Five Ideas for Star Wars Spin-Offs Disney Should Consider Making (and Four They Really Shouldn't)
When Disney announced last week that plans are afoot to have a new Star Wars film in theatres every year starting in 2015, when the much-anticipated Episode VII is scheduled to hit the silver screen, we were both thrilled and disappointed at the same time.
As major Star Wars fans, we're automatically enthused whenever anything new is released in the blockbuster saga (Yes, even that animated Clone Wars flick). But sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. Take it from Mark "Luke Skywalker" Hamill himself, who once said, "I like ice cream too...I just don't want it every day."
Since it's inevitable that Disney's gonna ride the Star Wars franchise like a tauntaun until it dies (or ceases making them cashola, whichever comes first), we're got some Obi-Wan-like advice about which ideas should get made and what should get jettisoned like an escape pod.
First, here's five intergalactic tales we're down to watch.
5. Young Lando It's been widely reported that Disney is considering a film devoted to Han Solo's earlier adventures, which we're certain will feature an equally younger version of his Bespin bestie (and the original owner of the Millennium Falcon), Lando Calrissian. Once that proves to be a success, consider basing another entire spinoff on the "card player, gambler, [and] scoundrel." Cast rapper/actor Childish Gambino, a man with enough swagger to pull it off, or even Scrubs star Donald Faison, who's lobbied for the part for ages.
4. Darth Maul It was downright criminal that the one of the most badass characters in Star Wars lore only got around like 20 minutes of screen time in The Phantom Menace before becoming half the Sith he used to be (rimshot). Delve into his past with Palpatine (any excuse to have the esteemed Ian McDiarmid chomp the scenery once again), have him show off more of his exhaustive lightsaber pimpery, or explain where he got all the Satanic-like tattoos.
3. Mace Windu/Jedi Adventure Another rumor flowing through the Internet like blue milk from Aunt Beru's pitcher is that a reworking of Akira Kurosawa's epic Seven Samurai is on the short list of spinoffs to be made. Sounds pretty kickass and close to the same wellspring as Star Wars itself (George Lucas lifted a great deal from the venerated Japanese director's 1958 classic The Hidden Fortress when making A New Hope). They'd better include Samuel L. Jackson's BAMF Jedi master into the mix as a character, especially since the actor would leap at the chance and already has a yen (pun intended) for samurai dramas.
2. Grand Admiral Thrawn Yes, we already know that the Expanded Universe is likely to be ignored. But what if they were to cherry this blue-skinned Chiss military genius that commanded Imperial Forces with shrewd aplomb and create a whole new mythos concerning the character? The entire plot could be told from the Empire's perspective, much like the stellar PC game TIE Fighter, as he blasts insurgent Rebels into oblivion.
1. Star Wars vs. Star Trek The grandest geek smackdown of them all has been the subject of many a heated geek debate (not mention more than a few fanfics, YouTube videos, and wet dreams) since the dawning of both sci-fi franchises ages ago. Why not finally make it a reality on the silver screen?
There's already a proven director (J.J. Abrams) in place who will shortly have a wealth of experience with both universes, Disney has an established working relationship with Paramount (via the Marvel film canon), and cinematic crossovers certainly have a reasonably good track record of success (Aliens vs. Predator, Freddy vs. Jason). The only reason that it can't be made is that either studio couldn't build a big enough vault to hold all the loot they'd make.
Next: Some spinoff ideas that are best sent to the trash compactor.
4. Yoda: The Movie We're gonna guff for suggesting this, but Disney would be wise to curtain the rumored Yoda-centric spinoff they're rumored to be considering. Look, we love the wizened, gnome-like creature as much as the next Star Wars fan (particularly in the Empire Strikes Back, when he was at his most Zen). But to have to listen to his dime-store philosophies and backwards sentences for an entire move? Drive us bonkers it would.
3. Two-One-Bee, M.D. We can envision the pitch meeting inside the Disney boardroom in our heads right now: "There's this medic droid for the Rebel Alliance who defected from the Empire and has seen some gnarly shit during the war and fixing up bloodied Rebel soldiers. It's like the effin' da Vinci Surgical System with a conscience man, or Robert Altman's M*A*S*H meets A.I."
2. Jabba's Big Adventure Yet another supposed idea under consideration is a flick about ganger slug Jabba the Hutt. Our vote: Hell no. While it could conceivably give an easy excuse to have Boba Fett and other bounty hunter pop up, or could be a heist film of sorts (a la the recent Star Wars: Scoundrels comic book), the only time we're willing to read two-plus hours of subtitles is when watching a cool foreign film. Besides, the CGI used to bring Jabba to life would look dated like five minutes after leaving the theatre.
1. Anything About Jar-Jar Binks We know you like making movies starring cartoonish characters that appeal to children (and, ultimately, their parent's need for family entertainment), but for the love of the Force, please refrain from giving the galaxy's biggest doofus his own flick. It's bad enough that we were forced to endure his presence (however miniscule) in the prequels.
Get the Arts and Theater Newsletter
Weekly information keeping you in the know when it comes to the Phoenix art and theater scene. Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events.