If you’re a ‘glass half full’ kind of Star Wars fan, you’ll no doubt be jumping for joy now that Disney has confirmed it’s developing at least two character-based spin-off films for release after Episode VII.
While Disney hasn’t yet revealed which characters will be getting the standalone treatment, Harry Knowles from Ain’t It Cool News claims to have heard rumblings from Disney about new films centred on both Yoda and Jabba the Hutt.
Which sounds reasonable enough, given that these are two of the franchise’s otherworldly CGI alien characters who don’t age, charge fees or need toilet breaks during production.
But seeing as Disney's CEO Bob Iger has already revealed that these spin-off films “are not part of the overall saga,” we can only speculate about the forms they might take. Presumably, at this early stage of production, Disney's creative types will have a pretty free reign. After all, in space no-one can hear you scream "cut"...
Here's a bundle of ideas to get them started:
Chewbacca: Groan Alone
Background: Its’ been years now since we last saw Han Solo’s Wookie chum Chewbacca at home with his family. Indeed, wife Malla and kids Itchy and Lumpy haven’t been seen since 1978’s Star Wars Holiday Special.
But seeing as Disney is synonymous with family entertainment, and Wookies are easy to render in CGI, the company would be mad not to capitalise on these all-too-little-remembered Star Wars characters.
Synopsis: Lumpy is inadvertently left to his own devices when Chewie and the clan jet off to some far-flown region of the galaxy for a holiday and accidently leave him behind. Rope in ‘Wet Bandits’ Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, turn their skin green in post-production and voila – Disney could be on to a family franchise where the young star never grows old. Of course, any resemblence to family film franchises living, dead - or in development hell - is entirely coincidental.
Just say No-da
Background: It has to be said that Yoda, who’s risen to the rank of Jedi Master, isn’t the most coherent of characters. In fact, with his confused speech, shrivelled appearance and drooping eyelids, he comes across rather like a cosmic (though infinitely friendlier) Charles Manson.
And, given that most ‘mystical’ faiths, like the Jedi religion, tend to see the use of hallucinogenics as aids to spiritual growth, it’s probably fair to assume that Yoda would’ve imbibed. And inhaled. A lot. How else are we to account for his eccentric bearing other than to assume that Yoda is the Star Wars equivalent of an acid casualty?
Plot: Will the kids in the audience be tempted to try drugs after seeing Yoda’s pre-Empire biopic play out before their eyes, watching him degenerate from a strapping six-foot-four intergalactic football player into a ragged-cloaked four-footer mumbling confusedly about how “there is no try”? I think not.
Jabber, jabber, jabber
Background: While we never actually witness characters slumped in front of the telly in any of the existing Star Wars films, the fact that we do see the likes of tractor beams, holographic board games and mobile communication suggests that someone, somewhere in the Star Wars universe would have discovered broadcasting.
Why not the Hutts? They’re a bloated, egotistical race of creatures concerned with little more than the acquisition of money and bikini-clad dancing girls. They are, in fact, the Star Wars universe’s answer to our Earthly TV personalities, and a media satire starring good old Jabba the Hutt could be just the ticket.
Plot: As the host of Jabba the Hutt’s Hut of Jabber, the lecherous, slathering corpulent slug could’ve worked in the shady world of intergalactic talk-shows before moving into organised crime.
Just imagine -we could see him kissing up to Imperial spokespeople wheeled on to talk about the universal benefits of building Death Stars, rubbishing the arguments of Rebel sympathisers and interspersing proceedings with a dance group of cajoled slave girls, to show just how partisan and patronising the media can be at its worst.
Also, the idea of Jabba the Hutt in a frill-fronted Bernard Manning-style dinner suit is surely too delicious to resist, isn’t it?
Plot: Star Wars fans were up in arms when the Special Editions came out in 1997 and re-rendered the scene where, in the original, Han Solo shoots the green-skinned bounty hunter Greedo in cold blood, to show Greedo shooting first.
George Lucas, rather weakly, tried to explain away the change at the time as necessary to show kids that Han was a hero who had “no choice” but to blow the Rodian crook’s brains out.
But now Disney has the chance to set the record straight far more convincingly.
Plot: A moving tale, narrated by Greedo, and beginning with the shooting, could trace the bounty hunter’s life back in time to demonstrate and explain the itchiness of his trigger finger.
We'd see Greedo being taken to the shooting range as a callow youth and inadvertently firing off round after round before being given the green light. We'd look in at his career in, say, the Rodian Police Force, which came to an end when he inadvertently shot a man contesting a parking ticket. We might even watch with tears welling in our eyes at the sight of the trigger-happy ex-copper fleeing his homeworld after accidentally wasting the foreman at his post-tribunal cash-in-hand labouring job. But most of all, we’d understand…
Momaw, Mo Problems
Background: Momaw Nadon isn’t a name that’ll mean much to anyone beyond the Star Wars faithful, but he’s the giant snail-like creature glimpsed for a couple of seconds in the Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope. You know - this guy to the left.
Now, while he had less screen time in the film than Luke Skywalker’s beaker of blue milk, over the years, the authors of countless Star Wars novels have given this unassuming mollusc one heck of a back story.
Plot: He was a high priest on his home planet who betrayed his people’s technological secrets to the Empire and ended up in exile. He then worked as a farmer on Tatooine, took revenge on the Imperial officer he’d sold out to and eventually ended up being welcomed back home and working with the Rebel Alliance.
Would you like to see any of these thrusting and relevent Star Wars spin-offs put into production? Cast a vote in our poll and let’s show Disney the way the wind’s blowing!