Lucasfilm made something of a social faux pax on International Women’s Day by making an announcement that somewhat went against the spirit of the day: A new “Star Wars” project will be overseen by Jon Favreau, yet another in a long line of boring white men to helm important elements of the franchise.
While social media wasn’t exactly kind to this move, the general idea of Favreau taking on a “Star Wars” TV show is theoretically likely to please a lot of fans — Favreau is known among certain nerdy circles as the director of the first “Iron Man,” which is widely regarded as a solid piece of science fiction.
As we look at Favreau’s wider body of work, though, both as a science fiction movie director and as a television executive producer and director, it’s harder to stay overwhelmingly positive about this turn of events.
Sure, sometimes Favreau’s work on a TV show is well received — he directed the very first episode of “The Orville,” and while that show isn’t perfect, it certainly has its fair share of fans.
That said, Favreau also directed the pilot episode for “Sheldon,” a series that, let’s face it, isn’t universally praised.
He’s also directed the pilots for “About a Boy,” “Revolution,” and “In Case of Emergency,” and if you haven’t heard of any of those shows, there’s a good reason.
This seems to be Favreau’s pattern: He directs the first episode of a TV show, likely for a large stack of cash, before moving on to other things. The studios behind these various fledgling series get to tell people that the mighty Jon Favreau is involved in a key role, while all the real legwork is done by the shows’ executive producers and showrunners.
It’s likely that Favreau will do the same thing with “Star Wars,” especially considering that his schedule is currently full as he works on the upcoming CGI “Lion King” remake.
Besides, even if Jon Favreau were involved in a key way with the “Star Wars” TV series, it’s hard to tell how the project would go.
“Iron Man” is fun, but that’s mostly because of Robert Downey Jr’s star performance and an awful lot of improv. Favreau’s other sci-fi films, including “Zathura,” “Cowboys and Aliens,” and of course “Iron Man 2,” are far more hit and miss.
So what does it mean that Jon Favreau is working on the pilot for the “Star Wars” TV show? Very little.
All the hard work will be done by someone else, and even if Favreau were calling the shots, his directorial quality varies so wildly that it’s impossible to guess whether the “Star Wars” TV show would end up being worth watching.