It’s true, Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders, Empire, Jedi) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand, Jumper, Sherlock Holmes) are both writing standalone Star Wars films in addition to J.J. Abrams’ highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII (itself written by Toy Story 3’s Michael Arndt). But with so many Star Wars characters out there – see our The 30 Greatest Star Wars Characters and 25 Great Star Wars Characters You've Probably Never Heard Of features for details – who deserves their own feature film spin-off? Here are just nine examples but be warned: you’re about to enter the never-ending sarlacc pit of the extended Star Wars universe, and it’s pretty heavy down there…
Despite his appearances in all three of the prequels, Empire, Jedi, the Clone Wars TV show and all those extended universe novels they keep writing, Yoda’s history remains a big green question mark.
To kick things off, we still don’t know his first name – though it’s meant to be “Minch”, apparently – or his actual race/species, so there’s plenty to be getting on with there, and on top of that, there’s the fact that he’s trained the likes of Count Dooku, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ki-Adi-Mundi, and Kit Fisto, as well as our man Luke.
In other words, there’d be a hell of a lot of training montages, but heck – everyone loves a good training montage. Each would have to be different, mind, but each padawan would at least have to stand on one hand with Yoda on their feet while levitating a rock. You know, to keep some consistency here.
But generally, it could be an exciting opportunity to see where that teeny green alien came from, and find out just why his planet’s syntax pays no heed to conventional speech patterns. That said, constantly hear his voice grating could get. Sorry Yoda, but true it is.
Han Solo could well be the coolest character in this or any other universe. And because he wasn't included in the prequels, there’s plenty of fun to be had with him if he (and maybe Chewie) were to get their own movie.
To kick things off, let’s look at his novels. In the extended Star Wars universe, there are two clear paths to be taken in the world of Han…
First of all, there’s the pre-New Hope young smuggling days that would see him and Chewie get up to all kinds of scrapes, Lando giving him the Millennium Falcon in a game of cards, Chewie pledging him his life and all that sort of shenanigan. There’s even a love interest for Han back in the day in the form of one Ms. Bria Tharen, but, of course, that’s not going to quite work out…
Then there’s the post-Return Of The Jedi Han, a man who runs after and eventually marries Leia, has three children with her, then – for one reason or another – loses two of them, with one of the Solo kids winding up a big bad Sith by the name of Darth Caedus. Along the way, Han returns to his loner-ish ways, gets drunk a lot, and generally acts like a bit of a dick.
Both are entirely filmable stories, ready and waiting to be turned into the next big Star Wars thing. New characters could be introduced, more Wookies petted – the trouble is, who the hell could fill Ford’s spaceboots? Well, exactly…
If we’re going to give Han a couple of cracks of the whip, then our man Chewie definitely needs a spin-off review. And though he can’t speak English, would require another seven-foot-tall actor willing to wear a lot of mohair, and has limited potential without Han by his side, he definitely should be considered for a spin-off.
Why? Five words: The Star Wars Holiday Special. Sure, we meet Chewie’s family, Mallatobuck, Attichitcuk, and Lumpawarrump, but we need something to wash out this horrifically bad taste out of our mouths, and Chewie – The Movie could well be that.
As he’d be doing his grunty-thing, subtitles would have to be introduced, perhaps giving the whole affair a French arthouse vibe. Hell, what are we saying – as much as we love Chewie, he just doesn’t make sense without Han… and in many ways, Han doesn’t make sense without Chewie.
Basically, as he’s one half of the ultimate movie bromance, if Han gets a spin-off, Chewie has to be involved… and maybe that’s help us get over the whole Holiday Special farrago. Possibly. Kind of. Maybe.
In the original draft of A New Hope, Mace Windu was the narrator – yet further proof of Windu’s importance in the Star Wars saga – and considering just how significant he is in the prequel trilogy, as well as the Clone Wars film and TV spin-off, it would be remiss of us not to suggest he got his own time to shine.
More than this, he’s pretty much everywhere in the extended universe novels, appearing as he does in the likes of Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, Labyrinth Of Evil, Rogue Planet, Outbound Flight, The Cestus Deception, Jedi Trial, and, and, and…
But his key solo adventure is Shatterpoint, which shows off Windu’s power to see “faultlines” within the force (“Shatterpoints”, if you will) as he goes back to his homeworld, Haruun Kal, to defeat his former Padawan, Depa Billaba, through his special lightsaber combat technique, Vaapad. Sound complicated? Sure is.
Citing Heart Of Darkness and Apocalypse Now (who saw those two together, eh?) as inspiration, Shatterpoint’s author, Matthew Stover, would be a good shout to script a potential movie – and as George himself wrote the novel’s prologue, it’s definitely got the Skywalker Ranch seal of approval. The main problem? Would Samuel L. be young enough to do it, and if not, who could replace him? Questions so hypothetical it’s almost ludicrous, but hell, let us know in the comment box below anyway…
Some call Lando a poor man’s Han Solo, but if you’re going to be a poor man’s anything, Han Solo is a damn good shout. You know, him or Indiana Jones.
The obvious spin-off plot arc for our man Lando would be his extended universe novel series, The Adventures of Lando Calrissian, which sees the duplicitous, cloak-wearing, gambling-addicted smuggler scouring the galaxy for a series of amazing MacGuffins, including the fantastically named “Mindharp of Sharu” – something which, surprise, surprise, you can read about in Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu.
Then there’s Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of ThonBoka (honestly), which is the novel where he loses The Millennium Falcon to Han in a game of cards, as well as Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon, when Lando upsets the wrong cop during a game of chance.
Of course, being such a popular character, he crops up all over the extended universe: in Rebel Dawn, The Corellian Trilogy, Vector Prime, and much more. What’s important here is there’s plenty of room for Lando’s character to grow, develop, and, arguably more importantly, gamble a lot, get himself into trouble, and shoot lots of people with a blaster. Lovely stuff.
Wait, wait, wait, bear with us here. Don’t you want to know how young Lieutenant Ackbar became General Ackbar? How he learnt to perceive imminent traps? What he was up to during The Empire Strikes Back? What the flippin’ heck he is, species-wise?
Okay, sure, we know what species he is – Mon Calamari, fact fans, just like your favourite fried squid dish – but there’s a story to tell here, of the Mon Calamari homeworld, how it was bombed to hell and back by The Empire, and how the surviving inhabitants fought valiantly with the alliance, building battleships and generally suspecting certain things to be a bit fishy.
Ackbar was also caught by Boba Fett at one point, which would offer a nice few scenes, and even in his old age he helped planned the decisive battle against the Yuuzhan Vong – the extended universe baddies post-Sith – meaning that he is, without a doubt, an absolute legend. Even if he looks weird and would make an awful, awful protagonist. Screw it, make it a slapstick comedy. Job done.
Just imagine the poster: Porkins – The Movie! Everyone’s favourite chubby pilot’s life story, from humble beginnings to infamous end! See him train! Watch him... pilot fighters! Um... It’s Porkins! Yay!
A clone of few words and several impressively-sized blasters, Boba Fett bears more than a passing resemblance to The Man With No Name, and as such, the possibilities of seeing Fett Mark II starring in his own intergalactic western adventure are very tantalising indeed.
The trouble is, the extended Star Wars universe being such an exceptionally messy (if very intriguing) dog’s breakfast, it’s difficult to pin down exactly what happens to Fett over the course of his checkered bounty hunting existence. Then again, that mystery is part of his hundreds-of-thousands-of-action-figures-selling appeal, so perhaps we’re best off embracing it wholeheartedly, sarlacc-style.
The Clone Wars series sees the young assassin bury his “father” before taking his armour and handy bounty hunting instruction manual and ending up at an orphanage on Bespin. K. W. Jeter's Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy makes him somewhat chattier to help his Blondie-like antihero status work better, whereas Dark Horse Comics' Dark Empire series has Boba surviving the death pit and carry on being the mainly mute murderer you know and love.
Then there are the stories of him leading the ever-so-very-deadly Mandalorian warriors, or working as a humble stormtrooper (who kills his commanding officer) or, as seen in the young adult novels published post-Attack Of The Clones, just hunting some serious bounty after nabbing his dad’s ship and heading into the wide black yonder.
Perhaps the best idea is to come up with a whole new story for Fett, set around the original trilogy – perhaps even before A New Hope – and cherry picking certain ideas from the ever-expanding extended universe, ideally with a distinct western feel – and a tooling-up scene where he repaints his Dad’s duds, naturally.
How do you solve a problem like a bisected Sith apprentice? Lightsabered in twain by a backflipping Obi-Wan in The Phantom Menace, he falls to his doom down a reactor chasm… or does he? According to the expanded Star Wars universe, no he doesn’t – but there isn’t a definitive explanation as to how he makes it out alive.
The Clone Wars TV series has him ending up on a junk planet called Lotho Minor where he’s turned into a cyborg with, um, spider-like legs. Brought back to his adopted home planet of Dathomir, Nightsister Witch leader Mother Talzin – don’t ask – rids him off his memory loss and general madness, installs a couple of regular robot legs and encourages the double-ended lightsaber swinger to revenge Obi-Wan up a notch.
Star Wars Tales 9 solves Maul’s resurrection riddle with a cult that essentially magics him back to life, whereas Star Wars Tales #17 has a post Return Of The Jedi Luke fight a "solid state hologram" Maul after a crazy scientist uses the tattooed martial artisan’s brain for nefarious purposes. Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars: Visionaries, meanwhile, shows Maul rebuilding himself using cybernetics before getting blastered by Owen Lars on Tattooine whilst fighting a post-Revenge Of The Sith Obi-Wan.
If Darth Maul is given his own feature film, the death-explanation will be the biggest stumbling block. The other option is an origins movie, where those tattoos could either be Sith-based or something to do with the aforementioned (and distinctly evil) Nightsisters. Whatever happens, Peter Serafinowicz has to voice him, ideally with a new Brian Butterfield lilt to amp up the terror.