in Star Wars when he tried to cast her

Cameron Frew
Taika Waititi and Natalie Portman as Padme in Star Wars.
Marvel Entertainment/YouTube/Lucasfilm

Taika Waititi tried to cast Thor: Love and Thunder’s Natalie Portman for his Star Wars movie, forgetting she was a major part of the prequels. 

Prior to 1999, the Star Wars canon was relatively simple: A New Hope was retroactively given its title in 1981, with the first film being released as just Star Wars; and excluding the infamous holiday special and whatnot, there were three films alone.

Following the divisive prequels and even more controversial sequel trilogy in the 2010s, the galaxy far, far away is bigger than ever before. We’ve had live-action spinoffs, Disney+ shows like The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and The Bad Batch, and a growing number of upcoming projects.

Waititi, the director of Thor’s latest big-screen outing, was announced to be taking on his own Star Wars movie back in 2020. Little is known about its story or who will star in it – but we know one thing: it won’t feature Portman.

Natalie Portman in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Natalie Portman in Thor: Love and Thunder.

Taika Waititi tried to cast Natalie Portman in his Star Wars movie

While working on Thor: Love and Thunder, the next entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe starring Portman as Mighty Thor, she asked Waititi what he was going to be working on next.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, the director recalled: “Natalie said to me, what do you do next? And I said: ‘I’m trying to work on a Star Wars thing. Have you ever wanted to be in a Star Wars movie?’

“She said: ‘I’ve been in Star Wars movies.’ I forgot about those ones,” he continued, laughing.

Portman played Padmé Amidala in the prequel trilogy, first introduced as the Queen of Naboo and later secretly marrying Anakin Skywalker. In Revenge of the Sith, she dies giving birth to Luke and Leia, with her death fuelling Anakin’s rage as he becomes Darth Vader.

Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen as Padme and Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars.
Natalie Portman starred alongside Hayden Christensen in the prequels.

Taika Waititi teases his mysterious Star Wars movie

While speaking to Total Film, Waititi discussed how he wanted to expand the Star Wars universe rather than indulge in nostalgia.

He explained: “I don’t think that I’m any use in the Star Wars universe making a film where everyone’s like: ‘Oh great, well that’s the blueprints to the Millennium Falcon, ah that’s Chewbacca’s grandmother.’

“That all stands alone, that’s great, though I would like to take something new and create some new characters and just expand the world, otherwise it feels like it’s a very small story.”

He echoed those sentiments in his newest interview, admitting that he’d “never please the fans” if he messed with something “so treasured.”

Waititi stated: “I mean, there’s thousands of books that have been written, these volumes of books about Star Wars with all those characters. I just don’t have time to get through them. So I can’t say like, you know, confidently, I’d be able to do something that’s like very close to what everyone knows.

“I’m not promising that I’m not going to do anything like that. I’m just saying: It’d be easier for me to not do that. Would you like to see a Jar Jar Binks movie?”

There’s currently no release date or any other information regarding Waititi’s Star Wars movie.