Star Wars’ next trilogy should try something completely different and set its story in the far future. The future of the Star Wars franchise is something of a mystery right now, with the latest reports suggesting Lucasfilm plan to “ramp up” the future of the film franchise. Star Wars has been missing from the big screen since 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and it’s unclear when the next movie will release. Still, it’s reasonable to assume there will be more concrete news at Star Wars Celebration in April.
The Star Wars lore spans millenniums, but the Star Wars franchise itself has not taken too many risks in terms of the timeline – especially in the Disney Star Wars canon. For example, events from the now Legends Old Republic stories are no longer canon. Likewise, while the High Republic imprint has brought stories set centuries before Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, it still follows familiar concepts – even Yoda was around. On the opposite side of the Star Wars timeline are the sequels, with The Rise of Skywalker taking place 35 years after the Battle of Yavin. 35 ABY is therefore the furthest point Star Wars has ever visited.
Star Wars Legends Showed The Best Way To Reinvent Star Wars
The old Star Wars Expanded Universe, now considered Legends, already shows how to reinvent the saga by going into the far future. Star Wars: Legacy, a Dark Horse comic book series by John Ostrander, Jan Duursema, and Dan Parsons, was set 130 years after Star Wars’ Battle of Yavin. Though Star Wars: Legacy was still connected to the classic original trilogy heroes through their legacy characters, it presented readers with a brand-new story that was distant enough from the movies. Star Wars: Legacy followed Cade Skywalker, a descendant of Luke Skywalker who decided not to pursue the Jedi life after a traumatic experience.
Cade Skywalker’s exact relationship to Luke was never properly laid out, although he was most likely the grandson or grand grandson of Ben Skywalker, Luke and Mara Jade’s son in Legends. Star Wars: Legacy managed to keep iconic Star Wars names and locations alive – notably the Skywalkers themselves – while embarking on a brand new story.While the Skywalker bloodline has now ended in the Disney Star Wars canon following Ben Solo’s death in The Rise of Skywalker, Rey bears the Skywalker name, meaning a Legacy-style future Star Wars story could work in the current canon.
A Far Future Arc Would Prevent Star Wars Overdoing Nostalgia
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a colossal commercial success that reignited the Star Wars franchise, but its overuse of nostalgia caused massive problems for the franchise. The Force Awakens’ marketing was heavily focused on Star Wars nostalgia, from Han and Chewie boarding the Millenium Falcon to the mystery of Luke Skywalker’s disappearance. This helped the film in commercial terms, but had a complicated effect on the overarching narrative. The Force Awakens relied too much on Star Wars nostalgia, almost as if seeing Harrison Ford back as Han Solo was more important than the new story itself. Seven years later, Star Wars still struggles to find that balance.
With The Force Awakens performing so well at the box office, there seemed to be no reason for Star Wars to change its approach to nostalgia. In fact, even releases that are not heavily tied with the Star Wars sequels like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett are still following The Force Awakens’ playbook of big Star Wars cameos and surprising returns. The only difference is that the Disney+ Star Wars TV shows have also welcomed the Star Wars prequels and the animated series, with characters like Ahsoka Tano and Bo-Katan finally making the jump to live-action. While that leads to exciting moments, it limits the Star Wars universe.
The Star Wars galaxy should be an infinite source of stories, yet it seems like every major character knows each other. Din Djarin has run into Bo-Katan, Ahsoka Tano, Boba Fett, and Luke Skywalker in a matter of days, for example. Those are iconic characters who can still be at the center of exciting stories, but Star Wars should have more to offer. A far future Star Wars arc – that is, perhaps hundreds or thousands of years into the future – would therefore prevent the franchise from overlying on nostalgia, as all the characters and factions would necessarily have to be new.
A Far Future Star Wars Film Would Give The Heroes A True Legacy
Legacy is one of the most important themes in the Star Wars galaxy, but the Star Wars sequel trilogy and even the Mandoverse have struggled with what it really means. Between The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker, the sequel trilogy never decided who were really the main characters of the films – the classic heroes from the original trilogy or the new generation of Jedi and rebels? The legacy of Luke Skywalker alone was way too big for the Star Wars sequels to explore so quickly, yet a new Luke Skywalker-centered Star Wars trilogy was never what this new series of films promised.
Likewise, The Mandalorian succeed in introducing new, instant classic Star Wars characters – Din Djarin and “Baby Yoda” Grogu. Still, by the end of The Mandalorian season 2, the show had revisited several iconic Star Wars locations and characters, including Tatooine and Luke Skywalker. The same problem happened with The Book of Boba Fett, with Boba Fett becoming a supporting character in how own show amidst several Clone Wars and Mandoverse cameos. A far future Star Wars film would make sure the legacy of the past heroes would remain unchanged, and that the new heroes would get to write their own stories in the Star Wars galaxy.
A Star Wars movie set in the far future would not necessarily mean skipping thousands of years’ worth of stories within the ever-evolving and ever-changing Star Wars canon. Quite the contrary, a far future Star Wars film would mean that the franchise would have endless possibilities regarding tie-in, transmedia material set between the Skywalker saga and this future arc. These “lost years” could be Star Wars’ “new Expanded Universe”, with novels, comics, animated series, and video games having a higher degree of creative freedom to craft new Star Wars stories in that scenario, as the next major arc would only happen centuries or millennia later.
That way, Star Wars would get to expand its lore beyond what has already been established about the Jedi and the Sith. Recently, the Star Wars canon has been focused more focused on answering mysteries about the galaxy’s past than asking questions about the galaxy’s future. Lucasfilm could change that by setting the next Star Wars movie in the far future, allowing the franchise to reinvent itself without losing track of everything that came before. This wouldn’t be an easy mission – not everything in the Expanded Universe worked, for example. Still, stories like Legacy are a great example of how Star Wars should always try to evolve and create something new.
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