Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is turning out to be a huge win for Disney and Lucasfilm in terms of both box office and overall critical acclaim. The grand experiment to see if fans of Star Wars are willing to see something vastly different from the episodic Skywalker saga led to a pretty inarguable conclusion, so of course we’re going to get even more of these “anthology” movies Disney has already admitted they want to keep making forever.
A young Han Solo and Lando Calrissian movie is in the works, probably tying in Boba Fett, as well, and rumors tells us that we could get a bounty hunter movie, a young Yoda spinoff, and just about anything else you can imagine that borrows from familiar franchise lore.
Personally, I find the idea of delving into established characters a bit reductive, in the sense that these “character prequels” have already proven to be far less interesting than something like Rogue One, which offers new faces and story arcs that happen ancillary to the main event. Unless they pull off a miracle with “Young Han Solo” by breaking this convention, I’m having a hard time looking forward to anything featuring the backstory of characters who’ve already had their time to shine.
The 9 movies I think Disney and Lucasfilm should make next are definitely departures to the formula in some ways, similar to how Rogue One let itself be a gritty war drama instead of a hero’s journey epic, not that Star Wars should avoid anything resembling the main franchise as long as it adds a new flavor to the ever-expanding Star Wars universe.
Let’s begin, then, with a trip that’s longer ago than any Star Wars movie yet…
#7 Star Wars: The Old Republic
Arguably the best thing to happen to Star Wars once the prequels were underway, Knights of the Old Republic was launched by BioWare in an insane (and successful) attempt to tell new stories that were just as interesting as the Skywalker saga, if not more so.
The first game was a fascinating retread in some ways, but also incredibly epic in how it introduced a world filled with warring Jedi and Sith, along with the equally fun space battles and blaster-toting characters.
An “Old Republic” movie shouldn’t, in my opinion, graft completely from the games and MMO, but rather be a slew of new and interesting stories totally removed from the current events of the galaxy far, far, away. After all, setting a movie with new characters after the current trilogy led by Force Awakens is a bit awkward considering the stakes of that movie, and anything just before the prequels would also be in servitude of a galaxy we’ve already seen a lot of on the big screen.
In addition to spin-offs set in and around the main trilogies, it would be exciting to go into a Star Wars movie having no idea what’s going to happen or what has happened yet, similar to how New Hope dropped viewers into a galaxy that feels huge. The details are the details, but anything even close to the scale and scope of possibilities in Knights of the Old Republic is more than welcome.
#6 Star Wars: Aftermath
We already have books detailing what happens right after Return of the Jedi (aptly named Aftermath), but there are still plenty of stories to tell about how the rebels formed this new Republic in the 30 years leading up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Breaking away from Skywalker/Solo drama, we can explore how the Empire’s fall might have impacted Coruscant and the other core worlds, as well as the outer rim planets barely affected by the war. Perhaps there’s a smaller story here about an Imperial family suddenly forced to deal with the fact that they have no clear future and nowhere to run to.
Imagine, then, a group of outlaws led by one of these former Imperial leaders, as they try to reckon with these changes while exploring the outer rim and avoiding the chaotic aftermath. In the vein of Firefly, this could be the type of frontier movie that’s devoid of Jedi/Sith conflicts in favor of how the wars affect everyone.
#5 Jedi Academy
What is it like to become a Jedi in the Star Wars universe? The prequels offered some insight into this, only for Anakin Skywalker to nearly eradicate the traditions of the long-running order. And the excellent video game, Jedi Academy actually let you play as a new recruit to Luke Skywalker’s own academy, some years after Return of the Jedi.
Moving away from all that, there’s something innately interesting about young, maybe teenage kids learning the Force during the heyday of the Jedi, perhaps after the events of Phantom Menace and before the Clone Wars. We could follow an ensemble of students who are forced into dangerous situations before becoming Padawan, while the Separatist movement continues to grow in the background.
Rather than having real Sith to face off against, we could see pretenders inspired by Darth Maul, perhaps even with some of the students starting to turn because of how enticing the dark side seems. However they did it, it’s hard to deny that a Jedi Academy story done well could be a fantastic standalone or lead into a new series of movies entirely.
#4 Kyle and Jan
When Disney erased the expanded universe from film canon, fans understandably questioned what this might mean for Kyle Katarn and Jan Ors, two of the more interesting characters from the games.
They were the ones to steal the Death Star plans before Rogue One was conceived, so that essentially ended it. But I still hold out hope for a way to see them come to life in a new story about a Force-sensitive mercenary who eventually stumbles into becoming a Jedi anti-hero.
Warning: the following contains huge SPOILERS for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Read at your own risk.
Jyn Erso from Rogue One was clearly inspired by Jan Ors, so that makes this all even more unlikely, but that doesn’t mean the character couldn’t return in some fashion to be Kyle’s friend during her training by Saw Gerrera and subsequent mercenary days. It could be a movie about Kyle Katarn remembering Jyn and trying to move on from her death years later.
#3 The Mandalorian Wars
This could technically fall within the realm of the Old Republic, though anything involving the Mandalorians (the human-like warrior species, most well-known through Boba and Jango Fett) can occur throughout the Star Wars timeline.
There’s the obvious choice to go with the Mandalorian Wars, the conflict that occurred just before the Jedi Civil War in Knights of the Old Republic, where the Mandalorians essentially went to war with the entire galaxy.
But I also think of a great sub-storyline in the comic, Star Wars: Legacy, set 150 years after the original trilogy. In it, a Mandalorian declares revenge on a Mandalore who achieved this great status through murder, and he has to operate in the shadows to see justice done. It’s a great look into how fierce and energetic the Mandalorian culture is, and for obvious reasons, a movie showing us glimpses of their society has a lot of potential.
#2 The 501st
One of the best things to come out of the game Star Wars Battlefront II (including its joke of a follow-up) was the introduction of the 501st Legion as the storyline. We played as the elite clones unit that evolved into stormtroopers all the way into the original trilogy, following the unique struggles seen in how these clones had to murder their Jedi generals and watch as recruits started to replace the old guard.
But we don’t know how their story ends, really, as there’s no mention of them in The First Order. But following any of these troopers, or perhaps the Arc Troopers from the Clone Wars show, would be a fantastic dive into what its really like to be Imperial infantry in the Star Wars franchise, similar to how Rogue One shed light on the realities of the rebels.
#1 Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
Forget Poe Dameron (but not really), where is our Wedge Antilles movie?
Wedge doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his triumphs with Rogue Squadron, surviving both Yavin 4 and the Battle of Endor. And it’s past time we get a Star Wars movie that fully commits to featuring these pilots during the thick of the rebellion, perhaps after the events of New Hope (a full three years before Empire Strikes Back) or during the year between the Battle of Hoth and the Battle of Endor.
Either way, a Rogue Squadron movie with the effects and craft of what we saw briefly in Rogue One should almost be a given, perhaps as a spiritual successor to Rogue One outright.
Wrapping up, these are just a few of the Star WARS movies I think we deserve to see as Disney churns out new spinoffs in the coming years. But which Star Wars stories from the expanded universe and beyond do you want to see next? As always, sound off in the comments.