Six Great Things Disney can do with Star Wars

Post image for Six Great Things Disney can do with Star Wars

by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck

in Star Wars

By now everyone within 2 million light years of a Death Star blast radius has heard the news. Disney has acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion.

The byline that set the world on fire was the fact that the merger has set in motion plans for Star Wars Episode VII, already scheduled for a 2015 release. The plan is to release a sequel trilogy, with Epsiodes VIII & IX likely coming in 2018 & 2021.

George Lucas mercifully decided it was time “to pass ‘Star Wars’ on to a new generation of filmmakers”, which our own Googs likened to the same sigh of relief and new hope that Raiders fans felt on October 8, 2011 (too soon?). Tasteless jokes aside, Star Wars fans now place their hopes in a new regime, one they hope is capable of returning the best property in geek history to the top of the entertainment mountain.

 

So where do we go from here?

The sky is the limit for Disney Star Wars. Here are six great things that Disney can do with the Star Wars property:

 

6. More Star Wars Muppets Crossovers

The Muppets and Star Wars have always had a fun working relationship, from Star Wars character appearances on The Muppet Show to the Star Wars Muppets action figures available at Disney World. Now that Disney owns both properties, it makes sense to create more fun crossovers.

A one-hour Muppets Star Wars special on ABC would be great, and just like Big Bird once made a cameo in a Muppet movie, maybe Chewbacca can show up the next one.

 

5. Hire Ian McDiarmid

McDiarmid is the one solid link between the prequel and original trilogies, and could play a part in the sequels (see: Clone Emperor). Even if Disney wants to create original stories and a more kid-friendly feel for the next three movies, they would be well served to include elements from the originals that lifelong fans can gravitate to.

image courtesy guardian.co.uk

No matter what direction they go with the new movies, when Star Wars casting news and rumors start surfacing, we die hards will be comforted to see Ian McDiarmid’s name among them.

 

4. Make movies based on the video games

Some of the Star Wars video games have great stories to tell. Thing is, if you’re a Star Wars fan but not a gamer, you may have missed out on them. The Force Unleashed would make for a great film; and Starkiller, the main character, was visually modeled after and voiced by Sam Witwer, an easy choice to cast as the film’s star.

The massively multiplayer online role playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic introduced and cultivated a wealth of new and interesting characters that would also make for a great film, independent of the sequel trilogy. The events take place 3,500 years before Episode I.

 

3. Create programming for all Disney channels

So what of the long embattled Star Wars live action TV series we keep hearing about? Last we heard, it was being called Star Wars: Underworld, and it was ready to go, just in need of funding. Disney certainly has that covered, but whether this show comes to fruition or not remains to be seen. Regardless, Disney could use the Star Wars Universe to program other shows targeted at their various network demographics.

Perhaps an animated show for Disney XD (the likely landing spot for Seth Green’s Detours), and even a light-hearted learning-based show for Disney Junior. Disney has tailored the Peter Pan universe to toddlers with its Jake and the Neverland Pirates show, why not create new Star Wars fans early with something like Doc McStormtrooper?

 

2. Cast Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Han Solo’s son

Upon yesterday’s news, fans of the Star Wars Expanded Universe began speculating on potential story arcs for Episode VII and beyond. A popular opinion was that Disney would use Timothy Zahn’s The Thrawn Trilogy as the basis for the sequels. Although Disney has somewhat snuffed this possibility by stating that the sequels would be original stories, there is a lot of Zahn’s Expanded Universe that would lend itself well to a new trilogy.

In The Thrawn Trilogy, Leia gives birth to twins (fathered by Han Solo, of course), Jacen and Jaina. Jacen Solo is a key character in the Star Wars Universe that exists after the events of Return of the Jedi, be it through books or comics. Jacen is ultimately seduced by the dark side, thus giving us the tried and true rise-fall-redemption storyline.

I can not picture a better actor to take on this role than Joseph Gordon-Levitt. If Jacen Solo is involved in these movies at all, he will be a central character. Gordon-Levitt has proven he has the ability to carry a big time sci-fi film (Looper) and has the chops to play the hero and the villain in one character.

 

1. Make movies based on individual characters

The main reason Star Wars fans have faith in this mega-matrimony is the success of the Disney-Marvel merger. The last few years of Marvel superhero movies have been wildly successful, by and large pleasing the die hard fans as well as bringing in new ones. While Star Wars has never struggled with bringing new fans into the fold, most of the prequel-based offerings have been panned by die hard fans.

The main reason for The Avengers success was the strength of the individual characters, built up in their own solid films. Outside of Episodes VII, VIII & IX, Disney could make Star Wars movies based on the adventures of individual characters.

In what era would these films be set? Doesn’t matter.

How about a Boba Fett movie following his rise to notoriety amongst the galaxy’s best bounty hunters?

A movie starring Ian McDiarmid & Ray Park chronicling the still-popular Darth Maul’s apprenticeship?

Hell, Liam Neeson is a big action star now- what about a Qui-Gon Jinn movie? Maybe that one is pushing it.

The obvious choice would be a Darth Vader standalone pic, following the Sith Lord between Episodes III & IV as he embarks on the Jedi purge. This movie wouldn’t be tied up with the sequel trilogy, so the writers and directors could be independent of those films. Cast Ian McDiarmid as The Emperor, bring back James Earl Jones, and this would have the potential to be one of the biggest draws of all time.

 

 

Howie Decker (@HowardtheDeck) is the co-creator and editor of UnderScoopFire. He likes fantasy baseball & taco night. You can read his Letter from the Editor here.

 

 

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason SockofFleagulls Gross November 1, 2012 at 10:02 am

For me, as someone who has never read any of the books…I want new. Use the elements of the Star Wars universe like planets, ships, the force, droids, etc., but all new characters. Don’t care if they are sons or daughters or cousins twice removed. New Characters. New Stories. New Personalities. New Jedi. New Sith. New. New. New.

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Mike R November 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

But if you’ve never read the books, and Disney does cull the Expanded Universe characters for use in the new movies, or movies after Eps 7-9, they would be new to you, wouldn’t they?
And they would be satisfying to those of us that have read the books and comics to see them in live action.
Win-win…

Side note, they could start doing a bunch of animated movies, a la DC animated movies, we could get a lot of the EU stuff and it won’t interfere with the upcoming movies, and we won’t have to wait until after Ep 9 for it.
And outside of Harrison Ford, I bet the original cast would be up to voice the characters in an animated Zahn trilogy…

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Jason SockofFleagulls Gross November 1, 2012 at 11:50 am

Good idea with the animated and use of voices.

I agree, Win-Win!

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Howie Decker November 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm

That’s an awesome idea. They could do the individual character standalone movies that way as well.

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ShezCrafti November 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm

4 words: Star Wars Theme Park.

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Howie Decker November 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Which might make me lift my self imposed lifetime moratorium on theme parks

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Kobie November 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm

SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

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Brian Morin November 1, 2012 at 5:27 pm

All of your ideas are great ones and I’m sure they’re under consideration. Either way, I’m sure this is going to be a good thing for the Star Wars universe.

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Tommy Day November 2, 2012 at 12:18 am

Good call on casting JGL. He’d be amazing in a Star Wars movie.

Also, get Michael Fassbender to play some rogue Imperial Officer and you can have all my monies.

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Steven Robert Gill November 3, 2012 at 6:38 pm

My biggest problem with the prequels was that it was hard to invest in any of the characters because you knew that all of them would be dead by the end of the trilogy/beginning of the next.

And Lucas hadn’t really done enough with the first two films to transition the world from prequel land to original trilogy land, you got the feeling that he forgot that he was making prequels rather than sequels, so by the time episode III rolled around, what was a potentially amazing story was lessened because it now had to be randomly manipulated to serve canon. And as such it all felt a bit arbitrary.

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Howie Decker November 5, 2012 at 2:17 pm

absolutely right. Watching Ep 4 after seeing the prequels recently is so painful. So much of Obi-Wan’s dialogue with Luke is contradictory to what we saw in eps 1-3.

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brian November 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I believe it’s been reported that the movies will not be based on any of the books so It’s possible it could be Set in a different era. one that has yet to be explored in canon. The problem of adapting the books is the potential of stepping on the canon a star wars movie should be 100% canon right? If you adapt a book you run the risk of potentially contradicting the books at certain points.

New Star Wars film to be “original story”
http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/star-wars/23275/new-star-wars-film-to-be-original-story

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Howie Decker November 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm

There are a lot of pratfalls when dealing with such a large scale project. There are so many fans that think they know best what should be done, so pleasing everyone is never possible. I’m with you though, book adaption comes with too many risks.

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Haku July 11, 2013 at 12:17 am

I would love to see a film for the Clones; live action or animated or animated, it doesn’t matter. Clones, to me, seem just more amazing than Jedi or Sith. These are people who were bred to fight a war they have no real control over, and yet they can still think for themselves and have complete free will.

To have a film, possibly even a trilogy, documenting a group of clones through their lives in their training, the Clone Wars, and the Empire’s rule would be amazing to watch. Show us how a Clone becomes a soldier, how they go through their missions, how they work together, how they feel during the Jedi purge, how they live during the Empire’s rule. These are soldiers who have known only war, show us how they react to the universe.

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