Disney made it clear when it acquired Lucasfilm in October that the studio intended to release a new Star Wars movie "every two to three years" — and the House of Mouse is not wasting any time. In an interview with CNBC this week, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that in addition to the forthcoming Episodes VII, VIII, and IX — which will continue where the series left off with Episode VI: Return of the Jedi in 1983 — the company plans to release "films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga." Though Iger didn't say which characters were being considered for these "standalone" movies, the rumor mill is already swirling. Here, six potential spin-offs set in the Star Wars universe:
1. A young Han Solo movie
On Wednesday, Entertainment Weekly reported that a film focusing on "a young Han Solo," set between the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and the first Star Wars movie, is now in the early stages of development. Because the project is set so far in the past, a new, younger actor would be required to replace Harrison Ford in the iconic role — but the movie's place in the overall timeline would allow for the returns of both Jabba the Hutt and Darth Vader.
2. A Boba Fett movie
Entertainment Weekly also reports the development of "a bounty hunter adventure with Boba Fett at the center of a rogue's gallery of galactic scum," which would be set either between the first Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back or between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (and before the character's apparent death). It remains unclear whether the project is connected in any way to the "feature based on Boba Fett" that Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnston admitted he had pitched to George Lucas a year ago.
3. A Yoda movie
Actually, "the first standalone Star Wars film is going to center on Yoda," says Harry Knowles, citing unnamed sources, at Ain't It Cool News. The pint-sized Jedi master trained Luke Skywalker in the ways of The Force during The Empire Strikes Back, and died in Return of the Jedi — though he appeared in all three prequel films, with a CGI makeover that replaced the original puppet, enabling the little green guy to have an extended light saber fight sequence in Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Of course, considering his death in Episode VI, any film centering on Yoda would presumably be set before the forthcoming Episode VII.
4. A Jabba the Hutt movie
"I've also heard tale of a Jabba story that Lucas has floated to some of his buddies," continues Knowles. Han Solo was on the run from the villainous space slug in the first Star Wars movie, but Jabba the Hutt didn't appear on-screen until Return of the Jedi (though George Lucas later added him into the "Special Edition" of Star Wars in 1997.) Like Yoda, Jabba the Hutt died in Return of the Jedi, so any film centering on the character would presumably be set before Episode VII.
5. A Star Wars-themed reworking of Seven Samurai
In January, Vulture reported that Man of Steel director Zack Snyder was developing "an as-yet untitled Jedi epic loosely based on Akira Kurosawa's 1954 classic Seven Samurai," with a group of Jedi knights stepping in for the ronin that defended a small town from bandits in the original film. A representative for Snyder said the director "is not involved in any way with the new Star Wars film," but Vulture has stood by its story, adding that Snyder had even flown in for a meeting with Lucasfilm executives about the project.
6. A live-action Star Wars TV series
One of the longest-rumored — and longest-gestating — Star Wars projects isn't a film at all; it's a TV series originally commissioned by Lucasfilm producer Rick McCallum, with 50 scripts already completed. (ABC entertainment president Paul Lee expressed interest in discussing this project just last month.) Entertainment Weekly reports that "the live-action series centers on the story of rival families struggling over the control of the seedy underside of the Star Wars universe and the people who live within the subterranean level and air shafts of the metropolis planet Coruscant," with a bounty hunter as a possible main character.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Secret Service stretched mission to protect employee, report finds
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- 10 things you need to know today: October 22, 2014
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to make corn dogs
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Why America needs more billionaires
Subscribe to the Week