Star Wars Anthology Movies I do Want

Why not talk some more about Star Wars?

So you’ve probably seen this by now (it arrived Monday).

So, what’s the problem with a Han Solo movie? (that is ANY Solo movie, not just this one)

Star Wars if infamously about the Hero’s Journey(TM), but what people often forget is that while Luke is the principle undertaker of that journey, he’s not the only one.  It’s easy to miss because it is truncated, but Han Solo also undergoes his own version of the HJ in that movie.

Imagine for a minute there was an announcement that there was going to be a Luke Skywalker anthology movie, detailing his life on the farm before “A New Hope.”  Can you see what would be the problem before a single script is written?  The prequel story is going to get caught in a bind.  Obviously things have to happen because otherwise why have a movie? The characters also have to undergo some growth and change for the same reason.  So what are the options from a story standpoint?  If you have them undergo a trial that makes them a hero, that means the character has been undergoing the same motif repeatedly in their life, which will make the character appear flat to the audience.  The next possibility is to have the character arc end with the protagonist in an unheroic position so they can then undergo the arc to become a hero in the “future.”  The problem with that is you have to walk a very fine tightrope to not have the protagonist become “too evil” or unlikable (because then the audience will find them unwatchable – even in the original stuff); nor do you want them to become flat and boring with no character growth at all.  Finally, the story has to struggle with avoiding topping the original because otherwise a logic conflict is introduced: Why was the “future” adventure the one to convince the character to change into a hero and not the previous adventure?

You put it all together and realize that any prequel movie revolving around Han Solo would be just like one revolving around Luke: doomed to failure. If anything, Han Solo’s backstory works better in something like a TV or comic book series (just like Indiana Jones, which has a connection to star wars) because then there is an excuse for smaller scale events.  The story of Han Solo bluffing his way through an Imperial checkpoint could hold our attention for a half hour or more TV show – it would not be acceptable in the cinema.  Also the longer form storytelling would allow a more gradual character change.  Seeing Han go from say… hopeful cadet to world-weary, “only-looking-out-for-me” adult just works better spread out instead of condensed.

So what kind of stand-alone anthology movies would I rather see than Han Solo?

  • Skippy, the Jedi Droid – Ok, this one is a joke to see if anybody is still reading or has jumped to the comments to complain. As you’ll see if you click on the link, this story was from the best SW comic, Star Wars: Tales.  It was hilarious and weirdly touching and demonstrated why midichlorians were such a bad idea in Star Wars (because then it opens up the question of why can’t we create artificial jedis).
  • Boba Fett – Yeah this is obvious. The only real question is how much is there as I know he has some screentime in 3d Clone Wars series and possibly rebels (haven’t watched much of either).  Still the adventure of a bounty hunter just going about, doing his own thing, would give a chance to expand the SW universe, while still remaining anchored to the brand.
  • Lando – Just judging from the above teaser (and the writing method of the Disney SW movies we’ve got so far), it’s highly likely the upcoming Solo movie will be half Lando’s story anyway. Still, while I haven’t kept up as much with his EU stories, just from a pure analysis standpoint there’s greater space to tell a prequel story involving Lando since in the original films he was a good, upstanding man (at least given that we don’t see Cloud City trying to overthrow him) who was pressured into making poor choices.  Thus we can have the story of how the [possible] scoundrel became respectable.  Include in the movie one or two cameos from a young Han Solo and you would be able to test whether the audience wants to see a Solo film with the actor you selected.
  • Darth Maul/Qui-Gon Ginn – It’s kind of a shame that Disney is so gun shy about the prequels and isn’t putting in much effort to try and improve them. Still, the principle good and bad guys from The Phantom Menace remain captivating to SW fans today – even haters have to admit there is an appeal about them.  So a prequel movie fleshing out either of these characters would probably be well received, plus given that they have very little character within TPM, it would give the writers a lot of freedom to potentially add weight and meaning to the worst SW film.  They probably won’t be able to salvage it completely, but they could still elevate it and that’s pretty much the ideal goal for a prequel.
  • Any alien other than Jar Jar – Remember when Star Wars was all about the aliens? Why don’t we have more aliens again?
  • Biggs Darklighter – Recognizing the name is a sign of how big a Star Wars fan you are. Summed up, this was a guy who had several deleted scenes with Luke in “A New Hope,” mostly the beginning and end. In many ways he is the Luke that almost was as he got to go to the academy, and ultimately died protecting Luke on his fateful trench run.  Essentially his movie would be “the star wars we almost had” telling the story of a path parallel to our classic heroes.

And those are my votes.  Actually I would have voted for Darklighter over Rogue 1 but a man can dream.

What’s your dream SW anthology films?

4 thoughts on “Star Wars Anthology Movies I do Want

  1. The only Star Wars novel I ever read was about Darth Maul and it was pretty good. But it also relied heavily on his inner monologue and secondary characters (who were basically Han and Obi-Wan substitutes), so I’m not sure how well that would work as a film.

    • They’ve got a few Darth Maul comic runs that are worth checking out. It would help if they set a precedent of the anthology movies having styles & flairs different from the main trilogies. (So Rogue 1 would be a heist flick, Solo would be a comedy adventure flick, etc) Then you could set up D.Maul as an intense action set piece.

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