So now that you’ve seen Rogue One (maybe even several times by now), you are probably one of the overwhelming majority who left the theatre filled with pure joy and excitement. There are so many great aspects of the film that it can easily fill conversations for days. (It certainly has for us here at ScreenFish!)
So, what now’?
Rogue One was a huge risk that ended up paying off for the franchise. As a standalone film, it gives a separate view of the Star Wars universe and pushed the limits in story and action. The best part of it is that it took a very small excerpt from scrolling text and turned it into cinematic gold, introducing us to new characters and greater possibilities. At long last, the franchise no longer has to rely on Skywalkers or ‘Chosen Ones’ in order to be relevant. Side characters don’t have to be jettisoned to the nether regions of comics, novels or an animated series in order to resonate with the general audience. Whether you are a die hard Star Wars fan, or a casual moviegoer that enjoys the films, Rogue One has proven that the brand of Star Wars is not only strong, but the king of its domain. This is a franchise that can survive without its original premises and take chances in telling good standalone stories. Even with the failure of the prequels, the fact that this film has been heralded as one of the best in the franchise speaks volumes to what can be done and, with Disney at the helm, we know good things are ahead.
So with all that said, here are a few ideas of what we would like to see, and what could be done moving forward.
The Next Trilogy
With the current trilogy set to release its next film next December, we are almost at the point of thinking about what can be done next. We can debate (as we have done here at Screenfish) about the timing of when that will happen, but surely Disney and Lucasfilm are already spouting ideas of where to go. Unlike Warner Bros. who scrambled for years looking for a Harry Potter replacement, only to come back to the franchise lore with Fantastic Beasts, Disney can plan ahead. Now, for us, the most likely of solutions is going back in time. Although no longer in canon, Disney can use Knights of the Old Republic as inspiration for their next trilogy of films. However, why not go even further back and look at a trilogy revolving around the Jedi Origins and, more specifically, the early days of the Jedi and rise of the Sith. We can flesh out how Kyber Crystals came to be, how the force brings Jedi and these living crystals together and how the Sith corrupts them. It would most likely be a darker trilogy than those before, but Rogue One managed to accomplish this and keep it family friendly. And, lets face it, by giving the origins of the Light vs Dark and expounding on the faith element to trust the force, there’s no doubt it would amount to a successful trilogy (and think of the new toys).
More Standalone Films
We know that this is already the plan, with the Han Solo film next in line. While there have been rumors of other films, nothing has been set in stone. Fans would love to see a Boba Fett film and the story of Yoda in his early years would make for a good standalone. Personally though, I would like to see the same risk taken with Rogue One now that their faith in it has been rewarded. In the long line of standalone films that could be made, I would like to go a little more grim and darker with a story that focuses on the Star Wars Inquisition (this falls in the timeline in-between Order 66 and the current animated series Star Wars Rebels.) It can also be the opportunity to bring another animated character from the Clone Wars to live action in Ahsoka Tano (which if you are a fan I highly recommend the book “Star Wars: Ahsoka” that briefly tells of one of her adventures during this time). Inquisition could be a film that focuses on Darth Vader and his Inquisitors as they seek out the remaining Jedi. For a standalone film, the most sense would be to ground it to a single Inquisitor (or two) and a single Jedi (Ahsoka). In the early stages of when she joined the rebellion, before her appearance on Star Wars Rebels, we can follow as she seeks to not only stay alive, but also to protect force sensitive younglings from the Inquisitors. Of course, it doesn’t have to be Ahsoka, and it can very well be a telling of where the Inquisitors come from, how they were trained by Vader, and their roles as Jedi hunters. This is a risk of a story, but I think if well told–like Rogue One–it could be well received and a great addition to the film franchise.
Disney already has a great relationship with Netflix, and there’s no better time to strike than while the iron is hot. Netflix and their original series have raised the bar for television and, considering what they have done with another Disney owned franchise (Marvel), there’s no better place for Disney and Lucasfilm to branch out. Given the fact that animated series like Clone Wars (6 seasons) and Rebels (in its 3rd season) have both been successful in a time where series like those often don’t make it past two, the interest of a binge worthy series on Netflix would certainly be high. I’m almost certain that Netflix would be willing to pay premium price to be able to work with Lucasfilm in developing a series exclusively for them. Here’s where you can take several ideas from above and expand on them. From the early stages of the rebellion, to their own version of Knights of the Old Republic, on Netflix. You have the luxury on Netflix to slow down and expand the universe introducing new characters and building on those.
One would think that the House of Mouse would like to milk it as much as they can. With ownership of ABC and Freeform, this provides another avenue for them to explore. While I wouldn’t go as far as saying that a series that focuses on Jedi vs Sith would work well here, but life in the Old Republic, or even the New Republic after the fall of the empire may fit within the audiences they tend to have. With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Inhumans on ABC, another action-packed series may be too much, but the opportunity to tell stories of ordinary citizens living in this time could be something that can be explored. The likelihood is that it would never see the time of day, but, you never know.
So what say you? Do you have any ideas that could work within any of these categories? Maybe you have a different avenue that can be explored. Let us know what you think of these and let us know what ideas you may have.