'Star Wars' Spin-offs on Planet Fanboy

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Disney CEO Bob Iger took a break from his treasure bath to confirm rumors that, yes, in addition to a third trilogy of "Star Wars" pictures, there will be "standalone" films that will come out in between that are "derived from great 'Star Wars' characters."

When I read that last phrase I immediately thought two things. First, "great, Calculus!" Second, "Whooooooooooooooo?"

Anthony Breznican, an actual journalist, reports that the two projects that are likely to take off first are stories about Boba Fett and Han Solo. They are neither prequels or sequels. . .they are merely quels, and they ought to quell the frustrations of many a nerd who wanted to see, once and for all, just how Lando Calrissian won the Millennium Falcon. (You thought Midi-chlorians were bad? Just wait til you watch the ship that can make the Kessel run in 12 parsecs change ownership on a Queen high!)

The Han Solo film is, according to Breznican's source (which may or may not be the bird in front of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride), going to be set BEFORE "A New Hope." That's right, folks, we're calling it now: HAN AT THE PROM.

The current Hollywood zeitgeist dictates that the future Hutt Palace objet d'art be presented, at least in part, as a brooding, angsty teen. Maybe he'll have to choose between a space vampire and a space werewolf? The big question remains: who will play the young interstellar smuggler and will he wear a vest?

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The fact is that Lucasfilm could (and probably should) cast a relative unknown in the role. The box office draw couldn't be much higher, even if they decided to pick the entire lineup of One Direction and had them trade-off like a mass market "I'm Not There." I'm just wondering if it will be a music cue or a push-in to a tight close-up to underline that what we're seeing is the FIRST TIME Han has had a bad feeling about this.

A little less likely to cause apoplectic eye-rolls is the Boba Fett movie. Frankly, this idea is almost impervious to snark. While the nonsense about Jango Fett being the source for the clone Stormtroopers does hang over it, the fact is that the group shot of the Bounty Hunters from "Empire" is a good launching pad for untold space adventures. That image is like the "Great Day in Harlem" but for mouthbreathing science-fantasy dweebs.

The Boba Fett movie could take place any time prior to his humiliating end in the Sarlaac Pit (and could potentially involve Jabba) but we're hoping it involves some nice rivalry with the other bounty hunters. Zuckuss fighting Bossk? Yes, please.

Casting a new Boba Fett shouldn't be too hard. (Can you wear a helmet? Can you fall in a pit? Can you keep the talking to a minimum? Hired!) Convincing the suits that the best way to do Boba Fett is as a sleek, nearly silent tale of badassery like Jean-Pierre Melville's "Le Samourai" is another thing.

Of course, we're nowhere near done. Possible "Star Wars: Origins" stories will be floated up in trial balloons all year. (To save time: Wedge Antilles and Tambor Wat, thumbs up. Wicket and Dexter Jettster, thumbs down. General Grievous. . .probably not, but we're not ruling it out.) And this may all fall apart, too. Point is, don't get your metal bikini bottoms in a bunch just yet. The galaxy far, far away is vast and there's a long time ago to go.

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