So over on Postal Apocalypse, there was another question about the future of Star Wars after the Han Solo director shakeup and Rob Bricken’s response was, basically, that the movies will be good, but not great, which is what Disney wants.
Now, personally, I loved Rogue One and I think the Han Solo movie will be great (after all, it has Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge). But I do agree that Disney doesn’t want to really take any risks with the Star Wars films — they want assured blockbusters and taking a risk means taking a risk that it might fail. But without taking risks, these movies will become just...there. The original trilogy is beloved for how different it was from anything and how new it felt, but if none of the new movies are sufficiently different from what came before, if none of them feel new, what then? Should Disney keep making movies about characters we already know? How many movies set before A New Hope do we need?
I think Marvel Studios has sufficiently diversified, so that even if all their movies are in the good-to-great range, we still see them as completely different — Guardians of the Galaxy is completely different than Spider-Man: Homecoming which is going to be completely different than Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther. Individual franchises that are different from each other within the larger universe — which is what Star Wars should do. So here is one (humble) solution to the problem of Star Wars:
Divide Star Wars into three. What do I mean by this? Let me explain.
This would be the main series, the one that started with The Force Awakens. Sure, right now it’s just a trilogy, but you know that Disney will want to make another trilogy after the first one is done and I think we should keep Rey, Finn, and Poe as long as possible. They are interesting characters and exploring their development and backstory would be intriguing as they go up against the First Order and beyond.
A series that takes place 4000+ years before A New Hope. It doesn’t have to be exactly like the Knights of the Old Republic games, but it should certainly take inspiration. In any case, I think a prequel set so far in the past would be sufficiently different so that writers and directors can go in whole different directions and make more interesting and risky choices. And the universe of Star Wars 4000 years ago should look much different than A New Hope through The Force Awakens — after all, lots of things change in 4,000 years and that can include not just technology levels, but entire civilizations. Perhaps we can see a lush and verdant Tatooine or meet the noble and kind Hutts. And then we could get interesting Easter eggs to the “present” Star Wars movies, too, but without having movies that are beholden to the present ones.
From 2006 to 2010, comic book writer and legend John Ostrander wrote a Star Wars comic called Star Wars: Legacy that was unlike anything that had come before. For one thing, it took place 125 years after A New Hope, meaning that all of the Star Wars characters we know are dead and, instead, we are following their descendants. The main character of the first volume was Cade Skywalker, while the second volume had Ania Solo. Furthermore, the Empire was not the bad guy — in fact, the Jedi and the Empire were fighting together against the Sith in the Sith-Imperial War.
Now, I don’t think the movies should try and adapt this specific story — it’s super complex and contains a lot of things that were discarded when the EU became Legends, so it wouldn’t really work anyway. But I do think that it would be a fascinating and risky move if they made a series of Star Wars films set in the future of the Star Wars universe. Let’s say it takes place 1,000 years after A New Hope, which would mean that the galaxy would, again, look almost completely different than in “present” Star Wars. It would mean that, again, the writers and directors would have more of a chance to create things that weren’t beholden to past movies and still include fun Easter eggs referencing the past — perhaps have references to the “Dameron clan” or the “Free Stormtroopers of Finn.” Anything is possible and any direction is possible if they set it in the future. The only issue might be those who worry about knowing what’s going to happen in the “present” Star Wars films or thinking the “present” Star Wars films have no impact, since we know the future — but I think this is mitigated if you set it far enough. One or two thousand years into the future, the universe will always be different.
So that’s my solution. What do you guys think?