When George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney back 2012, fans went ballistic at the news that the long-anticipated (and seemingly cancelled) Star Wars sequel trilogy was now officially happening. Once this excitement died down, speculation soon turned towards whether The House of Mouse would announce any standalone films unrelated to the core movies, to exploit the cash-making machine that is the Star Wars license for all it’s worth.
True to form, the Star Wars Anthology series was announced a few months later, with director Gareth Evans’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story bringing us the adventures of a ragtag team of Rebel fighters in December 2016. Disney-Lucasfilm have also made it clear that we can expect at least two more entries in the Anthology series, with the next of these focusing on everyone’s favourite scoundrel, Han Solo (and which should totally be titled Han: Solo; Disney execs – you’re welcome).
But what other adventures set in a galaxy far, far away can we expect? Here are my top five picks for the next Star Wars Story spin-offs!
5. Knights of the Old Republic
Of all the potential Anthology films put forward in this list, this one seems the most unlikely. And yet, the premise of Knights of the Old Republic – what were the Jedi and the Republic like 4,000 years ago? – holds enduring appeal with the fans. Starting out as the popular Tales of the Jedi comic book series in the 1990s before developing into a critically and commercially successful video game franchise in the mid-2000s, Knights of the Old Republic has a sizeable fanbase who enjoy its fresh take on an otherwise familiar fantastical world.
While the comics and the games all featured exceptional plots and characters, it seems likely that if Disney and Lucasfilm decide to bring Knights of the Old Republic to the big screen, it’ll be a case of taking the basic concept and starting from scratch (although an adaptation of the first game in the series would be amazing, y’all). That approach might break a few hearts, there’s still a lot to look forward to if this kind of Knights of the Old Republic movie comes to fruition.
For starters, the filmmakers involved might take us back to the very dawn of the Jedi, an era when those with the Force (not to mention those without it) were still coming to grips with this amazing – and scary – power that has entered their world. Or they might show us the Jedi/Sith War, when the armies of the Light and Dark Sides of the Force fought for control of the universe, made all the more complicated by the political machinations at play within the Republic and the Sith Order.
These are just a few possible storylines; there are plenty more. And the best thing is that by setting Knights of the Old Republic well before any of the other films, the filmmakers would have almost total freedom to take the narrative in whatever direction they want, keeping the audience constantly guessing!
4. Imperial Commandos: A Star Wars Story
If Rogue One is going to focus on the struggles of the Rebel Alliance, then it seems only natural for Disney and Lucasfilm to greenlight a sister project telling the same story from the Empire’s point of view. Imperial Commandos: A Star Wars Story (or whatever it winds up being called) would offer a compelling and morally complex take on the most iconic evil cannon fodder in fiction: the stormtroopers.
Whether the filmmakers throw the spotlight onto a squad of clones or (more sensibly) a diverse group of disillusioned grunts, this spin-off would centre around human beings who exist as living machines of war. We’d get to see their struggle with notions of honour and loyalty as they come to realise they’re fighting on the wrong side.
Imperial Commandos could also pit these troopers against even worse enemies, like the underworld element shown the original trilogy, so that we actually want to see them win. They might even go rogue and face off against another squad of ruthless troopers, which would make cheering for them all the more easy.
Either way, it’d be a novel twist on the Star Wars formula to make the Empire the “good guys”, although the filmmakers would have to be careful. Make us care about these troopers too much, and watching their brothers-in-arms get blown away in the core Star Wars films might become a bit tough!
Another longshot, this one. But Ewan McGregor has said in interviews that he’d happily reprise the role of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the majority of fans reacted positively to his performance in the Star Wars prequels, so an Obi-Wan solo outing might yet happen.
Certainly, there’s wiggle room in the existing film canon for Kenobi to squeeze in another escapade. There’s about 20 or so years between the end of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope that are completely unaccounted for.
Now, I’m not saying that this story should be told, especially as I personally prefer the idea that nothing happened while Obi-Wan kept watch over young Luke Skywalker. But there are plenty of people who think otherwise, and whatever my misgivings, I’ve got to admit that Obi-Wan could be a fun film.
The filmmakers have a diverse range of prospective plots at their fingertips, too. Maybe Luke and his guardians, Owen and Beru Lars, run afoul of slimy slug gangsters the Hutts, and Kenobi has to intervene. Maybe Obi-Wan receives a distress signal from one of the few surviving Jedi, and has to make the difficult choice to abandon his post to keep the last spark of the Jedi Order alive? Even a naysayer like me would watch either of these movies!
This is one that has already been bandied about the rumour mills, and it makes sense: now that Yoda is created digitally, all you need to make a spin-off happen is Frank Oz’s voice and the visual effects team at ILM. There’s no need to worry about time-consuming puppetry or scheduling – the CGI Yoda model always hits its mark, and Oz can record his lines from his favourite armchair if need be.
Beyond any practical considerations, it kinda makes sense to produce a Yoda film from a creative standpoint, too. After all, not only is the little green guy an incredibly enigmatic figure, he’s also centuries old, which results in truckloads of untapped story for the filmmakers to mine. While I think it’d be a smart move to maintain at least some of the mystery surrounding Yoda, there’s undoubtedly scope to develop his character more and tell a cracking yarn. And who knows what hidden secrets we might find out about the old Jedi Master?
Story-wise, the Yoda film could show us Yoda’s time as a Padawan learner. Or (and this is my pick), it could be set during his time as a young, 400 year-old Jedi Knight, out on the adventure where he had to make his first tough choice and learn what it truly means to be wise.
1. Boba Fett
Despite doing very little in the Star Wars films and exiting them in less than flattering circumstances, Boba Fett holds a very special place in the hearts of an insanely large proportion of the series’ fandom. Thanks to this rabid following, a Boba Fett film has all but been confirmed.
Boba’s “father” Jango has shown us that the Fett family is capable of more than merely standing around and looking cool. In Attack of the Clones, the elder Fett puts many of the deadly gadgets that Boba later includes in his own arsenal to good use, and solo movie featuring the Fett similarly cutting loose is an enticing prospect.
What kind of movie should Boba Fett be? Well, given Fett’s Western-inspired roots (the guy’s footsteps are accompanied by the sound of spurs!), it might be fun to revisit that genre with a cosmic twist. The filmmakers could throw in an interesting bounty – either a bizarre villain Fett must kill or an innocent he must safely escort – and then feature the other bounty hunters in the franchise as the villains. Fett should never be a hero, but he could easily be an anti-hero; he could be less morally repugnant than his rivals, and possibly even possess a brutal code of ethics all his own?
Alternatively, Disney-Lucasfilm have the option of investigating the time after Jango’s death, when a young Boba had to strike out on his own. At this point, he’s still emotionally vulnerable and not yet quite the remorseless killer he will one day become. In this version of the spin-off, we might even see the moment he lost all hope of redemption, which would make for a suitably tragic narrative befitting cinema’s most beloved henchman.