When I first saw Rogue One, I was put out by the meandering script and the vacant characters, but upon reflection I’ve come to enjoy it more and more (even more than The Force Awakens which in my opinion is not a great film). And with Rogue One, it showed that Lucasfilm and by extension Disney can make a good spinoff film set in the Star Wars Universe. They’ve already started work on a Han Solo film and a Boba Fett movie was in the works before being stuck in development limbo, it’ll be interesting to see where the Star Wars series will go. Well, I thought up a couple of ideas and treatments of films just to get the ball rolling. These are just some themes and settings that I wouldn’t mind see in the Star Wars universe.
- A Wookie Film
After the Battle Of Kashyyyk (seen in Ep.III), we see the Clones turn on the Wookies, with some fighting back but the majority being slaughtered. This would be an excellent, tense setting for a film. The main inspiration would be 2008s Defiance; Wookies hiding out in the forests, taking out one or two patrols and generally trying to survive on a planet that has been conquered by the Empire. This would also be a place for Lucasfilm to go darker if they wanted to, with prison camps full of Wookies after they are rounded up by the Clones. To tie in with the series, Chewbacca could be a character in the film, and Peter Mayhew could play an older Wookie tribe leader. My pick would be to get some of the guys from the Planet Of The Apes series to help out; I’m sure Toby Kebbel is free after they killed him off in Dawn and Warcraft, and to be a Wookie you’ll need a physical actor rather than a thespian. This film might need subtitles (not such a big deal, Apes did that), or if Disney are brave they could omit all dialogue and make it an almost silent film (if it worked for WALL-E it can work for Star Wars).
2. A Podracing Film
Many criticisms have been hurled at The Phantom Menace (a lot of them unfairly in my opinion), but it’s generally accepted that the podracing sequence is one of the highlights. So, make a film on that. For inspiration, let’s look at something like Rush or Real Steel. We need a single character to focus on, but since it’s a tournament we can have a whole host of colourful and creative characters. In the deleted scenes for Ep.I we get an extended scene of listing all the racers for the Boonta Eve, some of these characters could come back in one way or another. Newer characters, especially alien characters, would be a place for the make-up, costume and special effects department to deliver some superb designs and additions to the canon. Tatooine has already been used for a race, so this is an great time to open up some new planets. Qui-Gon mentioned in Ep.I that they race on Malasatare, a planet made up of methane lakes and geysers. Now tell me that doesn’t sound like an excellent place for a set-piece; a racer crashes on the lake and now it’s just a wall of flames that they have to race through? And while I love Sebulba, I think his presence would feel a little token. Instead, this might be a good time to flesh out the underground world, with references to smugglers and pirates that could feature in other spin-offs, say the start of a smuggler’s career with The Hutts?
3. A Costume/Political Drama
Now hear me out. I know a lot of people didn’t like the “political” parts of Star Wars; taxation routes and committee meetings, I can see why that can get boring. But I believe with the right care and approach, Disney can pull off political intrigue in the Star Wars Universe. As a blueprint, I would say something like A Royal Affair, Prince of Egypt or Anonymous. As seen on Naboo in Ep.I-II, some planets are ruled over by monarchies, and as the Renaissance (and William Shakespeare) showed us time and time again, the Royal Court was full of backstabbing moves worthy of Game Of Thrones Season Finale. This is where you set the stage, a monarchy that is not fully endorsed or accepted. A small conspiracy grows, not content with those in power. Possibly some Imperial influence is felt within the Royal Family (this would be a place for a Director Krennic-type character). Or it could be some Jedi on the run, looking for a safe haven where the Empire’s reach isn’t strong. And do you know who resides in Royal Courts? Assassins. Assassination attempts would give the action fans their laser beams and light-guns. Possibly a certain bounty hunter might turn up. Or a member of the Royal Family of Alderaan if you really wanted. For those still not convinced, look at Anthropoid for reference for how to make assassination sequences thrilling. And then when there is running battle in the Palace gardens and courtyards, with the place falling apart, maybe we could have some influences of 2015s Macbeth in there?
4. A Jedi Film (in the guise of a martial arts film)
I know this one is a no-brainer and I know that there are rumours circulating about an Obi-Wan film in the works, but I want to talk about what should appear rather than story. I know some members of the fandom felt the acrobatics of the prequel trilogy were bad (I wholeheartedly agree Ep.III was over-choreographed), but I think we can all say watching Donnie Yen in Rogue One was absolutely incredible. My idea would be to play up that angle. Jedi are meant to be peacekeepers, but they are ready to get out their lightsaber when things look bad. Just for me, I would invest in someone like Donnie Yen, Jeff Imada or Yuen Woo-Ping to choreograph the fight scenes. If the Jedi were this badass group of samurai-like people, they would know how to fight with their preferred weapon, and some would obviously become much more acrobatic with their fighting styles. Just look at any martial art; most use a combination of punches, kicks and grapples, but some like to do flips and rolls at the same time. Fighting with a lightsaber is no different. Get a stick-based art like Kali or Kendo and use it as a basis for the fights. Also, as Darth Maul showed that we can have a double-ended lightsaber and Kylo Ren gave us a Claymore lightsaber, maybe it’s time to update the Jedi’s weapons. Maybe some tonfas? Or a spear-saber? Those could give a new level of dazzle to a fight scene. Imagine the fights scenes in Hero but with lightsabers…
5. A Bounty Hunter Film
I know I already mentioned a Boba Fett film, but I really don’t see how that could be interesting. He’s a shell of a character, I think he only says three lines in the original trilogy. I would propose new characters, and for inspiration I propose Star Wars 1313. For anyone who doesn’t know, 1313 was a game in development by LucasArts, set between Ep.III and IV, and set on the 1313th level down in the depths of Coruscant. It was sadly cancelled by Disney during the acquisition, which is a real shame because it looked like it would have taken the Star Wars property in a new direction. If they do take the 1313 angle, Disney could have some impressive visuals with Blade Runner or Deus Ex: HR-like structures, with cities built on top of cities, full of smoky bars and clubs (like we saw briefly in Ep.II). Disney could also go darker with all sorts of scum and villainy in the margins, something like the trio of assassins in The Raid 2 or Jack from Kill Zone for reference. And Disney could bring in the Hutts or other gangsters into the new story and Boba Fett if they really had to.
So those are my choices for new Star Wars spinoffs. If you have any ideas about what would you like to see in a new Star Wars film, comment down below.
Banner photo courtesy of starwarsunderworld.com. Other photos sourced from Google Images.