A long time ago, in a galaxy not too far away (this one, in fact), there were only three Star Wars movies.
Now, there are eight episodic Star Wars movies and one spinoff that have been released in theaters, another spinoff (Solo: A Star Wars Story) that will hit theaters this month, and at least four more films in some stage of development or production — and that’s just the movies we know about at this point.
And yet, like it or not, Disney’s current plan is to make Star Wars films ad infinitum. While it’s true many Star Wars fans can’t help hungering for more films and speculating about which corners of the saga the franchise should explore in future installments, the sheer enormity of it all calls for serious creativity down the line.
To that end — and in the spirit of Star Wars Day, May the Fourth — we’ve asked some of Digital Trends’ biggest Star Wars
nerds fans to pitch a movie they’d like to see set within the sci-fi saga’s universe. Here are the films they envision.
Star Wars: Alien Adventures
Look at the protagonists for every Star Wars film so far. Do you see what they all have in common? They’re all humans!
The Star Wars franchise spans an entire galaxy teeming with strange alien races, yet the films are always about young humans going on epic quests. At best, other species are relegated to side roles, like Han Solo’s companion Chewbacca, or else they’re villains, like the Neimoidians running the Trade Federation.
Now, look, I’m a big fan of humans. Any time humans are at war with another species, whether it be elves or vampires or xenomorphs, I’m probably going to root for the humans. But the Star Wars universe has such a diverse array of lifeforms, and there will be no shortage of Star Wars films every year for the rest of eternity, so there should be room for a film about a non-human protagonist.
Disney could hew close to the established model, making another rebels-versus-villains story with a Twi’lek or Bothan Jedi at the center, but non-human protagonists offer a lot of narrative possibilities. Imagine a film with a Wookiee character as the lead, exploring what life is like on Kashyyyk. Perhaps it could follow a young Wookiee growing up, and maybe that Wookiee breaks one of the culture’s taboos and must go into exile.
Sure, Wookiees don’t speak English, so that might seem a hard sell to mainstream audiences, but Pixar’s Wall-E managed to be a huge success, and that movie was essentially a silent film for its first act.
A movie like this would be a great chance to delve deep into one of the many cultures in the Star Wars galaxy, rather than taking the typical, touristy approach that the films favor, hopping from planet to planet for a scene or two.
The Bounty Hunters
Boba Fett might be everyone’s favorite Star Wars bounty hunter, but let’s not forget that there’s an entire stable of contract killers populating the galaxy.
In addition to Fett, The Empire Strikes Back introduced us to bounty hunters Bossk, IG-88, Dengar, 4-Lom, and Zuckuss, and characters of their ilk have appeared in nearly every other film and piece of Star Wars media there is. This implies that this is not only a popular trade but also a lucrative one, employing some of the coolest characters in the franchise (Greedo aside).
While many these characters have been explored in pre- and post-Disney acquisition expanded universe material — Dengar, Bossk, and Fett even had their own team-up story in the animated Clone Wars series — we still don’t know much about them. Are they all freelancers? Are there rules or an agreed-upon code of conduct? How, or through whom, are they contracted.
Such a film wouldn’t be the first crime-themed Star Wars film, of course. We’re already getting a heist movie featuring a young Han Solo and Lando Calrissian set in Star Wars’ criminal underworld with this month’s Solo, but there’s an opportunity to really change up the aesthetic by going with the bounty hunter angle. Not every Star Wars flick has to be set on dusty, grimy, outer-rim worlds like Tatooine or in the sterile hallways of starships.
Both The Last Jedi‘s Canto Bight and Coruscant in the prequel trilogy showed us there’s plenty of upper-class excess, political back-stabbing, and white-collar crime in the galaxy. Why not make this a film about discreet, clean-killing assassins set on one of these posh worlds, like a Star Wars-flavored John Wick or Smokin’ Aces?
A bounty hunter film also provides an opportunity to feature all-new characters or fold in existing ones from the expanded universe, much like Rogue One did. (Clone Wars‘ Cad Bane immediately comes to mind.) With so much potential for variety and new ideas, it could also differentiate itself from the rest of the current franchise and avoid the “same-ness” that has plagued Star Wars projects over the years.
Jedi Kung Fu
If there’s any genre that could benefit greatly from an infusion of Force energy, it’s kung fu.
After seeing Donnie Yen as the blind monk in Rogue One (“I am one with the Force and the Force is with me”), all I could think about was a martial arts movie set in the Star Wars universe.
Several lightsaber battles from the prequel trilogy offered that same sense of acrobatic wonder, but instead of piling on the CGI, I’d rather see a practical effects-laden film featuring Yen — a martial arts legend, who starred as Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man in three awesome films — using his bo staff, his extraordinary senses, and his bare hands to beat down a legion of Imperial jerks.
Combining Disney’s near-limitless funding with tight kung fu choreography could produce action sequences to make Bruce Lee weep. Plus, it’s been years since we had a proper big-budget martial arts film (I know some superhero movies feature a lot of hand-to-hand combat, but it’s not the same), and if you try to tell me you don’t want to see Jackie Chan in the role of a “kung fu Obi-Wan”-type character, you’re lying through your teeth.
Lando: The Early Years
Star Wars is set in a galaxy far, far away, where talking robots roam, glowing swords are feared, and black people are scarce.
I’m not proposing we fill a Star Wars movie with black people just to have black people. What I am proposing is that Lucasfilm wakes up and makes a film for one of its most fascinating and criminally underdeveloped characters: The smooth-talking, sabacc-playing, slick-haired Lando Calrissian.
A stand-alone Lando origin film could be structured in the same manner as National Geographic’s Genius TV series, where we follow the same person through different ages in their life all told interspersedly, and connected through a common motive. For Lando, that motive has always been exploring the galaxy in pursuit of whatever his heart desires. This film would also allow us to see the earliest version of the Millennium Falcon (though, admittedly some of this may be covered in Solo), and possibly explain why we seldom see any black people on the planets in Star Wars’ expansive universe.
Most importantly, we can find out who Lando’s parents are, and how that familial relationship factored into his development since daddy issues are the crux of the most compelling Star Wars drama. Donald Glover would have the opportunity to reprise his role as adult Lando from Solo: A Star Wars Story, and my ideal casting would put Jaden Smith in the role of teenage Lando, and This Is Us actor Lonnie Chavis playing preteen Lando. While we’re at it, let’s have Lando’s parents played by Westworld actress Tessa Thompson and Get Out actor Daniel Kaluuya.
Given how the mostly black cast of Marvel’s Black Panther captured international attention and recently passed Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the box office, a Lando Calrissian origin story with a mostly black cast would no doubt shatter records, and broaden the Star Wars universe.
Obi-Wan: The Lost Years
This is easily the most obvious idea on our list, and I don’t care — it’s the story I most want to see. While rumors even suggest a director already attached, officially this film is still in the ether.
As someone old enough to have seen one of the original films in theaters, the core characters from episodes IV through VI still hold the most weight in my Star Wars universe, and Obi-Wan’s tale offers more fertile ground than most other backstories (including the forthcoming Solo) for multiple reasons.
First, can I just say, “lightsabers?” Call me a traditionalist, but I prefer my Star Wars centered around the coolest and most important character type in the universe as it was created, and a Jedi tale is always going to get my attention.
Second, Obi-Wan — both as Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor — is one of the most relatable prominent characters in Star Wars lore, while also harboring decades of unknown history. Even forgetting that McGregor just happens to be the perfect age to suit up in a story set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope (Obi-Wan’s lost years), this may be the most intriguing period still unexplored in the current canon.
Any lone-hero genre is primed for Obi-Wan lore – imagine shades of sci-fi Noir in the vein of Blade Runner or, as Nerdist suggests, a Western milieu a la Logan. I see world-shifting flashbacks regarding his origin and meeting Qui-Gon (cue de-aged, digitally altered Liam Neeson), flashing forward to McGregor struggling to remain hidden in exile, with an eye toward redemption via one Luke Skywalker.
Picture previously unknown assaults on Luke’s life, old mysteries revealed, and maybe even another scene or two with the newly resurrected Yoda puppet and you get the idea. This Obi-Wan is battered, tortured, and yet, the lone protector of the galaxy’s last hope on a desolate world.
Star Wars: Aftermath
Chuck Wendig’s trilogy of novels set between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens do more than just fill in the blanks and provide a canonical segue between the two films — they also tell a richly detailed story filled with colorful characters every bit as entertaining and compelling as the films’ iconic heroes and villains. The novels chronicle the fall of the Empire through the perspective of a group of disparate characters tasked with bringing Imperial war criminals to justice.
Like Rogue One, the composition of the team hints at some corners of the star wars universe the saga has yet to fully explore. The team’s roster includes a former Imperial interrogator and a Zabrak bounty hunter (that’s the same species as Darth Maul, if you’re not up on your Star Wars lore), as well as a retired Rebel Alliance pilot and her son, and a teenage engineer who converted a B1 battle droid into his best friend and lethal bodyguard, Mister Bones.
Say hello to Mr. Bones. Part of a double-sided poster w/ special ed of LIFE DEBT only from B&N. pic.twitter.com/txKQjMu6ay
— Star Wars Books (@DelReyStarWars) July 6, 2016
It’s that latter character that might make one of the strongest arguments for an Aftermath movie. The promise of seeing Mister Bones gleefully slicing and dicing his way through a squad of Imperial troopers while engaged in a jaunty dance and singing the Star Wars equivalent of show tunes is well worth the price of admission.
Finally, there’s some precedent for an Aftermath film already, with one character introduced in the novels — tech whiz kid and aspiring pilot Temmin “Snap” Wexley — appearing in The Force Awakens (as portrayed by Greg Grunberg). Disney and Lucasfilm don’t need to look far for inspiration. Aftermath has everything a great Star Wars movie needs.
- How to watch the Star Wars movies in order
- Disney’s Obi-Wan Kenobi series: Everything we know about the Disney+ show
- All of the upcoming Star Wars movies and shows
- The best Star Wars movies, ranked from worst to best
- What’s new on Disney+ in April 2021