So, ever since Disney bought out Lucasfilm earlier this year, the geek portion of my brain has been both excited and mortified by the possibility of new Star Wars films, games and potentially television shows coming out. Of all the science fiction universes out there, this is the one that really started it for my friends and I. The exploits of nerf-herding Han Solo, his trusty magic carpet Chewbacca, Princes Leia and Jedi knight Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy movies were the sort of swashbuckling do-gooding that young kids aspire to. Well, some of us aspired to the Evil Overlord career too, but the bad guys always lost in Hollywood, so that line of work seemed like a bit of a dead end.
Then, the prequel trilogy came out, with even more swashbuckling action with lots more Jedi, massive fleet battles and a very annoying hamster/fish hybrid whose voice grated on the soul like a
love child devil spawn between Justin Bieber, One Direction and Nicki Minaj. Of course, the prequel movies were never as good as the originals because they were tied to a very specific storyline that had to explain Episodes 4, 5 and 6. So the question then becomes, what next? What will Disney, J. J. Abrams and his lens flares dream up of in the next Star Trek Wars? I guess the main question is whether to make it child friendly like A Phantom Menace or dark, gritty and more grown up like the new Stargate and Galactica series.
The six original films serve as the backdrop, but a much larger universe has been built around it. The Clone Wars cartoon series is the most recent installments, but only focuses on Anakin Skywalker’s exploits before he became Darth Vader. Since many fans would likely enjoy having the original cast reunited, this means that the Expanded Universe, or aspects of it must be the used for this series. I’m not sure how much swashbuckling there could be from the now much older cast, but then Christopher Lee was 80-odd when he did the prequel trilogy. The expanded universe has added quite a lot to the characters and their stories, much of it, quite logical. For instance, Han and Leia get married, have kids and keep fighting the good fight against the remnants of the Empire. Luke becomes a hermit/grandmaster in the Jedi arts whilst meeting clones and interacting with The Force.
In the expanded universe, there’s the Grand Admiral Thrawn saga, which I think is the best of the sagas I’ve read. The only issue is that each “threat” becomes bigger and bigger, getting to the extent that there’s a massive galactic invasion from an alien species not even from the Star Wars galaxy. The post Empire expanded universe would be the logical place to go for expanding on the films if using the original cast. However, there’s an entire backstory that predates the Empire. Bioware started this part of the narrative with the fantastic game Knights of the Old Republic where the Jedi and Sith orders are many magnitudes bigger and the swashbuckling potentially even better. There’s always the story of Darth Revan and his journey to fight some massive threat alluded to in the two games that was never concluded.
I think it would be awesome if they did a properly good exposition of either the expanded universe or the Old Republic era as long as the story, script and acting is better than what they were in the prequel trilogy. Star Wars is such a rich universe that it would be a shame if Disney wasted this opportunity to improve on one of the best loved mythologies and compelling sets of characters ever created.