By Edward Davis | The Playlist May 7, 2014 at 9:37AM
The Walt Disney Company spent a small fortune when they bought LucasFilm for some $4.4 billion dollars in 2013. And so, a new “Star Wars” trilogy is not enough—you need to deliver some kind of “Star Wars” offshoot. The plan announced way back was a new trilogy film every other year and in those in-between years, some kind of “Star Wars” solo movies. And as you might expect, in the ensuing months, there’s been dozens of rumors and unconfirmed reports about the specifics of that gameplan.
So, the Walt Disney Company had their quarterly earning stockholders call yesterday and according to those listening in on the call, including Variety reporters, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that the studios actually have “at least” three “Star Wars” spin-offs in the works. Much of this isn’t really news or a surprise. “Star Wars” spin-off movies have been mooted for some time, but this actually might be the first time Disney execs have officially acknowledged them.
The next question: What are they? Well, first off, LucasFilm producer Kathleen Kennedy said early on these solo films wouldn’t tie into the main trilogy narrative, and while that sounded promising at first, the rumors that surfaced verified that claim, but felt predictable nonetheless. We’ve heard so far of four “Star Wars” spin-offs: a young Han Solo movie, a Boba Fett movie, a Yoda movie and a “Seven Samurai”-esque Jedi Knights adventure movie story from director Zack Snyder.
Easily the most interesting of the bunch, Snyder’s rumored project was quickly shot down as just that: a rumor not based in any truth, which is a drag frankly, because it sounds even more “new” and original than the new trilogy that will include lots of familiar faces like Luke, Leia, Han, R2D2, Chewbacca, etc. Alas, apparently it’s b.s. (though the fact that not one reporter asked Snyder this during “Man Of Steel” press rounds goes to show how forgetful people can be even when they’re trying to figure out whatever kernels they can about "Star Wars" or Snyder's next move).
So, if we count this one out, we have three films left. A young Han Solo movie seems like a no-brainer choice. Safe and boring (and unimaginative), but probably just what the Disney execs would love. There’s been rumors that LucasFilm head writers Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg have been struggling with a Boba Fett screenplay, but that’s really no surprise. How do you take a would-be mysterious villain and make a movie out of him?
The “Star Wars” prequels already did a lot of damage to the Boba Fett myth, painting him far less as a badass, and more as the son of a chump. And unlike “The Amazing Spider-Man” writers (who seem to have all the confidence in the world that bad guy solo movies will work), the rumors say Kasdan and Kinberg are having difficulties negotiating the tone and story ideas—knowing you probably need to make him the hero of the movie, but managing how that can take away from his overall mystique. Frankly, this is a character better left alone.
A Yoda spin-off movie also seems rather boring and pointless, as are most of these prequel ideas that boil down to: “How Character X Got His Or Her Groove & Became The Cool Character You Love Today.” Yes, a Yoda movie opens up a world of new Jedis, but isn’t i,t at the end of the day, just a bunch of young Jedis vs. Siths while Yoda trains then? As a ScreenCrush writer recently observed, Jedis and the force are kind of boring, and with a whole gigantic galaxy out there of stories, narratives and possibilities, can’t we really try something a little bit different?
The truth is, yes, possibly one day, “Star Wars” will exhaust its prequel possibilities (“Young Lando Calrissian 2” won’t be quite as boffo at the box-office), the new trilogy will be over and they’ll want to continue making these films. But for Jesus H. Christ’s sake, can someone think up a story that doesn’t involve the Skywalker clan or isn't connected to ANY of the characters in the first six films? Hell, give us a call. we’re pretty sure we could do that rather easily.
For more, check out our feature What The Stand-Alone 'Star Wars' Movies Mean For The Franchise & 5 Possibilities Of What They Could Be. And lastly, one more reminder of writer Damon Lindelof’s sage thoughts on the allure-killing-nature of prequels. “Prometheus” might have sucked, but these thoughts are on-point. Last but not least, the alleged new "Star Wars" title, "The Ancient Fear" is wrong. We wouldn't doubt it, frankly.