Geek Exchange have confirmed that Disney has more plans for the Star Wars franchise and certainly more movies in the pipeline. We also now know who will write two of them. Lawrence Kasdan (Screen Writer on The Empire Strikes Back) and Simon Kinberg (Screen Writer on X-Men: Days of Future Past) were confirmed by Disney CEO Bob Iger. He had this to say about the two writers:
[box_light]“[Kasdan and Kinberg are] working on films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga, so we still plan to make Star Wars VII, VIII and IX roughly over a six-year period of time starting in 2015. But there are going to be a few other films released in that period of time, too.”[/box_light]
So not only are Star Wars fans getting more of the continuing storyline of George Lucas’s epic saga, they are also going to be treated to more movies spinning off from Star Wars Mythology. Fantastic news to say the least and some even better news about the great talent behind these spin offs. Lawrence and Kasdan are established and clever writers and with Kasdan himself already a part of the Star Wars universe (with him working on Empire) we can expect great things. This format opens up a massive selection of characters that could be given their own stories.
While the movies lay dormant for quite some time after Return of the Jedi (until The Phantom Menace came onto our screens), the universe did not wait and expanded out into books, comics, with a huge amount of expanded stories that spanned through several era’s in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Stories concerning events set years before The Phantom Menace (The Old Republic, Tales of the Jedi), or during the original trilogy (Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, Shadows of the Empire), and the continuing story after the original trilogy which are sagas in their own right (Dark Empire, The Thrawn Trilogy). So while the expanded movies will be original stories, there really is no limit to where they can move forward from here. Especially with a few stand-alone pictures mixed in. Can you imagine a whole film with Yoda (rumored) or Mace Windu? That’s what this turn of events could offer us.
Shortly after this was released to the masses, Bob Iger came back again with even more exciting news. Collider shared that two confirmed stories would be about a young Han Solo (following the young rogue smuggler after Revenge of the Sith to his appearance in A New Hope) and the mightiest of all bounty hunters Boba Fett (probably between A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, unless you go with the expanded universe version where HE SURVIVES) mixing it up with some other bounty hunter scum.
So what do we have here exactly? Well with these stories we could see a return of characters now dead in the franchise. Darth Vader could easily make an appearance again,as he hired Boba Fett and could have had dealings with Han Solo, whohas had trouble with the Empire before. And with Boba Fett involved you would think that Jabba the Hutt will pop up at some point as well as his old bounty hunter buddies like IG88. With Han Solo we could see him winning the Millennium Falcon or meeting up with his hairy buddy Chewbacca. There are lots and lots of possibilities here.
However, there are certain problems with this. Finding an actor to play a young Han Solo could be a problem. Those are some big boots to fill as every one remembers Harrison Ford as their Han Solo. Most people seemed to embrace Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan, so maybe it will not be an issue. As I mentioned before the comics and books about Star Wars have already expanded greatly on the adventures of certain characters and Boba Fett is one of the most talked about. He has had entire comic books written about his exploits so it will be interesting to see if any of these plot lines are taken for the movie. It seems that Boba Fett will not rise from the Sarlacc’s belly as he did in the comic books; just because of the fact his story takes place in between parts 4-6. Still, it would be great to see him jet off again in his own adventure.
Is it a good thing to do these spin-off movies at all? If Disney is spreading themselves to thin here, than will the spin-off movies be of a poor caliber compared to Episodes 7 – 9? Personally I think Star Wars content lends itself better to television format rather than other feature films. Television is better suited to character development. Certain new characters could be introduced to a fresh audience this way and established characters can be expanded on, giving older Star Wars fans something to get excited about. People could disagree with me here after the cheesy nature of The Star Wars Holiday Special, but television has moved on greatly since then and it has become a respected form of story telling in its own right. But at the end of the day it is still more Star Wars so as long as it does not turn out like The Phantom Menace (which I hate to say is still painful to watch even after its release in 1999 over ten years ago), then I think we can all agree it is an interesting time to be a Star Wars fan.
One finally note to this news which may be of interest. Yahoo has an interview with both Lawrence and Kasdan about how they feel taking on this established and beloved universe and some of their plans for it. Keep reading Grizzly Bomb for more information as it develops.