Luke battles the Emperor in Dark Horse’s Dark Empire. Image source: Trinity Comic Shops
The big question right now is what kind of shape Star Wars: Episode VII will take and more importantly, what part(s) of the canon will it draw from. There’s a vast constellation of expanded universe fiction across novels, games, and comics to pull from in the events post Jedi.
How will Luke, Leia, and Han figure into this new universe? Will we see characters like Grand Admiral Thrawn or Mara Jade make appearances? And what about Han and Leia’s kids? Here’s how the universe looks after Jedi and some of our best guesses about what kinds of stories might be ripe to explore in Episode VII.
The Return of the Jedi
Following the events of Episode VI, Luke’s taken to wandering the galaxy and seeking out potential Force adepts to rebuild the Jedi Order with the Sith more or less in retreat. Could a new film focus on the rebuilding the Jedi? This would definitely provide a role for Mark Hamill (should he want to return to the franchise) as a mentor to a new crop of heroes.
In fact, the founding of a new Jedi Council might even provide the seeds to connect the films to the continuity established by The Old Republic games and comics, giving us a glimpse at Star Wars’ past and present.
The Emperor’s Influence and the Return of the Empire
Just because you blow up the bad guys’ biggest base and kill their leader, that doesn’t mean they’ve simply gone away. Following the Battle of Endor, Imperial ships are still out there in space, fighting the bad fight. One of the heavies in this continuing, stealth battle is Grand Admiral Thrawn, a military genius and one of the Emperor’s secret weapons in the fight against the Rebel Alliance.
We’d be dealing with all sorts of timeline issues introducing Thrawn, who was an antagonist to post-Endor Luke, but the idea of the Empire as a still-present threat is one worth exploring, as is the idea that the Emperor, even in death, is truly tough to defeat. He’s got Sith apprentices out there (including Luke’s future wife, Mara Jade), acting in secret as well as a cloning process which can allow him to transfer his consciousness into a powerful new body.
The Solo Trio
Although neither of them really “settled down” and did the domestic thing, Han and Leia did have three kids together after marrying: twins Jaina and Jacen and their younger brother Anakin. These three are talented pilots and Force adepts in their own right, and it would be interesting to see the plots pull a Legend of Korra and jump ahead a few years to the surviving siblings perhaps raising their own Force adept kids against the backdrop of a new conflict, and as at least one of them goes Sith in the pursuit of peace.
Or let’s go further out, and follow Luke’s descendant Cade Skywalker. Taking place nearly a century and a half after the events of the novels, they give the new films the opportunity to allow the stories that came before to have a very real legacy, while allowing them to stand on their own with a new Sith-led Empire at the forefront.
Whatever shape the sequels take, we’re definitely excited about it and Lucasfilm/Disney have a lot of rich material to pick from however they choose to approach it.