For many weeks now the Hollywood rumour mill has been working harder than a protocol droid fluent in over six million forms of communication. This has been following the news regarding the possible release of stand-alone Star Wars movies. Well, no longer is this mere conjecture or hyperbole, as Disney have now made it official by announcing that they plan to release individual Star Wars films that are not part of the episodic saga structure.
“I can confirm to you today that, in fact, we are working on a few stand-alone films,” C.E.O. of Disney Bob Inger told CNBC. “Larry Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are both working on films derived from great ‘Star Wars’ characters that are not part of the overall saga,” he continued. “We still plan to make Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, roughly over a six-year period of time, starting in 2015. There are going to be a few other films released in that time, too.”
It was initially believed that Kasdan and Kinberg would be writing Episodes VII and IX, with Michael Arndt already declared to be writing the J.J. Abram’s directed Star Wars Episode VII. This is now known not to be the case, but Kasdan and Kinberg are still remaining attached to Episode VII as consultants. Kasdan’s pedigree on Star Wars is well known due to his role as screenplay writer on both The Empire Strikes Back (arguably the best of the previous six main Star Wars movies) and Return Of The Jedi. Given his vast amount of experience in the Star Wars universe retaining Kasdan on board, in any capacity, cannot be a bad thing.
After this news hit the web, the fanboys’ cries of revulsion weren’t far behind. Many Star Wars fans took to the internet to proclaim that Disney were exploiting their much loved franchise. The poor short-term memory of these fans must be pointed out by stating that the phenomenon of Star Wars spin-offs is not a new one. Yes, there have been animated shows with the Droids and Ewoks cartoons in the eighties and more recently the Clone Wars series, but live action films also! In 1984, the made for T.V. movie The Ewok Adventure (later retitled Star Wars: Ewok Adventures – Caravan Of Courage on home release) was broadcast in the States. This was followed by the release of Star Wars: Ewok Adventures – Battle For Endor in 1985. While they weren’t badly received at the time, they have gone on to be largely forgotten by most.
Bob Inger’s comments that the stand-alone movies will feature characters “not part of the overall saga” are very intriguing. Does this mean characters that came and went, but weren’t the core members such as Han, Chewie, Obi Wan and so on or altogether new additions? Many fans, such as myself, will hope for the former as this opens up the back catalogue of superb figures such as the ill-fated Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace, vile and villainous crime lord Jabba The Hutt or, mine and many others personal favourite, the cool and collected bounty hunter Boba Fett (and the account of how he really did escape the Sarlacc Pit Monster!).
While these latest revelations are surely interesting, they don’t really give us much in the way of information. As the time towards 2015 and the release of the next installment draws nearer, one thing can be depended upon, and that is that this is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of Star Wars movie gossip. What ever happens next, it’s a good time to be a Star Wars fan!
Let us know who would you like to see in a stand-alone Star Wars movie? Old hand or new blood; you decide!