Weekend Roundtable: ‘Star Wars’ Spinoffs

Assuming that ‘Rogue One’ is a success (and there’s every indication that it will be a huge success), Disney and Lucasfilm plan to expand ‘Star Wars’ with more spinoff films between the main Episodes. After the announced Young Han Solo adventure, what other corners of this galaxy far, far away would you like to see explored?

Mike Attebery

This has been much discussed, but I’d love to see an Obi Wan film, or series of films, with Ewan McGregor. It seems like there are a lot of story options for the times between Episodes III and IV, and McGregor was great in the part. Depending on what revelations are in store for us in Episode VIII, I wonder if the producers aren’t planning for some Obi Wan films already. Fingers crossed.

Luke Hickman

As a kid, I was always perplexed by the opening title card and what it meant for the people watching. If ‘Star Wars’ was really from “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” then that meant one of two things, either we are the devolved ancestors of the movie’s space-traveling humans, or we Earthlings haven’t even met the beings from the films yet. Either option points to Earth’s humankind as being lesser than those in the movies. This depressing thought made me ask, “What would happen if our two worlds met?”

The problem with (most) prequels that revolve around characters and events that are already known is that there’s a major lack in tension. For example, with ‘Rogue One’, you already know that the Rebel team is going to get the plans to the Death Star. And with the upcoming Young Han Solo spinoff, you know that he’s certainly not going to die. Because of that, I’d like to see the spinoffs jump into the unknown.

The next ‘Star Wars’ story should build upon that thought I had as a kid. What would happen if the writers applied the ‘Star Trek IV’ formula and took a mix of existing and new ‘Star Wars’ characters and threw them through a time-traveling wormhole to modern day Earth? Perhaps we could even see it from the eyes of a modern day Earthling seeing Jedis, Sith and the Force for the first time? Think of the mix of fear, concern and excitement that the world would go through if a Star Destroyer suddenly appeared in the daytime sky, or a modern kid learned to use the Force. It could be a blend of ‘District 9’ and ‘Chronicle’.

You may think that this is a bad idea, but it’s not as bad as telling a story with a 100% known outcome.

Shannon Nutt

Such a big universe… so many stories to tell. I’ve always wondered what the deal was with the band in Jabba’s palace. In my ‘Star Wars’ spinoff flick, we’d finally get the origin story of one of the galaxy’s best (and certainly the bluest) musician. How did he get the band together? Did they ever hit it big? Was he only playing for Jabba because he owed a debt? And why did the Hutts replace his music in the Special Edition? All these questions and more would be answered in ‘Max Rebo: Behind the Music’.

Tom Landy

Ever since I was introduced to Timothy Zahn’s wonderful ‘Star Wars’ novels I’ve been a huge fan of Grand Admiral Thrawn, a character that has recently been officially canonized on ‘Star Wars Rebels’. Thrawn is so complex and interesting that I think he’d be the perfect centerpiece for a film, especially since he pretty much steals every scene he’s in anyway. I can see Benedict Cumberbatch easing into the role. Please, Disney, give Thrawn some live-action love.

M. Enois Duarte

I vote for a new Wookie movie. Granted, I already pretend that the Holiday TV special never existed because it ruins my childhood every time I’m reminded of its existence. In ‘Episode III’, fans were teased with glimpses of the species during the tail end of the Clone Wars, but I think it’s high time we’re given a full-fledged, legitimate film, meaning something that isn’t just targeted at children. Since we have a Han Solo story scheduled for the future, I suggest that the next ‘Star Wars’ project be a Chewbacca origin story set on his home planet of Kashyyyk. Assuming the Solo movie might already show how the two best friends meet, the filmmakers can show Chewie’s upbringing and training as the great Wookie warrior we heard so much about.

Josh Zyber

You know what ‘Star Wars’ needs more of? Trade disputes! ‘The Phantom Menace’ opened with the evil Trade Federation enforcing a blockade around the peaceful planet of Naboo, but we never learned what exactly the Federation traded in or why they wanted to take over Naboo. This would also be a perfect opportunity to tell Jar Jar’s origin story, which surely every fan is dying to see. Isn’t it about time for those details to be fully fleshed out in ‘Gungan Din: A Star Wars Story’?

Perhaps not.

For a more serious suggestion, one problem ‘Star Wars’ has always had is that, despite spanning a vast galaxy, the movies revolve around a very small circle of characters who keep crossing paths no matter where they go. Even ‘Rogue One’ is tied pretty closely to the events of ‘A New Hope’ and has to throw in appearances by Darth Vader for fan-service. One fear I have is that all the future spinoff films will exist only to patch over plot holes from the original trilogy, which will get old fast. Some (non-canonical) ‘Star Wars’ tie-in books and videogames have attempted to address this by telling stories totally disconnected from the Skywalker narrative, but the movies haven’t. I like the idea of making a deep-prequel set in the ‘Knights of the Old Republic’ timeline, centuries before a bratty little tyke named Anakin Skywalker was ever born.

Do you have any good ideas for ‘Star Wars’ spinoff movies? Tell us in the Comments.

30 comments

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Mel Gibson wanted to release Apocalypto with no subtitles. Just let the audience figure out what’s happening from context. I say this would be the perfect opportunity to try that.

      • John Smith

        I believe he also wanted to do the same with The Passion of The Christ. He figured people already know the story of Christ, they don’t need to understand what people were saying on the screen.

        • Josh Zyber
          Author

          Yeah, I heard that, but I don’t believe it. The Passion of the Christ movie has countless scenes of people standing around talking. It would be unwatachable without subtitles. At least Apocalypto is a very action-driven movie with little dialogue of importance.

    • EM

      Nominees for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film have to be non-American. The award is given to the country which submitted the film.

  1. Chris B

    I’d like to see a Star Wars movie set before even the prequel trilogy, a movie that focuses mainly on the origins of the Sith.

    For years the Sith have been the anatagonists in the Star Wars universe but we don’t know much about them other than they’re inherently evil and want to rule the galaxy with the dark side of the force. I’d like to see them make a film that goes waaaaaay back and explains how the Sith began. Explain their origins and mythology. Who was the first sith? What are their rituals? What are their principles? Etc.

    For this to be effective though, the filmmakers would have to go dark. I mean REALLY dark. Make the Sith the Star Wars equivalent of a satanic cult, who not only want to rule politically, but to spread evil, chaos and suffering because it brings them pleasure. Have a horrifed group of force-users attempting to battle them, but not full blown jedis. Just a few brave souls with force powers and a some primitive weaponry.

    I realize this movie will never get made because Star Wars is for kids and what I’ve just described would need to have a hard “R” rating….but damn I’d love to see it.

  2. Warner

    These are some really great suggestions … I agree with Josh that something in the Knights of the Old Republic timeline would be cool. Being a big fan of the “Clone Wars” I would love to see an Ahsoka Tano spin off. What happens after she leaves the Jedi order? Where does she go, what does she do after order 66? In the last season of “Rebels” (still have not got to my DVR for this season), they bring her back a bit, but it seems like there is a lot of ground to cover her.

  3. Thrawn Trilogy plain and simple. Figure out how to write it to where it doesn’t interfere with the new fangled TFA storyline. I know changes would have to be made since Disney was too dense to take an already great EU and flush it down the toilet, but the story is so good I could deal with them switching up a few things. Who wouldn’t want to see Thrawn, Mara Jade, and clone Luke?!

  4. Guy

    I was a mere ten years old when Episode I came out (and I hated Anakin, so the pandering didn’t work), but what captivated me about The Phantom Menace and the Expanded Universe stories that accompanied it was the portrait of a bustling and active Jedi Order. It was a far cry from the old wizard, tiny puppet or a barely-trained moisture farmer I’d seen in the Original Trilogy. All of a sudden there were a few dozen Jedi characters in their primes.

    Scholastic put out a series of YA novels following a young Obi-Wan through the first few years after he was chosen as Qui-Gon’s padawan. Told as stand-alone or two-book stories, that Jedi pair would be called before the Jedi Council, get briefed on a situation somewhere in the galaxy and head off on their mission. Sometimes a movie Jedi would be involved (Yoda/Mace Windu/Ki-Adi-Mundi) and sometimes it was original Jedi-Padawan pairings sent along. What ended up being created was a really well-populated and detailed Jedi Temple.

    Apologies to any old-timers, but that’s what the name Star Wars most evokes for me. I’d absolutely love to see a film or series with brand new Jedi characters set during that swashbuckling, pre-Clone Wars, prime of the Republic era.

  5. charles contreras

    Here’s an idea: How about one film that focuses on Boba Fett, his emotional experience dealing with his father’s death, his decision with following in his fathers footsteps and how he connected with Jabba the Hut? I’d line up to see that one.

  6. EM

    A droid-centric live-action movie. Not one starring droid superstars—sure, I like R2-D2, C-3PO, and even BB-8, but they can step aside for this project. It could be all new droid characters, though it might be OK to flesh out (no pun intended) some established also-rans such as IG-88 and R5-D4 (if Arfive’s motivator can work long enough). It should be set around the time of the original trilogy, and that’s the only trilogy it should draw on. The fewer organics—especially humans—the better…though I might make exceptions for nonsentients, e.g., one of the droids could have a pet womp rat, or the heroes might have to escape the clutches of a dia-noga. There should be astromechs and power droids, but there should also be droids who speak Galactic Standard (English to you)…a little Huttese wouldn’t hurt either. The movie (or would it be a trilogy of its own?) should be a classic adventure of good vs. evil…starring droids.

  7. I want to see some ass kicking action with Darth Vader. A story line where he can be evil, but when he is in trouble, we pull for him. But it will not work if he tries to redeem himself. Maybe a story line where is expanding out from being the emperor’s lap dog.

  8. Pedram

    Similar to what was said before, I would like to see something about the history of the Sith. Maybe even the origins of Darth Plagueis. I don’t need it to be dark though.
    Conversely, something about the origins of the Jedi order would be cool too.

  9. DarkMonk

    Releasing one Star Wars movie every year is bad mistake. It makes them a cheap cash machine.
    It makes them more like a Netflix/HBO TV show that drops a new season every 12 months instead of an event.
    And that also means year round, non stop hawking of Star Wars toys.
    I am already sick of it.

    • Chris B

      I love it personally. Every December we get a new Star Wars movie. It’s like an early Christmas present to look forward to. I already can’t wait for Ep. VIII next year…

      • Until after Episode VIII when they make the switch from releasing movies in December to releasing them in May. Frankly, I wish they’d stick with December (and they might…who knows).

    • Clark

      Agree with DarkMonk. If they keep releasing one Star Wars movie after the other (and they keep being fan service movies), pretty soon they’ll have box office returns comparable to Independence Day: Resurgence.

  10. William Henley

    I’m with Josh – I want to see stuff set in the Old Republic timeline. Been saying this for years. And not necessarially movies – I want to see like a live-aciton TV series

        • William Henley

          Eh, then it wouldn’t be Knights of the Old Republic. Even with as long as Yoda lived, he still was not in that time period. Knights of the Old Republic takes place almost 4,000 years before A New Hope.

          However, we could certainly have something a few hundred years before as well. I never had time to get much into the expanded universe and timelines, but wasn’t there another huge event in the Star Wars universe that took place a few hundred years before A New Hope? We could have that story line and have Yoda in it.

          In any case, I want to see more than movies and CG tv shows. The Star Wars universe is big enough that you could have mini-series, television series, different movies covering different stories and timelines, etc. I would expect like a Knights of the Old Republic television series could be on par budget and quality wise as Stargate or Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica. Focus more on story archs and less on flashy visuals, and you could have a great series on a sci-fi television budget.

  11. DarthTrumpus

    Anybody else tired of the snarky “yeah, we need to hear more about trade disputes and taxation” prequel-bashing? I think it shows that the reviewer either a) wasn’t paying attention or b) is just regurgitating all the online prequel hate. In defense of the TPM “Trade Route Dispute” I offer the following points: 1) Gee, it’s not like no major historical political upheaval was kicked off over taxes (or did you sleep through history when they talked about the Boston Tea Party or India, etc. ?) 2) In the movie, Qui Gon even calls it “as trivial as this trade dispute”. The parties involve KNOW it shouldn’t be a big deal but it has blown out of proportion because 3) Senator Palpatine is manipulating the whole thing as the first move to gain political power. It’s actually a brilliant plan. If the Trade Federation succeeds, he wins control of Naboo (at least) because he controls the Trade Federation. If the Republic chooses to fight, he gains political power as a the Senator from the “victim” planet by running on a “Make the Republic Great Again” campaign against the incumbent “corrupt and lazy establishment” who aren’t lifting a finger to help the common man (or Gungan). People can dislike the Prequels for any number of personal reasons, but to complain that “TPM is stupid because they are fighting over taxes” is just showing you weren’t paying attention or thinking it through.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      As I mentioned in the entry above, The Phantom Menace never tells us what the trade dispute was about, why the Federation wanted to take over Naboo, or even what they traded in at all. We’re just supposed to accept that they’re a big business and therefore must automatically be evil (which is a really weird sentiment to come from the pen of a man in charge of a multi-billion dollar merchandising empire). You can argue that those details aren’t important and the trade dispute was always “trivial,” but the entire plot of the movie hinges on that inciting action. We need to know SOMETHING about it, or the story has no stakes.

      The prequel trilogy has some interesting ideas in it. Unfortunately, most of them are only half-thought-out.

  12. Thulsadoom

    I’d like to see a movie about some rogue (not connected!) Stormtroopers. There were some in one of the books, but they weren’t central, and Finn in TFA may as well not have even been a Stormtrooper apart from his little bit of knowledge where to go on the Death Star III, or as a convenient tool to save Poe. His being a Stormtrooper and all the baggage that brings, was completely forgotten.

    What I’d like is a movie where you have a group of Stormtroopers who are loyal to the Empire and feel they’re bringing peace and justice to the galaxy, but they start questioning their more dubious orders, and eventually end up going AWOL to stop some terrible plot they’ve uncovered. In the process they would obviously have to deal with Rebels who want to kill them, and their own desire not to kill their own friends who they’ve turned against.

    We can link into the original movies with a little brush with the Rebellion, and their desire to stay independent as they don’t see the Rebels as good either.

    As for setting… I’d say perhaps immediately post Jedi? To show the upheaval and loss of power that comes with the collapse of the Empire, and avoid having to link into the original stories too closely. Their small group could even build (perhaps over a few films) into a new Empire, that is based around their desire for a better galaxy. I keeps it all interesting, as it’s questionable about who you side with. These guys would essentially be Imperials, but Imperials who want to stand for good, and see the Rebels as little better than terrorists.

    Forget TFA… 😉

    And Josh… “…a perfect opportunity to tell Jar Jar’s origin story, which surely every fan is dying to see. Isn’t it about time for those details to be fully fleshed out in ‘Gungan Din: A Star Wars Story’?”
    In all seriousness, I would rather see that, than another TFA!! 😀

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