Film/TV - Star Wars Stories

Our resident Jedi Knight, Kraig Taylor-Bryant, has a few ideas for where the newly announced Star Wars film trilogy and live-action TV series might get their stories from...

So in case you are a strange old hermit living on the deserted plains of Tattooine, Disney announced that they are giving Rian Johnson the opportunity to direct three more Star Wars films following the release of the Last Jedi, due to the “creative force” that Johnson brought to the franchise through his work on the Last Jedi. This not only raises anticipation for this new trilogy but also for The Last Jedi in itself, of course, Kathleen Kennedy would not hire Johnson to direct future Star Wars films if she thought that the Last Jedi was not going to be a huge success.

So what is it that makes everyone so hyped about this announced new trilogy? Well, the words that are really spreading excitement among fans are words such as “blank canvas” and “away from the Skywalker saga.” The fact that Disney is giving Rian a “blank canvas” to work with, tells us that this is going to be a place or time period, never explored before or of stories that have never been told before, or it could simply mean that there are many new stories that can branch off of previously done ideas in “Star Wars Legends”. One of my favourite quotes ever spoken in the Star Wars universe is “there is always a bit of truth in legends” as said by Ashoka Tano, one of the characters of the animated show and it’s quotes like these that really give you hope that Disney may bring other Legends continuity, like Thrawn, back into canon.

This is why I believe strongly that the new trilogy could be based around the era of the Old Republic. If you are unfamiliar with the Old Republic, it basically is a time in which the Sith was an extremely well known enemy of its time and truly was a force to be reckoned with. Of course, Palpatine is indeed a force to be reckoned with, but if I had to choose between him and seeing an army of Sith fighting an army of Jedi on the big screen? I would easily pick the Old Republic. The best thing about creating a trilogy on this era is that there is, in a sense a blank canvas to work with, there are still many characters such as Theron Shan in legends, who still have stories that can be told about them on the big screen, the fact that this character is an agent for the Old Republic could make for an interesting rogue agent type character that fans of Han Solo might be looking for, not to mention the large number of strong female characters in the Old Republic such as Satele Shan or her mother, Bastila Shan who are extremely skilled Jedi Masters of their time.

So let’s talk for a moment about something else that this new trilogy could be based on, for a start it could be a galaxy that we have never even heard of. The fact that this could still be a galaxy far away makes this still a valid idea and the fact that this would indeed be a blank canvas to work with, would definitely be an opportunity to bring across fresh ideas, fresh enemies and even remove the idea of having humans in a galaxy all together. The fact that this would allow them to introduce a large number of new races to this galaxy would be interesting or even if they had this trilogy similar to the latest Mass Effect game in which humans have travelled from another galaxy to find a new home, its possible that some could have travelled from the Star Wars galaxy, although I would be not too excited about this idea.

There is also the idea that Disney may make the trilogy simply even further in the future *MAJOR THOR RAGNAROK SPOILER* the fact that in Thor Ragnarok, Asgard was destroyed tells us that Disney is not opposed to the dark ending of a film in which an entire planet is destroyed that we are attached to, and we see through The Force Awakens that they are not opposed to this to destroying multiple planets, well what about the story about how the Star Wars galaxy came to an end? The fact that we will get to see an extremely dark ending to a trilogy is what would really interest me and the fact that there would really be no survivors. Of course this may not be the happiest trilogy and if this were to actually be an idea, it may be best to give it a rating such as 15 (UK, or R for the U.S) just to establish that it may not be the best idea to allow kids to watch this one. What’s also interesting is that we keep hearing about how the Last Jedi is going to be a dark film, then who better to direct a dark trilogy than Rian Johnson if this film is really as good as they are saying? It wouldn’t just give us a surprising ending but it would also be tense, of course there’s the issue of backlash from fans if they are not okay with this concept, the main issue being, if Rian gets viewers too attached to characters through the trilogy and then they all get killed off, then it may affect Disney’s reputation as well as Rian's. This is why I think this concept has promise but it’s unlikely.

The same can be said for the planned Star Wars TV series that was announced to be streamed exclusively to Disney’s new streaming service that is coming in 2019. There are a few things that I think they could do, such as a Star Wars Underworld type TV series (a show that was planned and later cancelled by George Lucas due to budget concerns). This could follow the story of someone who is trying to survive the Empire’s wrath and the drama between him and a few friends could be quite interesting, especially if there are many of them that he cannot trust for a while in the season. I also think it would be quite clever if they used the story from the recently cancelled Star Wars game to make a TV series as this follows the story of a survivor of Alderaan which is quite interesting.

What’s also extremely possible as that this TV series can follow a main character of sorts, such as Princess Leia, or some aspect of Alderaan that we haven’t seen. If it followed the aspects of certain characters of Alderaan and the TV series ended with the Death Star being seen by everyone on the planet, that would definitely show a lot of tension but at the same time it would reveal an insight into what the planet of Alderaan was like, and possibly what Leia's life was like growing up.

Thinking about it, the Old Republic would be better for a TV show over a trilogy as the fact that it manages to work with Game of Thrones to include massive battles but still keep people interested through the drama, shows that including both of these can work. Therefore, I think it could work if they based it around the era of the Old Republic, as there was a treaty that was signed between the Republic and the Empire after the empire invaded Coruscant. The tension in this event could be extremely interesting, especially if we were engaged with characters that intended to try and break that treaty, this would definitely invest viewers in the story in my opinion.

Of course it’s completely possible that Disney may completely redesign the Old Republic as seen in shows such as Star Wars Rebels, that there are already parts of the canon Old Republic that are not in the Old Republic that many other fans know of, such as the use of the “crossguard lightsaber, and the story of the Mandolorian (refer to Jano/Boba Fett for reference) Jedi. It would actually be pretty interesting if we had a story of a Mandolorian, as it would give us an interesting perspective on the Jedi order, and they could have a cameo of legends characters whilst keeping the “blank canvas” idea that Disney seem to be following with the next trilogy and therefore allowing them further freedom in this area as well.

I personally feel as if in terms of the new trilogy, its hard to speculate exactly what it could be about but what we do know is that Disney tends to surprise us when it comes to the concepts of films or TV shows. For example there’s Iron Man, which no one thought would be successful, and I’m sure people didn’t expect Spider-man to make an appearance in Captain America Civil War. In terms of Star Wars, its been mentioned that there will be a reveal in the Last Jedi that will be a surprise for all of us. So we will just have to wait and see. It’s possible that Rian Johnson will look to the past, but not as far into the past as the Old Republic, it’s also possible that we might get a look at previous wars from another perspective which would be an interesting take on it all. It all really depends on how the Last Jedi pans out to be honest. If it ends up being a mind blowing film, we can expect a mind blowing trilogy. As far as the TV series goes, I think that it will most likely be based around the Old Republic, if not I hope they come up with a concept equally intriguing to the potential audience.

Follow Kraig on Twitter @KraigandhisMac

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