Without much intel coming from the set of “Star Wars: Episode VII,” fans have had to rely on Disney’s corporate side for updates on the series’ upcoming films. Yesterday, CEO Bob Iger told stockholders that the company has “at least three” spin-offs in the works that will play out between the numbered episodes.
Iger’s quote increases the spin-off total, as we previously only knew about the ones that Simon Kinberg and Lawrence Kasdan were working on separately. Those projects are rumored to be origin stories for Han Solo and Boba Fett.
Other sources name Yoda and a Zack Snyder-directed “Seven Samurai But With Jedi” as potential movies, but none of this has been corroborated by Lucasfilm.
Of the possibilities named, some are much more doable than others, so while we’re still not sure who is getting a movie, let’s break down how each candidate would fare, based on doability.
Master Yoda is a prime example of how the prequels hurt the series overall. The more we learned about the tiniest green Jedi, the less mystique there was to surround him. Part of what made Yoda seem so powerful in the original was that he barely showed off his Force power. He only lifted that X-Wing out of the bog to prove a point. Wow! That guy must be really good at the Force, huh? Our imaginations filled in those gaps— that is, until the prequels rammed the extent of Yoda’s skills down our throats. Further exploration of the character wouldn’t salvage that mystery, just uncover it further.
If there’s any major character from the original trilogy worth of further exploration, it’s Han Solo. He’s the cowboy in Lucas’ original space western, and a movie that stays true to that idea could work in the right hands. The major speed bump for the concept, however, might be an insurmountable one. Harrison Ford is Han Solo, and there’s no way around it. You could cast the most capable actor for the role, and it will still be someone else playing Ford playing Solo. Take that into consideration alongside the Yoda Effect, and this could be very bad news.
Before “Episode II,” a Boba Fett movie would have been a terrible idea, but ever since that movie showed the beginning of his story, there’s a blank to fill in. It’s still not the most creative concept ever, but a Boba Fett spin-off could right some of the wrongs from the prequel trilogy. How did that whiny kid from “Attack of the Clones” become the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy? There’s a story there. Ideally, a Boba Fett movie would harken back to the character’s design inspiration — Clint Eastwood in the Man with No Name Trilogy — keeping the character mostly silent and steely.
And most importantly, never take off the mask!
This rumor, which Snyder’s rep denied and was made all the more unlikely by his “Justice League” plans, was the only spin-off theory that got me genuinely excited. What’s the point setting more movies in the vast universe that Lucas created if you’re going to limit yourself to the same set of characters? The value of the “Star Wars” franchise is in the tone and the iconic imagery, not the specifics. Give us new worlds and characters, put a lightsaber in someone’s hand, and boom — you have yourself an audience.The “Seven Samurai” model is one that’s proven viable over and over again (just look at “A Bug’s Life”), and it could work perfectly for “Star Wars.”
And in terms that a corporation understands, new characters mean new toys. How has this not been greenlit yet?