Naomi Ackie on the Possibility of a 'Star Wars' Spinoff for Jannah (Exclusive)
"I came into the film under the impression that that was it."
So says Naomi Ackie of joining The Skywalker Saga for its final chapter, last year's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Yet her character, reluctant stormtrooper-turned-freedom fighter Jannah, was such a highlight of Episode IX that fans promptly called for a spinoff. Billy Dee Williams co-signed the campaign.
"I was really flattered by that," Ackie told ET's Ash Crossan. "The creators of Star Wars, moving forward, have so many plans. I personally don't know whether they involve Jannah or not. But if it's just the fact that there are people out there who would like that, that's super flattering for me."
Whether a Jannah spinoff manifested as a Disney+ series, a standalone Star Wars Story or (dare to dream) her own trilogy, there's certainly an enticing storyline left dangling at the film's end: The possibility she could be the long-ago abducted daughter of Williams' Lando Calrissian. (A theory semi-confirmed by the film's visual dictionary.)
It's Ackie's personal favorite theory. "To give Lando a really nice happy ending that he deserves and have some family, that makes me feel good and brings a nice round circle to his story." And while she's seemingly gotten her own confirmation -- "I know everything," she revealed, miming locking her lips and throwing away the key -- Ackie also likes the ambiguity of that final moment.
"I think it's just the beginning. What I really, really hope is -- even if it's not Jannah who has a spinoff -- that we really start expanding on this idea of diversity that Star Wars has really started to embrace," she added. "Especially as a Black female character, that you could imagine her leading off on her own adventures and being the leader of her own choices and stories, that's something really to be celebrated."
In the meantime, Ackie is working on writing her own projects and, after the release of The Rise of Skywalker, adjusting to life as a resident of that galaxy far, far away. Though, she says, her day-to-day hasn't changed that much. "Where I live in London, no one notices it's me," she laughed. "That's partially because I'm not walking around with a cape on, I think that helps."
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