MCDSTWA EC058In honor of George Lucas’ 70th birthday today, we sat down and took a look at Lucasfilm’s upcoming schedule. Disney purchased the company for over $4 billion in 2012 and has made known its plans to exploit the characters originally created by Lucas and friends, announcing plans for episodes VII, VIII and IX, and a stand-alone movie about Boba Fett. There’s other stuff in development, but what is it exactly? The Mouse House isn’t saying, but we have some thoughts on the matter that we will now impart.

Happy birthday, George! Here are five ideas for movies we think could expand the universe you’ve created, and might attract millions of new fans as well.

yoda 2Yoda: Origins

Dream Talent: Ang Lee, director. Michael Arndt, writer.
General Plot: The original Jedi Master is first seen 800 years before the events of the original trilogy, when he was a spry 100 years old. Where did he come from and how did he become so versed in the ways of the Force? Did he grow up in the Dagobah system, or did he head there in exile after the rise of the Empire? This story answers all questions.

Why it’s a Good Idea: One of the few characters from the original trilogy who’s something of a blank slate, Yoda is one of the most popular players in the Lucasfilm universe; people love his look, the way he talks, and what a badass he is. The possibilities are rich and, since he was killed off in Return of the Jedi, there’s not much they can do with him in the new trilogy. This way, the character stays front and center, while the merchandising possibilities remain tantalizingly rich.

jedi armySeven Jedi

Dream Talent: Shane Black, writer-director. Jesse Plemons, Chadwick Boseman, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, actors.
General Plot: Outlaws terrorize a small planet on the outer edges of the Empire and seven samurai, er Jedi are called in to help sort things out, old west style.

Why it’s a Good Idea: How is it not? There was scuttlebutt last year that Zack Snyder was developing something along these lines, and while we’re not fans of his work, this idea is pretty great. It’s perfect for a stand-alone, having nothing to do with the rest of canon, and could conceivably exist during a different timeline. There are many directions to go with this, but the central conceit is great. A Star Wars-themed western with a young Mace Windu leading the charge? That would be incredibly awesome on an enormous scale. (Seriously, if you don’t agree, we really want to know, because we see not a single downside.)

han landoThe Young Adventures of Lando & Han

Dream Talent: Chris Miller and Phil Lord, writer-directors. Nicholas Hoult as Han. Anthony Mackie as Lando.
General Plot: Han Solo is a juvenile delinquent tweaking the nose of the Empire as he learns the smuggling trade from his more experienced buddy, Lando Calrissian. In the days following the fall of the Republic, the two young men embark on an action-packed adventure that establishes the pair of rogues and shows the wedge that comes between them and leads to their reunion in Empire Strikes Back.

Why it’s a Good Idea: Let’s start with the fact that a couple of movies could easily be made out of this relationship. And can you imagine the casting possibilities? Every young actor in Hollywood would be vying for a one of the two lead rolls. Harrison Ford might not love Han Solo so much (he recently said he prefers Indiana Jones, though that didn’t stop him from joining the cast of Episode VII), but just about everyone else does. There is also fascination with Lando, and the pair’s backstory would be absolute catnip for fans. Of all our potential candidates, this seems like the most fun.

jabba the huttRise of Jabba the Hutt

Dream Talent: Martin Scorsese, Director. William Monahan, Writer.
General Plot: Can you say Star Wars gangster flick? In a storyline parallel to the prequels, the seedy underworld of the Galactic Empire is explored in an epic tale in the city of Mos Eisley, described by Obi-Wan thusly: “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” Amidst all that, the Vito Corleone-esque rise of Jabba, the most wretched and villainous of them all.

Why it’s a Good Idea: As hinted above, it’s essentially The Godfather meets Star Wars. Or maybe Goodfellas, since it should be grittier and less romantic than the Coppola film. Everyone loves a good gangster flick, and the idea of following a group of anti-heroes as they fight for leadership of the galactic underworld is tremendously appealing. Imagine the fun filmmakers could have with alien drive-bys, back room plottings, and even appearances from minor but legendary characters like Greedo as the little green man (who did not shoot first, darn it!) rides Jabba’s coattails to the top. From a storytelling perspective, it works knowing Jabba’s ultimate fate, that his time at the top has an expiration date.

jedi apprenticeJedi Academy

Dream Talent: Matthew Vaughn, director. Drew Pearce, writer. Mark Hamill, Michael B. Jordan, cast.
General Plot: Following the fall of the Empire, and after Leia marries Han Solo and gives birth to twins, Luke Skywalker searches the galaxy for the next batch of Jedi warriors, assembling them at a central academy much like Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in the X-Men universe. It’s X-Men: First Class meets Top Gun.

Why it’s a Good Idea: Dennis Lawson, who played Wedge Antilles in the first trilogy, passed on the opportunity to reprise his role in Episode VII, which means you couldn’t use him as a wise instructor figure, but that’s the tiniest of hurdles. What a great way to launch a whole new set of characters without having to cram them into Episode VII, right? This concept could be a part of what J.J. Abrams has in store for us, but unlike some of our ideas, this one has some real legs. In fact, it could work as a companion series to the main episodes as a way of introducing new characters before incorporating them to the main storyline. Even if it’s just a one-off, the rollicking fun of seeing Luke train these kids would be something to behold. There’s fertile ground here, and it’d be a shame to waste it.

Neil Turitz

Neil Turitz is a filmmaker and a senior editor at SSN Insider.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Victor Grippi

    I vote for either Yoda’s origin story or the Jedi Academy. These are the only true original stories in the lot. For Yoda’s story I can think of all sorts if cool ideas for this story world. A cool back story to how he grew up, what influenced him, and why he fled his home world. Could be really interesting a la The Hobbit.

    For the Academy story I’d like to see how this integrates into the main storyline. Are all Jedi now trained at this facility? Do we follow one up and coming junior Jedi as he or she cuts their teeth and makes it into the next batch of movies?

    Or should it be like Ender’s Game, and the students become the last hope to save the Empire. Could be compelling.

  2. Tom Cavanaugh

    I want to write the scripts to all of these ideas… but especially THE RISE OF JABBA THE HUTT! That character has intrigued me since Quido tried to shake down Han Solo…. ps… HAN SHOT FIRST!

    Would love to write these bad boys!!!!

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  4. Thrawn

    Any listing of potential Star Wars films “that should be in development” and does not include any and more rightfully ALL of the Thrawn books is tragedy.

    All of the ones listed sound terrible except Yoda origins (maybe) and Han and Lando, which books with great stories have already been written. The rest, garbage.

    I find it mildly startling that the HUGE amount of material that was approved by Lucas and written in the decades he slept after ROTJ and awoke to make the greasy prequels, is just ignored. The lives of the main characters in Star wars have been written about in excruciating detail most of which is pretty entertaining.

    The story has been expanded centuries into the future and millennia into the past. Rise and fall and rise again of the Sith. Rise and fall and rise again of the Jedi. Great characters have been burned into the canon from those books. But instead they green light a Boba Fett Story. I guess it will sell toys, and halloween masks. I still hold out hope.

  5. Charles Harrison

    In the Clone Wars Series, they did a version of The Seven Samurai story.

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