When Disney announced it was making new Star Wars films, it went out of their way to note that they would also produce one-off films about various characters. These “Anthology” films were going to be more experimental in their form and would push the boundaries of the story telling of Star Wars.
Disney, frankly, could go overboard with this. As a Star Wars fan…I’m not against it. I just want to make sure the right stories are told and that the stories are told properly.
So what are other ideas for anthology films? Well, it’s not quite clear what discerns what should make a good Anthology film. On the one hand, a critical event with all new characters such as with Rogue One seems like a great opportunity to tell a great story and stretch what it means to be a “Star Wars” movie. However, there’s also a sequel bug that Disney loves to scratch that is leading to a Han Solo (and maybe Boba Fett) film. So there doesn’t seem to be a clear specification.
For me, the best opportunities are really focusing on interesting situations and characters that we may know or not know. These should have a significant impact on the overall Star Wars Saga. If it’s a prequel (i.e. takes place before The Force Awakens) then it should help build context around the later films/series. If it’s a new story with new characters then it should introduce something new that pushes the Saga forward overall.
I don’t think they should be used to re-hash some old characters that we didn’t see enough of. So for me, no Lando. I could do without a Boba Fett film too depending on how they do it. Han Solo could/will be fun, but it needs to add something rather than be an exercise in pandering to fans. I struggle with wanting a Young Yoda film. I don’t really need to see him be less wise or less powerful.
Here are some thoughts:
The end of Return of the Jedi was supposed to be a “happily ever after” story. But frankly, there are a lot of unanswered questions for Luke. What does he do with his life now? What does he do with the Jedi Order? The Force Awakens will dictate some of these questions – we’ll see their aftermath. The upcoming book trilogy The Aftermath will also provide some backdrop on the battle of Jakku and other events leading into The Force Awakens.
But there’s a lot of ground to really understand Luke’s life decisions and perhaps some of his journeys as a Jedi. He spoke of this briefly in RoTJ: “I can’t do it Artoo. I can’t go on alone.” So what does he do?
I suspect that he dies in The Force Awakens (presumably he’s the parallel with Obiwan Kenobi). So there’s a lot of room for stories involving Luke that would be great for audiences to explore. It would also be a great opportunity to see Luke Skywalker in his prime. I would love to see Luke perform as we saw Anakin perform in the Prequels.
Alderaan pre & post death star destruction
The destruction of Alderaan was devastating in A New Hope. It was also a bit overlooked. The audience didn’t really get a good sense of this tragedy. It’s clear why Tarken destroyed the planet – it was Princess Leia’s home and he was trying to get information from her (it also highlights how desperate he was to shut down the Rebellion which is also a bit underrepresented in the film). But there also has to be more to it than this.
There are some elements to this story in the Princess Leia comic (which I haven’t read because I’m not a comics guy). There’s an interesting story here to understand what role Alderaan (and Leia and Bail Organa as Senators) played in the formative years of the Rebellion. It would also be interesting to hear how survivors and allies coped after the planet was destroyed.
Jabba The Hutt
My thoughts about this are simple. This Giant slug is supposed to be a gangster? Prove it.
It would also be great to explore the relationship between gangsters and the Empire. It seems like there’s a level of permissiveness that the Empire allows for these individuals. After all, if the Empire loves to subjugate worlds, then why not find the biggest, baddest gangster to subjugate to prove a point?
So a great gangster movie would hit the spot. But unlike Reservoir Dogs, I’m not sure Jabba could be so dialog-driven. So it’s a challenge. But it’s an opportunity.
A New Character / Story
Star Wars has done a remarkable job of creating new and interesting characters – even if they’re only seen for a second on-screen. After all, Darth Maul only had 16 lines and he was arguably the best part of the prequel films. So I’d love to see an Anthology film that centers around an entirely new character and entirely new story. We’ll get a taste of this in Rogue One which should have all new characters (though there’s rumblings of a Vader appearance). But it’s still The Empire. It’s still the Death Star. And that’s all awesome. But it would be an interesting opportunity to identify a new character in a new story/plot altogether.