Star Wars has alway been fixated on The Skywalker Saga in some form, but Rogue One Screenwriter, Gary Whitta, is hopeful that it will not always be that way. Speaking with Comingsoon.net, Whitta explains how he believes Rogue One has opened up the possibility of new storylines that don’t necessarily require the characters or elements created by George Lucas in the original trilogy.
I think you’ve already seen us get 90% of the way [to having a Star Wars film divorced from the Lucas creations] with “Rogue One.” Yes you see Leia, yes you see the Death Star and Vader, because those are elements of that story and they belong there, you can’t tell that story without those characters. But for the most part, 90% of that story is completely new characters. Completely new planets and places you’ve never seen before. It’s a Star Wars movie with no Jedi! You don’t see a lightsaber once until Vader pops it out at the end. It doesn’t have any spirituality or mysticism… a little bit through Donnie’s character, but it’s very different DNA to the Star Wars films that have come before it. I really like the fact that we tried to do something different.
Whitta goes on to comment on how he believes the kind of Star Wars films that will be releasing in the next two decades have the possibility of doing away with the legacy elements while still being a part of the universe.
The next spin-off is ‘Han Solo,’ that’s another familiar character, but I think increasingly you’re going to see… One of the thing things we really want to do at Lucasfilm is create a universe and not keep relying on old legacy characters. We’ve got Rey and Finn and Kylo Ren, they’ve already introduced a new generation of characters. Whatever kind of Star Wars films they’re making 10 or 20 years from now, I don’t think they’re going to be relying on the same legacy story elements as we have in the past.
Although Whitta is very much in the Lucasfilm family, it should be noted that he is speaking as a fan, and not as anyone actually knowledgeable about the future of the franchise. Here is his admission:
I’m speaking purely as a fan. I obviously have no idea what their plans are for the franchise. I did my small piece of it, but it makes sense to me that you don’t want to keep telling the same story over and over again. You want to tell new stories.
Star Wars has the opportunity to break away from the iconic characters created by George Lucas decades ago. Although I personally think that those elements are what make Star Wars, there is certainly room to create new stories that are within that universe without playing directly into the Skywalker Saga. As much as people dislike the prequels, they did make a big shift from the Star Wars that many were used to at the time. Perhaps future films will successfully phase out the many elements we have come to love in a meaningful way.