You may remember our Star Wars Characters Who Deserve Their Own Spin-Off feature from a couple of weeks ago. Well, it’s all very well being excited and positive about new Star Wars films, but history teaches us that we should also treat such ventures with some sense of trepidation. A spin-off film about a single character could easily lead to fear, anger, hate and suffering if not handled well, and the first mistake would be to make a movie based around any of the following…
As much as we love Brian Blessed, the Gungan syntax is even more testing of an audience’s patience than Yoda’s, making the prospect of a whole film filled with Nass’ verbal tics and spit-showers less than enticing. Whosa wanta watcha whole CHK-CHK-CHK moviefilm lika dis, BRLBRLBRL? Plus you just know it’d be in 3D, with umbrellas dished out along with 3D glasses to shelter from the deluge of Gungan saliva flying out of the screen.
Not only that but over the course of his career Rugor Nass undertook some of the most tedious jobs in the Star Wars universe: engineer, miner, businessman and civil servant, all before being appointed as the overweight Boss of Otoh Gunga. And let’s not forget that Nass saw fit to promote Jar Jar Binks, the Star Wars universe’s biggest tool, to Bombad General, which led to what would have been certain death on the Grassy Plains of Naboo for hundreds of Gungans were it not for the actions of a boy in a spaceship miles above their heads. How are we supposed to root for such an incompetent leader? We can’t. So Star Wars: Who’s The Boss? is a film that must not happen.
In his youth, Panaka was noted for his unsociable nature, preferring to knuckle down to his studies and strive to improve the Royal Naboo Security Forces – all of which is commendable, but hardly the stuff of box office dynamite. He got a reasonably exciting outing in a short story called Monster, published in Star Wars Gamer magazine, but even this ended in failure, with incriminating evidence against the distinctly fishy Senator Palpatine being destroyed on Panaka’s watch.
But the worst part of Panaka: The Movie would undoubtedly be his constant efforts to piss on everyone’s chips, take the wind out of everyone’s sails and generally bring the party down with his relentlessly sensible pessimism. “There are too many of them,” he says. “I do not agree with the Jedi,” he moans. “There are too few of us, Your Highness. We have no army,” he bleats. Sweet Jesus, does he have anything fun to contribute? “Your Highness, this is a battle I do not think that we can win.” Well thanks, Captain Positivity. No spin-off for you.
Annoying loser, slythmonger (drug dealer) and all-round bad advert for students, Elan Sel’Sabagno is another character from the Star Wars universe who deserves no further study. His brief appearance in Attack Of The Clones, in which he foolishly attempts to flog deathsticks to Obi-Wan Kenobi before falling foul of a Jedi mind trick, is enough to put anyone off watching him for longer, but his other exploits are equally unworthy of investigation.
A medical student who took to pilfering supplies and selling them to gangsters, Sel’Sabagno was one of those addicts who mistakenly got high on his own supply, a movie cliché if ever there were one. His encounter with Kenobi forced him to go home and rethink his life, but it wasn’t long before he was back to his old ways. After a brief, unexciting period acting as Boba Fett’s chauffeur on Coruscant, Sel’Sabagno became a born-again anti-drugs crusader (see The Clone Wars series), handing out pamphlets warning of the dangers of deathstick addiction. How’s that for a thrilling adventure? From drug-addled student to reformed evangelist waving leaflets in everyone’s faces outside Dex’s Diner. Hollywood: Just say no.
There are plenty of robotic characters in the Star Wars universe who deserve their own feature (who wouldn’t want to watch a two hour medical drama in which The Empire Strikes Back’s 2-1B carries out a sordid affair with Revenge Of The Sith’s EW-3 Midwife Droid?), but one which nobody should have to sit through a full length film is the MSE-Series General-Purpose Droid, otherwise known as the Mouse Droid.
Designed to resemble a pleeky (a popular pet rodent), these tin boxes on wheels were created to carry out simple household functions. In an example of one of the universe’s biggest design failures, the MSE-6 droids’ rodent-like appearance served only to make an entire species of owners hungry (The Aar’aa, in case you were wondering), so they were dumped onto the Empire, who found a use for them on the Death Star. So it was that they spent their time delivering messages (e-mail didn’t exist a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away), leading Stormtroopers through the space station’s labyrinthine passages (neither did Google Maps) and being roared at by irascible Wookiees. Next!
It may well be that there’s an 80-minute comedy to be made all about the hilarious exploits of the Empire’s clutziest employee, the Stormtrooper who whacks his head on the top of a Death Star door frame in A New Hope. The possibilities are endless: he could stub his toe on the way to the bathroom, inadvertently step on a Mouse Droid and fall flat on his backside or fall off a gantry.
But let’s be honest: this would be a one-joke movie along the lines of Mr Magoo, and about as funny. Maybe if it was shot silent and in black-and-white it could work, but even then the armoured buffoon’s antics would soon become tedious after the fifth or sixth time he hit his thumb with a hammer. There are plenty of Stormtroopers in the Expanded Universe who are more deserving of a full-length spin-off: the conflicted Anson Trask, introduced in the Star Wars: Legacy comic series, for example, or perhaps one of the aliens who fought for non-humans to be admitted into the Stormtrooper Corps with the help of the reforms of Admiral Daala, as detailed in Kevin Anderson’s spin-off novels.
So let’s steer clear of comedy, shall we? It’s been a long time since Star Wars was genuinely funny, and we’re not talking about The Phantom Menace’s flatulent eopie.
While the episode in which Han, Leia, Chewie and the droids escape from the innards of a gigantic space slug in The Empire Strikes Back is undeniably thrilling, what would be the absolute opposite is a nature documentary about the lifecycle of the toothy, cave-impersonating gastropod.
Exogorths spend their existence floating from one asteroid to another, looking for a suitable home in which they can hole up, munch on mynocks and swallow the occasional passing spacecraft, before reproducing by splitting themselves in half. David Attenborough himself would struggle to make a watchable series about these oversized sock puppets.
That said, at some point after the Great Sith War (which took place 4000 years before the events of A New Hope) nefarious scientists saw fit to attach hyperdrive engines and remote controls to some exogorths, effectively weaponising them, before selling them to the highest bidders. So perhaps there’s some value in working that into another Star Wars film, but the slugs themselves are hardly the most enigmatic of protagonists around which to build a standalone movie. Mind you, there’s a whole film about Green Lantern, so who are we to judge?
Return Of The Jedi’s Malakili was, like Han Solo, a Corellian. Unlike Han Solo, however, he was a massive baby whose best pal was a one-and-a-half tonne drooling killing machine. Malakili’s story is a fairly uneventful one, that of a former circus slave tasked with caring for Jabba The Hutt’s pet rancor, and a movie based on his life would inevitably be some sort of saccharine tale about an over-emotional man who can’t connect with anyone else unless they’re five metres tall and chewing on a Gamorrean guard.
In the Expanded Universe, Malakili was known to both take the rancor for walks in the desert (yes, really) and eat meals with it, which conjures up some of the oddest scenes of domestic bliss we’ve ever imagined.
Post-Return Of The Jedi, Malakili’s unthrilling life continued without his man-eating chum, and he went on to open a restaurant in Mos Eisley with a chef who he broke out of Jabba’s prison.
So to synopsise The Malakili Movie: man meets monster; man spends fairly weird life living with monster; man loses monster; man blubs; man opens diner. It’s little wonder that of all the Corellians who populate the Star Wars universe, Malakili finds himself somewhere below Han Solo on the list of characters likely to feature in a spin-off film.
Daww, bless. Look at her cute bulbous eyes, her delightful button nose. Wouldn’t you like to take her home and look after her forever? So would we want to see a film about the fluffy furball? Hardly. The sheer cuteness factor would soon become overwhelming, and only the most simpering of children could take such an overdose of adorability for longer than the average running time of an episode of animated series Star Wars: Ewoks. For a movie about Nippet to be anything approaching bearable, it would have to follow her growing into a precocious Ewok warrior, falling in love with a brave, handsome Ewok who swept her off her paws, marrying him and living happily ever after in their treehouse where they amused themselves by playing drums on old Stormtrooper helmets. All of which is fine, but at the end of the day, they’re Ewoks, and any semblance of a plot would be secondary to the amount of merchandising Disney could sell off the back of the film. So before this idea goes any further, let’s Nippet in the bud (sorry).