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Star Wars: Stories that still deserve Disney+ shows

Though Lucasfilm is still on its sabbatical from putting Star Wars movies on the big screen, Disney+ has quickly made itself a secondary home to the epic sci-fi fantasy franchise in the meantime. Even when the IP returns to theaters in 2023, whichever movie that ends up being, the parent company’s streaming platform will undoubtedly look to continue fleshing it out with TV shows. But as big as the galaxy far, far away is, there is still a wealth of lore ripe for tapping into.

While many supplemental Star Wars works were never truly considered canon even pre-Disney, the company effectively relegated almost everything else to Legends continuity when it bought the franchise for a staggering $4 billion. Lucasfilm has since been reintroducing elements of Legends stories in a piecemeal fashion, but there’s still thousands of years’ worth of history ripe for readapting.

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The distant past of the Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG promo art featuring a collage of characters.

For many veteran Star Wars fans, the dense lore of the Old Republic era is nothing new when it comes to stories in desperate need of Lucasfilm’s acknowledgment. The era itself is regarded as part of the Disney-era canon, though, only in vague pieces. Fan-favorite hero/villain character Revan has been confirmed to have existed in The Rise of Skywalker, but only through a supplemental Easter egg.

It would be admittedly easy to say “adapt the Knights of the Old Republic games.” But since video game developer Aspyr is set to release a top-to-bottom remake of at least BioWare’s original game for the PlayStation 5 and PC, it’d be best to dig into the other tens of thousands of years’ worth of history within that era alone for a new premise.

A great place to look toward for reference material would be Dark Horse Comics, as the publisher was known in decades past for padding out Star Wars’ extended universe. The publisher has since regained publishing rights to Star Wars, but its Tales of the Jedi comic book series from 1993 to 1998 could be a good template for a serialized — and canonized — Old Republic-era TV show on Disney+.

A Jedi wielding a green lightsaber and more in the background of Tales of the Jedi comic art.

While that name is ironically going to be used in an upcoming anthology-style Star Wars animated series, the comics covered a large chunk from the Old Republic, ranging from the Great Sith War to the Great Hyperspace War. The crux of Tales of the Jedi‘s conflict stems from an ancient Jedi-turned-Sith and how his dark legacy inspires a pair of newly christened Sith to ignite a war against the Jedi.

This story is more than enough disconnected from the Skywalker Saga to avoid stepping on any canonical toes, and it would introduce an entirely fresh cast of heroes and villains in the process. Lucasfilm has been arguably playing it too safe with the stories they’ve been adapting post-Skywalker Saga, and while the likes of The Mandalorian have proven to be critically well-received hits, going into the distant past would be an exciting thing for audiences to see in live-action.

Having a wide cast of Jedi, Sith, and anything could make for a compelling story told from multiple perspectives and branching character arcs. There’s no reason to expect any straight adaptations of Legends works, but the prospect of having a new “Big Bad” in the form of Exar Kun and Qel-Droma could be reinvigorating — at least temporarily — for a franchise that still can’t seem to move past Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine.

Darth Bane and the Rule of Two

A smoldering illusion of Darth Bane appearing before Yoda in The Clone Wars animated show.

Keeping up with the theme of the Dark Side of the Force and the Sith would be an especially interesting direction to focus on for Star Wars. Having them be shadowy puppet masters or snakes biding their time to strike is exciting to a point, but we’ve still seen surprisingly little of them in live-action for how imposing a threat they are to the galaxy.

During the waning days of the Old Republic, a single Sith Lord chose to uproot the “establishment Sith” for how ineffective they were as a group in combatting the Jedi. The Sith were inherently tribalistic, selfish, and power-hungry, which meant that a unified force or masses of Masters and Apprentices would never last. Infighting was rampant, making the Sith an enemy of themselves as much as the Jedi.

Therefore, there’s a canonical reason as to why we’ve only ever seen a couple of them at a time in the movies: The Rule of Two. Palpatine himself was enforcing it in the movies, which was that there could only ever be one Master and one Apprentice. One to hold the power, and one to crave it.

Of course, this would certainly lead to a regicide once — or if — the apprentice becomes strong enough. But should the Master kill his attempted usurper, another apprentice takes their place. It’s a cruel way to sustain the new Sith order, but it lasted them hundreds of years. And the creation and creator of the Rule of Two — Darth Bane — would make an excellent premise for a serialized Disney+ show.

Split image of the reprinted editions of the Darth Bane trilogy.

Author Drew Karpyshyn wrote a trilogy of books centered around this villain — who’s since been acknowledged in canon — detailing how he mercilessly killed the skeleton crew of Sith Lords still desperately holding onto the shred of influence they had left, and eventually took on an apprentice named Darth Zannah. As the trilogy went on, it put more focus on this young Sith Apprentice and how she eventually challenged Darth Bane for his title.

Having a series that puts the villains’ perspective at the forefront would be an ambitious new direction for a major live-action Star Wars project to go. Not enough is known about the Sith’s history in canon, and Lucasfilm shouldn’t coast on them being perpetually unknown villains forever. Getting bolder is something it will need to do once it can inevitably no longer get away with making more gaps in prequel, original, and sequel trilogies, and embracing more Legends lore — as well as unadapted canon — would be an excellent way to do that.

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