There has been lots of talk about where the Star Wars saga should go. I was skeptical about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and if it were a good idea, ultimately it turned out to be fantastic. The as yet untitled Han Solo movie is a step further. Firstly to make a young Han Solo movie it requires a new young actor to plan Han Solo, if you have to do it, Alden Ehrenreich is a good choice, but do they have to do it? Is Han Solo’s past not best left a mystery? It is clear why Disney want to make the film; existing properties are the vain of gold that the studio are most expert at tapping, the value of this vein is greatly increased by the addition of an A list character from the franchise. So where does the franchise go from here?
Around the time of the original release of Return of the Jedi, I remember an interview with George Lucas where he spoke of a nine film series. The original trilogy followed by two further trilogies, one prequel, on sequel. By the time the prequels came out Lucas had changed his tune suggesting that he was too old to make any further films beyond the second trilogy and furthermore, there was only ever going to be two trilogies, the original and the prequel series telling the story of the rise, fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader.
As luck and a strange twist of fate, or to be more honest money would have it, we are now getting the third trilogy. But what next? to quote Winston Churchill (hopefully correctly) “This is not the end, this is not even the beginning of the end, this is just perhaps the end of the beginning”. So what next, after the Han Solo movie and episodes VII and IX? There has been constant suggestions of a Boba Fett movie, I am not sure why, he has never been an interesting character. There is however a whole universe and a thousand generations of stories to be told!
A notable thing about original story is the time in which they are set. The fight for good and evil, light and dark is told over three films, each set over no more than a few days, this works for the original films but will not work with an origin story. The second and third prequels stretch the idea to tell their storey over a longer period, this is to their detriment. So back to those thousand generations. The original conversation between Ben/Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker tells us so much of the Star Wars universe, in some ways too much as George Lucas had to retcon so much of it to fit the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi into the mythology, this was even before he started rewriting everything to make the prequels work. But there remains one statement from Obi-Wan Kenobi still untouched of diluted:
“For over a thousand generations, the Jedi knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the old Republic… before the dark times… before the empire.”
How long is a thousand generations and what stories could be told? Best guess, a thousand generations is around 20,000 to 25,000 years. The stories are endless, You could start with the origin of the Jedi and the start of the battle between light and dark. This however could be too much of a religious allegory , far better would be individual stories of turning points in the battle. These could be told in a single stories or trilogies.
The possibilities are endless. Where and when did the Jedi begin? Was this a time before intergalactic travel and set on a single planet? Would you tell the story of The First Jedi? Who came first, The Jedi or The Sith? Did one begin as a balance to the other, or did they start out as the same thing and one broke away over disagreements on the use of the force. I like the idea of a story of a young apprentice learning the ways of the force with his master, only to discover that they are the bad guys not the good guys, we the audience should realise this before the apprentice but not before long before. The final act would be the apprentices own personal battle between good and evil as he/she has to choose between what they have always known and what they now understand to be right. Both the prequels and The Force Awakens suggest young Jedi are taught as a collective before been taken on by a master, is there room for a Jedi high-school movie? Jedi are presented as little monk like, how about the story of the first female Jedi? What about Yoda origin story, or even better a story of a power struggle on the Jedi council with a young Yoda as new, headstrong and less wise character than we know.
As mentioned, the possibilities are endless, I am sure Disney have both the quality and quantity of writers to be able to think up more and better ideas than me, I just hope they do it, I want to hear a thousand generations of Jedi stories.