Will, this is timely. Given the general slow drip of news and secrecy at the mouse house surrounding their upcoming "Star Wars" we had no idea that very literally moments after we had finished writing What The Stand-Alone 'Star Wars' Movies Mean For The Franchise & 5 Possibilities Of What They Could Be, well, we would kind of know what they will be.
Just a couple days after rumors surfaced that Disney was planning a "Yoda" spinoff movie, EW reports that according to their sources stand-alone movies centered around a young Han Solo and Boba Fett are in the works. Now, yesterday CEO Bob Iger said, somewhat crucially, that the spinoffs will be "derived from great 'Star Wars' characters that are not part of the overall saga." But if his word is correct, it certainly seems like these side-pictures will tie into the larger series of movies.
According the magazine, the Han Solo movie will take place between "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith" and the first "Star Wars" and even more, Harrison Ford -- already rumored to return -- will act as a framing device to tell the story. As for Boba Fett, it would either take place between "Star Wars" and "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back" or between that film and "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi." (So yes, he would survive the sarlaac pit as he does in the books).
But wait, there's more. Given these timelines, it would also mean villains like Darth Vader and Jabba The Hut could return as well. Frankly, this is the sort of thing we wanted the spinoffs to avoid but it seems Disney and Lucasfilm are hellbent on Marvel-izing this universe, at least on first glance. Even if that means stripping away the mystery that intially made Boba Fett so compelling (we think it's going to be really hard to have him be enigmatically badass in a stand-alone movie, and they basically fucked it up hard in the prequels). And we'd rather a young Han Solo movie where he just goes off on an adventure, without it being hardwired into a specific timeline.
However, as we mentioned in our feature, Disney paid big, big bucks for these characters and properties and they want to merchandise and themepark this stuff as much as possible. So how about two action-figure- and video-game-ready characters! And tying back into the pre-existing franchise only makes economic sense. Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are writing the scripts for these spinoffs, and if they can make them work, offering new stories while still honoring but not over-explaining to death the series we grew up with, we'd be cautiously optimistic.
Thoughts? Opinions? Share 'em below. There's a lot to talk about.