There’s been an awakening, have you felt it?
Since Disney bought all of the rights to Star Wars a few years ago, we already have The Force Awakens in theaters and tentatively Rogue One coming out this December. While it causes painful feelings of fanboy rage that there’s been literally no leaked footage or anything from the set from Rogue One, it’s just an interesting foot note for the Star Wars legacy as it marks a step away from the tradition of being Jedi vs Sith and further adventures of the Skywalker legacy.
To the House of Mouse, this is still risky in similar ways Guardians of the Galaxy was during the production phase. While the franchise can be considered familiar, the tone and content was unique compared to what came before and in the end, the gamble proved to be worth it in terms of fan appreciation and how much it made back in theaters, let alone on video.
Naturally, Disney set forward a plan of treating the Star Wars franchise like Marvel films. While the episode films such as The Force Awakens would be the Avengers, the other films that would fit in between would be known as the anthology series.
Think of them as Iron Man or Captain America flicks as they are stories about characters that show up in the major films. Rogue One’s details place it firmly as being involved with a critical tie in to A New Hope as a group belonging to the Rebel Alliance must locate and obtain the plans to the first Death Star, setting up the events to A New Hope.
While it’s been confirmed that the episode films going from 7 to 9 are set to tell what happens years after Return of the Jedi, what else could Disney do in between?
While details of a young Han Solo flick are still rumours at best, the cartoon series Rebels already fills out a gap of time for before A New Hope, just as the Clone Wars series fills the gap between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith – There’s a longer history waiting to be explored.
Before Disney bought out Star Wars, there was the Expanded Universe – A set of comics, video games and books that went from the very near beginning of the universe with Dawn of the Jedi all the way to the last known timeline with Legacies.
While the details from those materials could be considered loose canon as a few parts managed to become canon such as the name of Coruscant itself, it was treated more as a what if by the Lucasarts department especially as it established Han and Leia having kids way before Kylo Ren was sulking about with his grand papa’s helmet.
Currently, the new EU hasn’t had that much room to grow as the new rule going forward is that any books or comics are now directly tied into the canon established by the movies. This means that Rebels is the official prequel to A New Hope and much to dismay of some, so is Aftermath as being what happens after Return of the Jedi.
The big question most nerds could be wondering is what exactly could Disney come up with for those anthology films? More teen Solo films? Shadows of the Empire adaption if they can cgi an entire younger cast of Hamill/Harrison/Fisher to look like they did during ESB?
Let’s see if your dream ideas for the next anthology series as I present to you, my top three picks for an anthology Star Wars flick.
Knights of the Old Republic
Without out a doubt, this made a HUGE impact on how Star War games are treated as lore along with establishing a big sandbox to work with when it comes to comics, video games and books.
Set during an era of open conflict among more than dozen Jedi and Sith, the first game kicked it off by taking on the role of a Jedi rediscovering their identity as they start to learn about their importance in the galaxy and depending on the player choices, how it’d shape the future.
This game had quite the plot twist as the feeling of Darth Vader revealing to Luke that he is in fact the fallen Anakin Skywalker can be on par as to when the secret is revealed. Considering the game has been out since ’03 and if you haven’t played it already, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!
It’s been long enough but the very fact that you play as Darth Revan, the Jedi that turned to the Dark Side to finish the Mandalorian War was mind blowing at the time. Not to mention that this was one of the first times we actually got to see worlds that are now established parts of canon such as one of my favourite alien species, the Selkath which are more or less, catfish aliens.
The timeline for this is four thousand years before A New Hope and there’s a lot of events during this time that could easily be covered. There could be a plot about a group of Jedi fighting in the Mandalorian War or even a few years after the games where there was the civil war between the Jedi and the Sith which is mostly covered in The Old Republic Games.
There’s a lot of to work with and considering how many details have turned up in Rebels, it seems pretty natural to be considered as canon timeline which could easily make it an ideal setting for a stand alone flick.
Source Material – Knights of the Old Republic – Bioware Games, Dark Horse Comics and Del Ray Books
Dawn of the Jedi
How about we go all the way to the beginning? There’s no Jedi or Sith, at least in the terms that are covered in the movies, this is the birth and schism that sparks a long standing feud between the Light and the Dark side of the Force while also borrowing from Knights of the Old Republic as it establishes a former alien race, the Rakata, as a powerful empire that dominates the galaxy known as the Infinite Empire.
In terms of story telling, it’d make perfect sense to shed more light on where the Jedi and Sith came from as the traditional audience is familiar with both but this places them in a new light. While it was only 12 issues in length, split into two mini series from Dark Horse comics, that’s really where the problem lies.
Just like how the upcoming Civil War flick for Captain America is inspired by events from the comic, it’s very different from what happened in the comics and considering that Dawn of the Jedi was created during the Dark Horse ownership, it’s pretty much made void.
The other fact is that since Disney seems adamant that any material comic or novel wise is now considered canon, most of it ends up being directly linked back to established characters and familiar time settings such as ongoing Darth Vader series.
I really doubt that if Marvel can’t be bothered taking a chance with doing a comic book series not featuring known characters, there’s very little chance we’d get a film from material that they don’t own directly.
Source Material: Dawn of the Jedi – Dark Horse Comics
Star Wars: Underground
Before Disney bought out Star Wars, the tone of EU had all kinds of range.
While most books found their tone as being similar to what the movies feel like, family friendly PG-13 when it comes to the graphic content, it sometimes got kinda dark.
Like Stormtroopers becoming zombies kind of dark.
EU could get really weird when it came down to it. If Del Ray thought the idea was cool enough to do such as a zombie crossover, you’d get Death Troopers.
So let’s just say if Disney didn’t buy out Star Wars and Lucas finally retired, leaving the franchise in the studio hands of 20th Century Fox, what exactly could they do with it?
Factor in that just recently, Deadpool came out in theaters and for being an R-rated flick – it made huge numbers at the box office. When this kind of thing happens, it’s all about trying to copy that same formula as Disney as done with their success of establishing the MCU.
So just imagine if Star Wars started to be less about being for the family, everyone is welcome and acted a little bit more adult? Lore wise, the series has a lot of seedy places it could get to in almost Tarantino like ways.
Coruscant is known for being a city of many layers, entire sections that are stacked upon itself and while it’s treated as a joke that there’s a drug dealer hanging out in a night club, trying to sell Obi Wan Kenobi some space drugs, what else is there?
Picture this for visual. The setting is Coruscant but more dirty than just some bright neon night club, this is the place where bounty hunters are Boba Fett sought after for some revenge. Hell, get a bit risque with it being some kind of alien fetish thing – topless Twi’lek waitresses as someone with a hood drawn over walks into the scene, a slight curl of his fingers causes a drunken patron that was getting grabby with the waitress to start choking as she steps back, with a sigh of relief.
This figure pulls up a chair to a group of the most bad ass looking pirates, like the death gang from TFA as he lays out his weapon, showing off a mixture of cyborg and human remains.
“We’ve been catching wind of you. Some kinda hotshot that took out our best hunters, pretty damn foolish for you to leave yourself so… Open.”
Pan back as other patrons start crowding in, some revealing some concealed weapons ranging from vibro blades to full stock rifles. The hood figure leans back, a hand of flesh that looks worn and tough pulls back the hood, revealing a familiar face – he carries scar from a fateful encounter that set him upon this path of revenge.
IT’S MACE WINDU WITH A DAMN LASER EYE!
He gives a smirk before leaning in, weapons start to draw from the crowd as his cyborg hand grips around the pistol.
“I ain’t no damn fool, punk.”
It’d be NUTS to see a real gritty take on Star Wars, dialing up the graphic tone to 11 and just thing of all the aliens, worlds and weapons they could use? The possibility is nearly impossible to fathom but it’d never happen, like ever.
Source Material: Coruscant Nights, Agent of the Empire, Dark Times, Death Troopers, Red Harvest. – Del Ray books