Star Wars: A Star Wars Story

Star Wars: A Star Wars Story

It's time to bust out your power converters and find the keys to the X-Wing because we have a lot of Star Wars coming our way. Considering TV shows are confirmed, a new trilogy outside of the saga episodes is a thing that's happening, and God only knows how many stand-alone movies will happen, you can bet the next decade or two will be dominated by deadly glow sticks.

This all makes perfect sense, really. Anyone could have guessed that Disney wasn't just going to sit on the 4 billion dollar purchase of the IP. It was only a matter of time before it started becoming more than just a new trilogy and some movies here and there. On top of that, there is already an extensive expanded universe to pull TV show ideas, character concepts, and new giant things that blow up planets. Sure, none of that counts anymore as actual canon, but that's for this very reason. Disney has all the plans for all the Star Wars things.

So where do they start? It's hard to focus on one drop in an ocean of story where Jedi keep falling to the dark side, bounty hunters are badasses time and again, and the Emperor is cloned over and over. Time to speculate the hell out of this!

Obvious Movies Are Obvious

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Let's get the easy one out of the way first. Pick any character you have ever seen in Star Wars anything. Boba Fett? Movie. Han Solo...well that's already happening, duh. That Jawa that was watching podracing from The Phantom Menace? Another movie. The giant space worm that somehow lives in an asteroid and also has bats flying around in its stomach. I mean, it should probably have that checked out. Why not have that be a movie? I hear the back story on that thing is tragic. Something along the lines of The Hungry Caterpillar except it never turns into a butterfly, but just keeps getting bigger. When all is said and done, it's Star Wars, people will see it.

What I Hope To See:

I don't know if I would really want character stories that are focused on one person. It feels too superhero movie-ish. But, we are getting that so I'll play along.

Character stories should show something new about a character we loved, or have them face something we wouldn't guess they had to deal with, but in such a way that doesn't mess up the continuity for when they show up in the stories we love. And this is why I don't like them; they are restricting from the beginning.

If I had to choose though, I want to see an Obi-Wan movie. There's a lot of time between when he drops off baby Luke in the most obvious place for Vader to find him and when he decides Luke is whiny enough to take on his destiny. We are probably going to be getting this movie. It seems talks have already started.

There were also rumors about a seven samurai/magnificent seven influenced story back when the spin-offs were first announced. Combine that with an Obi-Wan tale.

Good ol' Ben, as everyone now knows him, decides to protect a little settlement form Tuscan Raiders and smugglers or some crap, and gets a local group of misfits together to do it. Maybe Ben even finds a Force-sensitive and sees all this destiny swirling around them. Ben decides to train this person, not waiting for still child Luke to grow up, and get this Empire dealt with ahead of schedule.

This Force-sensitive, of course, would die defending this settlement and Ben feels terrible, thinking there was so much more to this character's destiny. Then a settlement member asks why they aren't worth someone's destiny, are they not important enough? Ben goes back to his hut with a dose of reality, realizing not everything is about planets blowing up and Sith Lords. (And Star Wars learns that lesson too!)

What We Will Actually Get:

We see it already started. The Han Solo movie, which I'm pretty sure is called Solo: A Han Solo Solo Movie Featuring Han Solo As He Stops Being Solo After Finding Chewie: A Star Wars Solo Movie: And Where To Find Them, did a ton of reshoots after directorial change because it wasn't in the vision of what a Star Wars movie should be. Which means it's going to be fine. A very fine movie. Just like the Marvel Universe. All pretty fine. Fun. And that's...well, fine.

Character stories are safe. Focus on someone we all love, and it will probably be enjoyable enough. If it's bad, no problem, Disney movies on to the other hundred Star Wars projects coming out. I doubt we will get much depth out of these stories, but I hope I'm wrong. I'll enjoy them though, which means I'll be paying Disney for these. Which, I suppose, is exactly the problem.

The Dark Side Has Cookies (Apparently)

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Not all the spin-off movies will be strictly character stories. We already have Rogue One, after all. A movie which, for reasons I can't seem to wrap my mind around, gets dumped on often. Yet, I see it as the hope that Disney is willing to take stories in darker directions. It has a very Star Wars feel and also doesn't at the same time. Which I find amusing because the same people that bitch about The Force Awakens being too similar to A New Hope are the same people that say Rogue One doesn't feel enough like Star Wars. They are both better than Return of the Jedi, there I said it.

What I Hope To See:

Woah, before I lose myself ranting about that, which will probably be its own article later, my point is, the spin-off movies will feature event centered stories. What better way to look at some iconic events in the Star Wars lore than to feature the bad guys perspective? What makes people so loyal to the Empire? Why would anyone fall to the dark side if it's so overtly evil and nothing really good comes out of it? Vader talks all day about the power of the dark side, but he's basically the bitch of a dude who cuts out coupons from newspapers he will never use.

Let me see some strong stories featuring the other guys. The Imperials, the Sith, the Separatists (minus the racist aliens), or something that shows that, yes, Phasma does actually do things. Oh, we actually got that a little already, shout out to Delilah Dawson making Phasma an actual character. I want to see the enemies as thinking people, not faceless plastic helmets that can't shoot straight.

What We Will Actually Get:

Well, we might get this, actually. We already have a video game featuring what happens to Imperial soldiers when the second Death Star pops and the Emperor finally crowd surfs. We have plenty from the expanded universe that dives into the bad guys perspective too. There's a whole series on some dude named Admiral Thrawn of the Imperial Navy. He even makes appearances in the animated shows. The lore is there, and it's proven popular before.

Although, in movie form, or especially TV form, the stories will inevitably go back around to these bad guys seeing the error of their ways or somehow doing good from within the ranks of the dark side. We already see that with Rogue One where, sure, Jyn Erso's dad designed the Death Star and stuff, but guys, he totally left a weakness in there on purpose, so he's cool after all. Don't get me wrong, I do like that plot point, but we are going to get something like that over and over. It goes back to playing it safe.

Knights of the Old Old Republic

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One of the more well-known stories from the expanded universe is Knights of the Old Republic. Well, the even older Republic because the prequels are the old Republic, but not the super old Republic, just the kinda old one. But it's not the new Republic either. Damn, how many Republics does one galaxy need?

Anyway, it's a video game developed by Bioware for my less geeky, but still kind of geeky, readers. It's popular because the story is great, the plot twists are genuinely surprising, and we get a glimpse of a time not hindered by what happens in the movies. (It's set thousands of years before Anakin says yippee for the first time) Plus, you get to slice stuff with your lightsaber, so there's that.

What I Hope To See:

I think this absolutely works for Disney's adventures into making Star Wars a live action TV show. There's a lot going on in this story. A war started by Mandalorians (Boba Fett is a Mandalorian if that gives you an idea how badass that would be) and a complex moral conundrum the Jedi face, diving into a violent conflict, teasing the dark side constantly.

Then, the savior of that conflict returns to conquer the remaining Republic forces. Darth Revan is so iconic in the expanded universe, the character design shows up blatantly in Kylo Ren. The story keeps going as Revan's apprentice betrays him (or her) and we find out there's a reason Revan began attacking the Republic in the first place. Add some influence from the game's sequel, like the Force hating Force user, Kreia, and you got yourself a unique way of having a Jedi story. I have so many ideas for this that I will write an entirely separate article on this one. I'm rambling as it is!

What We Will Actually Get:

We will see characters that are influenced by Knights of the Old Republic, but not a proper retelling of the tale. And there's a good reason for this. Spoiler alert for a game that came out in 2003 but maybe future storyline influence: the player's character turns out to be a mind-wiped Revan. It's hard to have a story heavily featuring a character that's the user's character from a video game. The player will always go into that movie having an idea of this character they built, and whatever is on screen probably won't live up to that image.

If Disney goes for it though, I hope they make it their own. (And they probably would.) Take the best parts of story and characterization and make it something new. However, some of the moral ambiguity that Revan, and the Jedi especially, take part in, would probably not be a part of the Disney Star Wars vision. But more on that in another article.

What We Need

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What we need is something new. There's a giant galaxy of ideas that can come from all these future projects. New movies, video games, TV shows, books, comics, Instagram stories, I don't know, all of it, needs to keep things fresh. That's a huge challenge.

Why does the Marvel Cinematic Universe start feeling bland, at least for me? Well, it's the same story over and over. Good guy/gal has cool powers, uh oh bad guy has better powers, but oh the hero believes in themselves, uses friendship, gets over daddy issues, and the city/world/universe is safe again. There's snarky dialogue along the way, and way too many rich white dudes.

I hope that isn't what Star Wars becomes.

But then there's Logan. I want Star Wars Logan!

What We Will Actually Get:

Yeah, never gonna get Star Wars Logan

 

Be on the lookout for the rest of my Star Wars series. I will dive into what a TV version of Knights of the Old Republic should be, and later I'll discuss what makes Star Wars, Star Wars.

Follow Chris La Porte on Twitter @chrismlaporte

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