Love it or hate it, there’s no stopping “Star Wars” now.
Lucasfilm’s new owner Disney has shown that it’s willing to continue generating movie after movie under the beloved franchise probably until long after we’re all dead. And with last year’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and 2018’s as-yet-untitled Young Han Solo adventure, the company has demonstrated that these movies don’t have to focus exclusively on the saga of the Skywalker family.
So what other areas of the Star Wars storytelling universe are ripe for exploration? Let’s take a look…
1. Tales of the Bounty Hunters – We know that director Josh Trank was slated to helm a Boba Fett movie before he was let go by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy under ambiguous circumstances, but is Fett really a strong enough character to carry an entire film on his own? If you ask me, Boba should be the central figure in a film that connects the six bounty hunters we see aboard the Super Star Destroyer Executor in “The Empire Strikes Back”– namely Dengar, IG-88, Zuckuss, 4-LOM, and my personal favorite Bossk. This idea was implemented extremely well in an anthology-style book back in the 90s, and I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t translate to the movies.
2. The Old Republic – Some of the best Star Wars content to come out of the post-prequel era was in the “Knights of the Old Republic” LucasArts video games, which were preceded by the Dark Horse “Tales of the Jedi” comic books, and culminated in BioWare’s “Old Republic” massively-multiplayer online roleplaying game. I’ve seen plenty of fans petition to get either a movie or a Netflix-streaming television series out of this material set thousands of years before the Star Wars stories we know and love. There’s such a wealth of potential here that it’s almost a shock to me it hasn’t been explored already.
3. The Hutts – I’ve always wanted to know more about what goes in the crime syndicate run by the enormous slug-like creatures in the Outer Rim of the Star Wars galaxy, so I’d propose a mafia-movie-style family drama about the Hutts, with the requisite hit-jobs, betrayals, and offers-you-can’t-refuse that made movies like “Goodfellas” and “The Godfather” (not to mention the HBO series “The Sopranos”) such classics. I can just hear Jabba saying in Huttese voice-over, “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. Ho ho ho ho.” Just please commit to the Hutts being practical puppets instead of unconvincing CGI and this could be a real winner.
4. Obi-Wan and Yoda in Exile – I’m not in love with the idea of a Yoda solo origin movie, but I would love to see an exploration of the time Obi-Wan and Yoda spent in isolation on the planets of Tatooine and Dagobah, respectively. The potential of an Obi-Wan movie with prequel actor Ewan McGregor reprising his role has been bandied about a lot lately, but why not partner him with his old teacher in a parallel story about how they deal with the aftermath of Order 66? The two Jedi Masters have been shown to communicate over great distances via the Force, and it would be great to see Frank Oz operate that lifelike puppet one last time.
5. Rebels: the Movie – We know the Disney XD animated series “Star Wars: Rebels” has to wrap up sooner or later. In its current third season, the show takes place two years before “A New Hope”, and other than the Ghost making a tiny cameo appearance in “Rogue One”, we haven’t see any of the “Rebels” regulars around for the remainder of the timeline. Seems to me it’d be perfect to conclude this particular storyline with a climactic two-hour movie revealing the fates of Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus and his Padawan Learner Ezra Bridger. Start brainstorming live-action casting choices now.
6. Shadows of the Empire – Now that the almost all pre-2012 Expanded Universe materials have been eradicated from canon status by Lucasfilm, we have no official record of what happened to any of the main characters between “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”. So here’s an idea: why not make a fully-animated adaptation of the 1996 multimedia story that filled in those gaps, tailoring it to adhere to current canon? The sillier elements like Han Solo surrogate Dash Rendar and Prince Xizor don’t have to be resurrected, but I wouldn’t mind knowing how Luke, Leia, and Lando formulated their plan to rescue their friend from his Carbonite prison.
7. Mon Mothma – This could be a political thriller set after the events of the recent “Star Wars: Aftermath” novel series, starring one of the strongest female characters in Star Wars lore. Mon Mothma continues her work in setting up the government as Chancellor of the New Republic, but not without conflict. This movie could introduce a new, temporary threat, or simply focus on backstabbing and infighting among members of the senate, and would conclude with Mon stepping down from her position, as we know she does by the time of “Star Wars: Bloodline”.
8. Grand Admiral Thrawn – By far the most popular Star Wars character who has never appeared in one of the movies, Thrawn needs to have that problem rectified. Recently brought back into canon status on “Star Wars Rebels”, and getting his own official backstory novel in just a few weeks’ time, the stage is primed for the Empire’s resident military genius to take the spotlight. And heck, why not allow Thrawn’s creator Timothy Zahn take a crack at the screenplay? He’s still high on the list of respected Expanded Universe authors, after all. And there’s gotta be a passable way to handle those Force-repelling lizards the Ysalamiri, right?
9. Guardians of the Whills – I know, I know. The characters of Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus are already getting their own young-adult novel from Lucasfilm publishing, but I want to see Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen reprise their wonderful new roles before they age out of them (Don’t forget, this would have to be a prequel to “Rogue One”, for reasons I probably don’t have to spell out.) Plus this would give fans an opportunity to learn more about Kyber crystals and Jedha City before it got destroyed by the Death Star. Star Wars mythology and world-building the history of the Jedi Order and other followers of the Force is something in which I’m immensely interested.
10. TROOPS – I’m only half-kidding on this one. It would be great to get inside the mind of an average (or maybe not-so-average) Stormtrooper during the Galactic Civil War era. Yes, we saw FN-2187 experience second thoughts about killing for the First Order in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, but what about the Stormtroopers aboard the original Death Star, or on patrol in Mos Eisley. Was the battalion that wiped out all those Jawas or Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen ever hesitant to carry out their commands? Perhaps we could find some redemption in these nameless grunts, and simultaneously give precedence for Finn’s defection much later on in the timeline.
What do you think of this selection of potential “Star Wars Story” spinoff movies? Do you have other ideas? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
Images Copyright Lucasfilm / Disney.