With the wild success of The Mandalorian, it’s no surprise that Disney is ramping up production of other Star Wars live-action TV series. The studio is already producing live-action series based on Obi-Wan Kenobi and Cassian Andor, and there are plenty of reports and rumors of other characters getting the Disney+ treatment.
The latest report alleges that Leslye Headland, the co-creator, showrunner, and executive producer of Netflix’s time-travel comedy Russian Doll, is working on a new series that will focus on a female lead “in a different part of the Star Wars timeline than other projects.” That last bit suggests that this new series won’t take place in the years right before A New Hope or after Return of the Jedi, taking fan-favorite characters like Ahsoka Tano out of the running, although she’s rumored to appear in The Mandalorian season 2.
Without much else to go on, what do we think this show might be like? Lately, Star Wars has thrived on telling stories that call back to but are also unlike previous chapters in the saga. The titular Mandalorian has a personality and history that’s different from Boba Fett but capitalizes on the famous armor and Space Western aesthetic. The return of Emperor Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker looks a little bit like an alternate universe of the classic Dark Empire comics series, although the stories themselves diverge.
It’s unclear whether Headland’s new show will directly follow an established character, but we’ve selected a list of existing characters as well as character types that we’d love to see on Disney+.
The “Jedi Exile” from Knights of the Old Republic II is a customizable character but was canonized as Meetra Surik, a Jedi who confronted several Sith Lords after going to war for the Republic. Some of the sharpest writing about the Force ever can be found in this game, especially in regards to Surik and her mentor, the philosophizing Force-user Kreia.
The Knights of the Old Republic era also offers a look at a completely different political landscape than any you’ve seen on the big screen, with armies of Jedi, Sith, and Mandalorians clashing for control of the galaxy. In the game, Surik’s found family features a wide cast of entertaining character types that would translate well to Disney’s new continuity.
Another fan favorite from the Knights of the Old Republic era, Bastila Shan starts out as a privileged Jedi assigned to watch the former Sith Lord Darth Revan. The way her life entwines with Revan’s in a sweeping story of hidden truths, the light and dark sides, and romance endeared her to many fans. Like Rey and Kylo Ren later, Bastila and Revan are connected by a Force bond.
With or without Revan, she could be a possible point-of-view character for the Jedi Order in an era set thousands of years before the movies and current TV series. Dogmatic, arrogant, possessed with a rare Force ability known as “Battle Meditation,” and determined to defeat the Sith, she definitely has enough strengths and flaws to carry a TV series.
A New, Ancient Character
The non-canon Legends continuity stretched far into the past, telling stories set way before the Skywalkers even existed. Tens of thousands of years before the movies, philosophies on what the Jedi were meant to be, or what the moral structure of the Force was, were different.
In the Dawn of the Jedi era, before hyperspace travel was common, characters like Lanoree Brock could use both sides of the Force. With a more fantastical setting and the chance to explore the origins of the Jedi, a new show set in the very early days of the Jedi could add to the saga as a whole without touching any of the existing stories.
A New High Republic Character
It’s unclear whether “in a different part of the Star Wars timeline than other projects” means Disney+ projects or all storytelling in any medium. If it’s the latter, the High Republic is off the table. But maybe this is just the kind of new territory the new show is looking to explore.
The upcoming series of books and comics will introduce the era 200 years before the rise of the Empire, and a TV show would be another way to make this new era of Star Wars accessible and easily understandable. In a world where the Jedi Order is at its prime, a new female character could be involved in a different mission every week, without ever touching the Prequel era.
High Republic: Avar Kriss
With that caveat, Avar Kriss looks like the logical choice to be the poster child for the High Republic era. As the upcoming series of books and comics begins, she’s already well into her career as a Jedi extraordinaire. The official Star Wars website describes her as “the brightest, most noble example of Jedi-hood. She always tries to see the good in people and situations, and never puts herself first.”
Her early adventures could make for a fun space fantasy story. She’s also described as “dogmatic,” so it wouldn’t be all heroism all the time: it’s also potentially a story of a person being too overzealous.
Before The Clone Wars, and before The Phantom Menace, the members of the Jedi Order thought they were in a golden age. Senator Palpatine had not yet shown his dark side and the galaxy was largely enjoying a time of peace. This era has the benefit of including familiar characters, but wouldn’t necessarily have to tread on the same ground as the movies or the TV shows.
What were the Jedi up to when Qui-Gon Jinn was young? One potentially great point-of-view character for this era is Luminara Unduli, who was a part of both Ahsoka Tano and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s early lives. She’s officially described as “A by-the-book Jedi,” and can be stern to the point of coldness.
Aayla is from the same era as Luminara and has a lot of the same appeal: she exists just to the side of the Prequel canon and is a fan-favorite from stories outside of the movies. She was also one of George Lucas’ favorites, choosing her from a comic book cover to appear in Attack of the Clones.
What about non-Jedi characters? Another non-Jedi woman that would be a great fit for a TV series is the rogue archeologist Doctor Aphra, but as a denizen of the Original Trilogy era, she’s firmly spoken for in terms of setting. Still, as this galaxy’s very own version of Indiana Jones, watching her in live-action would be pretty delightful.
With the popularity of politically-minded Star Wars books like Bloodline and Queen’s Shadow, the Naboo queen sitting on the throne after the end of The Clone Wars would show what it was like to be an elected leader just as the Empire is becoming more authoritarian.
A New Scientist Character
Jedi Search, one of the pulpiest of Star Wars books in the Legends continuity, introduced Qwi Xux, a scientist who had worked on the Death Star without knowing it was a superweapon. This list is heavy on Jedi, but of the current live-action TV shows, two-thirds are about regular people. Making the new character a scientist could embroil her in many of the ethical debates Star Wars has poked at over the years in regards to how power is used and who is responsible for holding the moral high ground. It would be new and different for the Disney era of Star Wars, if not unheard of in the Legends timeline.
A Skywalker Descendant
In the early 2010s came a rather unusual Star Wars project — one of the last of the Legends canon. Set generations after the original movies, the second volume of the Star Wars: Legacy comic followed Ania Solo, a non-Force-sensitive descendant of Han and Leia. While officially she was their great-great-granddaughter, the exact relationship was never explained.
That’s a strength: one doesn’t need to have a detailed family tree to understand the appeal of a far-future story unrelated to the film saga but continues the tale of the Skywalker extended family in some way. This is obviously a lot more difficult in the new canon: in Legends, the Solos had two surviving children and Luke Skywalker had one. But if the story is good enough, some hand-waving could be a boon (in that a far-future story doesn’t have to be strictly beholden to existing canon), not a detriment.