This Star Wars article contains spoilers.
Since Disney bought the rights to Star Wars back in 2012, the House of Mouse has busied itself with packing its movie slate full of new adventures in the galaxy far, far away. That slate doesn’t just include the Sequel Trilogy, but also a series of standalone Star Wars Story films that includes Rogue One and Solo.
Episode IX is coming up in 2019 and there are also rumors that spin-off films about Obi-Wan Kenobi and Boba Fett are on the way. Don’t forget the new trilogy Rian Johnson is developing as well as the series of films from Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
Now it’s just a matter of what films Disney and Lucasfilm will add to the slate in the next few years. In terms of the standalone movies, there are plenty of possibilities. That’s why we’re here – here are 12 potential Star Wars spin-off films:
Gareth Edwards did a fantastic job of bringing the iconic villain back to the big screen and making him scary again. The Rogue One scene where Vader impales several Rebel soldiers with his lightsaber did more than enough to distance the villain from his heavily ridiculed “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” moment in Revenge of the Sith and showed that the Dark Lord of the Sith can still be a terrifying presence on the screen so many years later. Vader is an absolute force of nature in his brief Rogue One appearance.
The movie even added a bit of lore to Vader begging to be explored: his Dracula-inspired castle on Mustafar, the lava planet where the villain was born. The movie only spends a very brief scene in the castle, but it’s enough to raise plenty of questions: what secrets does the castle hold? How exactly does it tune dark side energy? Is Vader using the energy to try and heal himself in that bacta tank? And what’s up with his assistant Vanee? Is there a whole order of people devoted to Vader the same way the Church of the Force and the Guardians of the Whills worship the Jedi? (There are hints of this in the Aftermath books, actually!) It’s even teased in Star Wars Rebels that Mustafar is the place where Jedi go to die. That concept alone begs for a Darth Vader movie. Perhaps one that takes place during the Jedi Purge between both trilogies?
I know what you might be saying: Darth Vader’s appearance in Rogue One only worked because it was a very small, calculated dose. That may be true. It may be that Vader only works on screen when he’s not the main focus of the movie, and that there’s nothing compelling left to say about the villain since we know exactly how the Original Trilogy plays out. Yet, I’d urge you to read his recent Marvel comic before making up your mind about the character.
The Darth Vader comic book series from Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca did a great job of telling a meaningful, emotional, and entertaining tale about Vader that posed new challenges for the Sith Lord, both against the Rebels and within the Imperial ranks, while also humanizing the villain in a much more satisfying way than the Prequels did. It also explores Vader’s feelings about Luke and the great lengths he’ll go to keep those feelings hidden from the Emperor.
The whole thing basically plays out like a spy thriller in which Vader recruits his own Suicide Squad to conduct a secret war against his master, all while keeping ahead of the Imperials who wish to replace him as the Emperor’s right hand. Darth Vader more than proves that there are still interesting new angles to explore forty years after the villain’s first appearance.
The Disney era of Star Wars has done right by Vader thus far. Perhaps it’s time to see what they can do with a whole standalone movie devoted to the greatest villain of all time.
The Boba Fett movie was so close to becoming a reality a few years ago that I can’t imagine it’s been completely taken off the slate. The film even had a director: Josh Trank, who left the film after the whole Fantastic Four debacle over at FOX. In fact, Lucasfilm even planned to unveil it at Star Wars Celebration 2015 as the second Star Wars Story movie before the studio found itself short one director. Instead, the Han Solo movie is standalone number two.
Demand is still pretty high for a Boba Fett flick, though. The bounty hunter has always been one of the franchise’s key rogues, despite the fact that he only appeared for a few minutes in the Original Trilogy – enough time to be eaten by the sarlacc – and the Prequels did irrevocable damage to his backstory. (So hated is Boba’s origin story as a clone that fans have theorized for years that a real badass killed the original Boba and took over his identity.) There’s just something about Fett that has inspired generations of fans to create myths and legends around the character. And Lucasfilm has done its fair share to immortalize the most dangerous bounty hunter in the galaxy through the Expanded Universe. All that remains to be seen is the bounty hunter’s own space western on the big screen.
What shape could the Boba Fett movie take? The most obvious route is a movie about Fett taking on a new contract that ends up being more than he bargained for. Plenty of shootouts, explosions, death-defying stunts, chase scenes, and a climactic showdown between hunter and target. Of course, a more interesting take might be one that turns the character on his head – a movie in which he has to protect someone or a group of people. I’d love to watch a movie in which Boba Fett is a one-man Magnificant Seven.
The suavest con man in the galaxy didn’t get any love in The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi. Luckily, a younger Lando makes his debut in Solo, played by the very talented Donald Glover (Atlanta). In the interest of building its Star Wars shared universe further, Lucasfilm almost certainly has plans for a Lando spinoff. In fact, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has said that she’d like to make one down the road.
Lando has most recently made appearances in the Rebels animated series and in his own Marvel comic. The latter is one of the best Star Wars limited series the House of Ideas has put out to date. Set in between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, Lando recruits a ragtag group of criminals for the heist of a lifetime – steal a space yacht full of treasure from the Empire. Little does he know that the yacht is actually the personal property of Emperor Palpatine and holds many precious Sith relics. The five-issue arc from Charles Soule and Alex Maleev plays out like a “base under siege” story, and Lando sweet talks his way out of danger through the whole thing. Thirty-seven years after the character’s introduction, it’s still entertaining as hell to watch the very charming Lando get himself out of trouble.
Lucasfilm undoubtedly recognizes the potential for a different kind of Star Wars movie in a Lando standalone, one that’s a bit lighter in tone and starring a hero who’s less prone to blast his way out of every situation.
The Obi-Wan spin-off movie is reportedly happening. At one point, there was chatter on the internet that old Ben Kenobi could get a whole trilogy of films. While I’m not sure I need three movies about Obi-Wan going on adventures in between spending time on Tatooine – kinda defeats the whole purpose of being a hermit and all that – I think we might at least get one film. Ewan McGregor is certainly interested in returning to Star Wars, and would even be willing to do two films, although he did admit no one has approached him yet. McGregor most recently lent his Obi-Wan voice to the weird flashback scene in The Force Awakens.
Beyond the movies, creators have slowly been fleshing out Obi-Wan’s time between the trilogies in the comics as well as on Rebels. He even had a rematch with Darth Maul in the latter! The fact that Lucasfilm has been happy to bring back Obi-Wan in small doses – enough to satisfy fans without fully exploring what happened to him after Revenge of the Sith – is perhaps a sign that the studio is saving him for something bigger.
I’d say it’s only a matter of time before Lucasfilm officially announces the Obi-Wan standalone. McGregor is certainly the right age to star in a movie that takes place a few years before A New Hope. That is, unless they just want to CG-vive Sir Alec Guinness instead… Kidding!
Admittedly, I listed the movies I think have the best chance of being made first. Now we’re stepping into the Unknown Regions, the realm of the less likely. While Rogue One showed that Lucasfilm and Disney are willing to do the unconventional with the standalones, I do think they’ll still stick to established characters, settings, and timelines for the first few Star Wars Story installments.
You might be saying, “Dude, Yoda is an established character, one of the most popular heroes in the entire franchise. What are you even talking about?” And you’re totally right. In fact, a Yoda movie was one of the first rumored standalones when Disney revealed it planned to make spinoff films. Back in 2013, Ain’t It Cool News reported that the Yoda movie would be the first Star Wars standalone movie. Another rumor from 2013 was that Zack Snyder had been tapped to make a Seven Samurai-inspired film featuring a younger Yoda as one of seven Jedi protagonists.
Honestly, I can’t imagine a more boring idea than a Yoda movie set between the trilogies – the era that Lucasfilm has thus far made its playground in terms of the spin-offs. The legendary Jedi Master is very old in the Prequels and he’s clearly deteriorating in health by the time of the Original Trilogy, so there’s not much to be done there – especially if he’s supposed to be hiding on Dagobah in the first place. So the only option would be doing a young Yoda movie, which I also think is a mistake.
While Attack of the Clones was certainly a spoonful of wish fulfillment for fans who hoped to one day see the Jedi Master pull out a lightsaber, Yoda’s duel with Count Dooku – and later with the Emperor – didn’t do much for the character. In fact, it might have taken something away from him. In the years before the Prequels, Yoda was considered to be so powerful that he didn’t even need a lightsaber. His immeasurable Force abilities are what gave the Jedi Master his own unique place within the lore. Seeing him trade blows with the likes of Dooku only lessened him, made him a bit more like the other guys.
But I’m including him on the list because, well, Lucasfilm is nothing if not daring. And a Yoda movie would probably make a lot of money, so…
It was never enough for George Lucas to kill his most popular Prequel creation. He also brought him back from the dead, gave him insect-like metal legs, introduced his brother, and sent the fallen Sith apprentice on a vendetta against his former master. We’ve learned a lot about this fearsome Zabrack villain in the years since The Phantom Menace, thanks to his appearances in both The Clone Wars and Rebels, as well as a couple of comics.
There’s been a lot of Maul in past few years, which is why he might be one of the characters Lucasfilm is considering for a standalone movie. Certainly, there have been a couple of interesting takes on the character, including the time he took control of Mandalore and more recently his search for ancient Sith relics on Malachor. Of course, too much of a good thing might be a bad thing.
Still, if Lucasfilm is thinking about making a movie about a villain, Maul is definitely on that list. Maybe we’ll even get Darth Vader vs. Maul down the line…
If you were to make a list of TCW and Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni’s biggest contributions to Star Wars canon, Ahsoka Tano would undoubtedly be at the very top of that list. We even consider her to be one of the best Star Wars characters of the last decade or so. Why? Because she exemplifies all of the best qualities of the Jedi – bravery, a kind heart, and wisdom. She’s certainly smart enough to know that the Jedi are headed down the wrong path and that their judgment has become skewed after years of war. Ahsoka stepped away from the Order and paved her own way through a changed galaxy. She’s proof that independence is perhaps what the strict, emotionally repressed Jedi Order was missing all along…
Ahsoka recently received a very powerful send-off on Rebels, which makes it a bit difficult to predict whether she’d ever appear on the big screen (technically, she already has – The Clone Wars debuted with a theatrical release). It’s probably more likely that, if she’s destined to return after her fateful duel with Darth Vader on Malachor, it’ll be on another animated series.
Of course, an Ahsoka movie would allow Lucasfilm to try a couple of new things: 1) a film starring a non-human protagonist, and 2) a film that features a more direct crossover between the live-action movies and animated series beyond a simple easter egg. Or maybe it could be another animated film. Who’s to say that all of the Star Wars Story movies have to be live-action?
A Doctor Aphra movie isn’t very likely – in fact, it’ll probably never happen because she’s not exactly a known quantity – but I don’t care. This rogue space archaeologist is the Indiana Jones of Star Wars (I know how that might be confusing). Introduced in the pages of Marvel’s Darth Vader, Aphra was part of a secret team of operatives under the employ of the Sith Lord. Did I mention that she travels with C-3PO and R2-D2’s psychotic dopplegangers?
While Aphra has a deep admiration for Vader, she eventually finds herself on the wrong side of the line between ally and enemy. But unlike most characters who come face to face with the most merciless villain in the galaxy, Aphra is able to bargain for her life time and again. By the end of the series, she has managed to outsmart both her former employer and the many other enemies she’s made along the way. If that’s not badass, I don’t know what is.
Aphra has her own Marvel series now – the first character created for the comics to get her own ongoing, in fact – which means the powers that be clearly enjoy her as much as I do. Is the Doctor Aphra comic story testing the waters for a more high profile project starring this badass archaeologist? Seriously, all I want is a movie where Aphra, Beetee, and Triple-Zero explore ancient Sith temples and get in way over their heads.
Rogue One‘s X-wing sequences alone were reason enough to love the first Star Wars Story. The Battle of Scarif was exhilirating, providing a much needed dose of dogfights in space on top of all the action on the planet’s surface. While The Force Awakens certainly did a commendable job of getting us excited about X-wing cockpits again, it’s Rogue One that really proved that space battles don’t have to be about blowing up doomsday weapons all the time.
A long time ago, I wrote a speculation piece about how Rogue One was going to be a movie about Rogue Squadron, the Rebellion’s elite fighter unit. Of course, I was dead wrong, but I blame it on the title, which seemed to be a direct reference to the group at the time. Still, Rogue One made a great case for why a movie about Rebel (or New Republic) pilots should still get made.
Rogue Squadron was a pretty big deal in the old Star Wars continuity and an element of the universe that fans like myself really miss. For as much as Star Wars is about the Jedi, there’s much to be said about the pilots. There’s plenty of X-wing action to draw from the old timeline, including the fantastic series of books and comics from Michael A. Stackpole and Aaron Allston, and Lucasfilm would do well to start rebuilding this part of the universe – especially now that Rogue One‘s proved that straight war films work.
Why not a movie about a young pilot on his first mission for the Rebellion…or the Empire?
Yeah, this entry is definitely in reference to the criminally underrated Star Wars video game from LucasArts, but it’s also an idea I think warrants some consideration. If Lucasfilm’s become interested in developing another gritty war film after the success of Rogue One, the studio could do far worse than to go back to the Clone Wars, which is in no way the worst part of the Prequels. In fact, the Clone Wars themselves are probably the most entertaining thing about that trilogy.
Republic Commando was an allegory for the plight of the Clone troopers, humans bred only for war, lacking free will and made to follow orders. It’s pretty obvious that Lucas’ intention for the Clone troopers was to show how similar they were to the very dispensable Separatist droids, despite the fact that they were fighting on the side of the “good guys.” (In fact, one could argue that Lucas used his last two Prequel movies to comment on the real-world conflicts of the day – e.g. the Iraq War and the War on Terror – but that’s an article for another time.) By the end of the game, you’re fully engulfed in the predicament of these soldiers, drones who are helpless to change anything about their lives and destined to follow the will of more powerful men.
Rogue One – and the new timeline as a whole – has done a great job of showing the grayer shades of the Rebellion and that war is complicated. The conflict between the Rebels and the Empire is not as black and white as it was in the 70s. It can’t be. For every Fascist doomsday weapon the Rebellion might destroy and planet it may save, there are probably a number questionable things that the Rebels did to gain that victory. Cassian Andor’s actions under the chain of command specifically come to mind.
A Clone Wars war movie along the lines of Republic Commando would allow Lucasfilm to explore an untapped angle on the big screen – a story about soldiers who are fighting in the name of a government that doesn’t ultimately value them.
Knights of the Old Republic
I’ve always considered that the easiest way for Lucasfilm to make standalone movies that don’t step on the toes of the saga is to set the stories in a completely different era. While Lucasfilm seems more than content with connecting all of their Star Wars Story movies with the main trilogies – it goes back to using known entities and settings to build the shared universe – the studio may eventually consider making something that has nothing to do with any of that stuff.
Starting in the late 90s, ambitious storytellers such as comic book writer Tom Veitch began to explore eras thousands of years before the events of the Original Trilogy, a time in which both Jedi and Sith warred for control of the galaxy. While that description might make you shudder, as it brings back memories of every Jedi in the galaxy swinging around his/her lightsaber in an arena on Geonosis, there have been plenty of compelling stories told in the days when both the Jedi and Sith had entire armies with which to lay waste to the galaxy. (Seriously, the Jedi are awful peacekeepers.)
The Tales of the Jedi comics and the Knights of the Old Republic game are arguably two of the best Star Wars stories ever told, and part of what makes them so great is how unique and different they are because they’re not tied to anything that’s come before. Lucasfilm would do well to learn from their example and explore truly uncharted territory.
Dawn of the Jedi
This last one isn’t as unlikely as you might think – although it would probably be years before Lucasfilm greenlit this. Since the Lucasfilm Story Group got to work on creating a whole new shared universe, they have been subtlely establishing the lore of the Force. Things like the Church of the Force, Force-sensitive trees, the Guardians of the Whills, Jedha, and the Bendu have allowed storytellers to explore the Force beyond just the Jedi and the Sith. There are people throughout the galaxy that worship the Force, even though they don’t wield the ancient energy, and choose to live by the principles of the Jedi.
Like those who worship it, Lucasfilm is clearly interested in uncovering more about the secrets of the Force as time goes by. The Force Awakens teased that Luke Skywalker had exiled himself on Ahch-To in order to study the Force at the first Jedi Temple, for example, and the Jedi’s only other post-RotJ appearance involves him searching for remnants of a Force-sensitive tree that once stood at the temple on Coruscant. Perhaps once the true nature of Luke’s plan is revealed in Episode VIII, Lucasfilm will start considering a movie about the discovery of the Force and the birth of the Jedi.
Although this movie would have to take place thousands of years before The Force Awakens, it would benefit from connections already established in the latest Star Wars movies. The Force Awakens‘ first Jedi Temple and Rogue One‘s Jedha (home to one of the first civilizations to study the nature of the Force) form a sort of roadmap for a Jedi origin story.
Dark Horse Comics attempted something similar in the old continuity, a series called Dawn of the Jedi by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema. In their story, monolithic starships known as the Tho Yor transported the first Force-sensitive beings to a planet incredibly rich with the energy. I, for one, would love to see something similarly Kubrick-inspired on the big screen.
What Star Wars spin-off movies do you want to see? Sound off in the comments!