The Star Wars franchise is bigger than ever today, bringing new films, comic-books, video games, novels, and more our way. With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story incoming, what other Star Wars anthology movies do we want to see?
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will finally hit screens next weekend, kick-starting a new run of Star Wars anthology movies set in everyone’s favorite galaxy far, far away.
Without a doubt, this ‘side’ run of films is a stroke of genius on Disney and LucasFilm’s part, giving them greater freedom to explore their lucrative property. While we’ll get episodic installments of the ‘main’ storyline with Episodes VIII and IX, we’ll also be treated to standalone adventures set in different times and places.
So far, we know we’re getting a movie about a young Han Solo in 2018, starring Alden Ehrenreich and Emilia Clarke [ED: Don’t forget Donald Glover!], with a script by the mighty Lawrence Kasdan. We also know there’s a mysterious Star Wars Story set for release in 2020, though there’s been no official synopsis about this yet.
Speculation is rife, of course, with many fans convinced this will be the often-teased Boba Fett or Yoda movie.
Regardless of whether Rogue One is as amazing as it looks, the Star Wars anthology movies are highly likely to keep running beyond 2020’s enigmatic release. With Episodes X, XI, and XII equally probable but not guaranteed, these standalone films will allow Disney to keep flying the Star Wars flag every two or three years without committing to an ongoing saga.
With this in mind, let’s look at five Star Wars anthology movies we want to see…
A Dark Tale of Smugglers, Gangsters, and Rogues
Before George Lucas struck a deal with Disney, we were close to getting a TV series set in the dark criminal underworld glimpsed in various Star Wars movies. Of course, this had been expanded in books, comics, and games over the years, but much of this has been rendered non-canon.
While Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian will appear in the 2018 movie, this is likely to be fairly lighthearted. Part of the anthology series’ appeal is the freedom to experiment with various tones and styles.
A grittier film exploring the galaxy’s underworld would be a big change to the previous movies, setting up a fresh band of characters (just as Rogue One has done), without being tied into historic events from the saga itself.
Just imagine a story based around the Guavian Death Gang from The Force Awakens, or a heist-flick starring an entirely new team. Giving us a story with no obvious ties to well-known Star Wars threads or characters is a gamble, but there’s huge potential in exploring one of the galaxy’s more interesting areas.
One of the many frustrating things about the Star Wars prequels? Boba Fett’s origin story.
While he appeared only briefly in the Original Trilogy, Boba Fett quickly became a cult figure. After this, the Expanded Universe created its own background and continuation, bringing him out of the Sarlacc Pit to keep running amok.
However, the version we got in Attack of the Clones was the first ‘official’ insight into his past – and it damaged his sense of mystique.
Not only did we know where he came from, we knew what he looked like under that helmet too. This bled into the comic-books as well, which meant a character who hid behind an iconic mask for so long now showed his face on regular occasions.
A Boba Fett standalone movie could definitely work, but it would need to avoid this mistake. We don’t want to see the character underneath the armor: we want to see an mysterious, tough, none-too-chatty bounty-hunter at work.
Rather than an origin story or a plot that seeks to humanize the character further, a film following Boba Fett as he tracks a target would be fantastic. Keeping a character masked, both literally and figuratively, is incredibly powerful if done right – just look at Karl Urban’s outstanding performance in Dredd.
Ewan McGregor lent a brief vocal performance to The Force Awakens, and has said he’d like to return to the franchise.
An anthology movie based around Obi-Wan in the years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope is an incredible prospect. Ideally, we would see a film modelled on John Jackson Miller’s Kenobi novel, in which Ben struggles to stay out of a hostile situation on Tatooine.
Not only would this allow us to see more of this character in live-action, after so many years in The Clone Wars series, but it might allow McGregor to showcase a deeper take on Obi-Wan in his advancing years.
The Yuuzhan Vong were created in the Star Wars EU, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll never be canon. After all, Admiral Thrawn is now an official part of the Star Wars universe, so there’s still hope.
The Yuuzhan Vong are a brutal race of warriors originating from beyond the established galaxy, and they would make formidable villains in a standlone movie. It wouldn’t matter whether the story pitted an existing character against the Yuuzhan Vong or starred an all-new cast: the promise of seeing entirely new enemies would generate immense excitement.
As they exist outside the Force, the Yuuzhan Vong also posed a real danger to the Jedi – not something we’ve seen in the Star Wars films before. If done right, this race could be a terrifying presence, particularly with a fantastic visual design.
These could also appear in subsequent ‘main’ episodes, with their standalone appearance serving as an introduction.
Whether you’re into sci-fi or not, there’s no way you haven’t heard of Darth Vader; he’s become a household name. Intimidating, cold-hearted, conniving and with a nightmarish voice to boot — he’s the embodiment of evil, and everyone knows it. Considering Vader’s image, it’s no surprise that his upcoming reappearance in Rogue One is so highly anticipated.
But aside from seeing a familiar face (or mask, in this case), it’s also [Click here to read more…]
Seven Samurai: Jedi Style
A few years ago, such a movie was rumored, but it never appeared. Given the freedom offered by the Star Wars anthology movies, it’s kind of a no-brainer: we could see a band of Jedi either volunteering to solve a problem, or becoming involved against their better judgement.
Either way, a group of Jedi stranded in a strange land, helping to protect the innocent and facing off against an overwhelming number of enemies, could be incredibly exciting.
With any luck, we’ll get to see this happen someday. At least, it could definitely be a more interesting take on the story than the recent remake of The Magnificent Seven (which famously takes influence from The Seven Samurai).
It’s strange to think that, just over four years ago, the prospect of seeing another Star Wars film was unlikely, let alone several more. Still, Disney’s involvement has revitalized the Star Wars franchise, and the anthology series shows their commitment to getting the most out of their investment. Most importantly, they’re putting impressive talent in front of and behind the camera, as Rogue One (and the forthcoming Han Solo movie’s expanding crew) makes clear.
Fingers crossed that these Star Wars anthology movies continue well into the future, shedding light on new, unexplored areas of such a vast galaxy.