One of the best things about the Star Wars universe is that you can tell any kind of story in it. It’s a lesson Lucasfilm will finally bring to theaters when the first spin-off premieres in 2016. But while we’re excited for Rogue One, we can’t help but think of other possibilities—so here are our votes for the next eight stand-alone flicks.
1) Inglourious Basterds with Clonetroopers
Let’s take a page from the best part of the hit Clone Wars cartoon and give the elite commandos of the Republic their big-screen due. There’s a reason these guys managed to become stars despite all looking the same and being surrounded by Jedi, and that’s because they’re awesome—mainly because they fight the biggest, baddest folk of the galaxy without Jedi powers. We’ve seen plenty of war in Star Wars, but narrowing the focus to the Clone Army’s finest would be a fascinating new area for the movies to cover, and one with a proven record to boot.
2) A Military Epic with Admiral Ackbar
And on the flip side, instead of focusing on one decisive battle, let’s take a broader view of a star war. Seeing an entire campaign being fought against the Empire would show some real depth to the Rebel Alliance’s fight, showing that there’s more to freeing the galaxy than just blowing up Death Stars. And using fan-favorite Admiral Ackbar as the star is just common sense. Watching him attempt to use the Alliance’s limited resources to free a planet—or perhaps even a whole system—from the Empire would be riveting stuff. Just imagine Ackbar giving his troops a speech like George C. Scott does in Patton.
3) Ocean’s 11 with Lando Calrissian
The official spin-off Rogue One may be about Rebels stealing the Death Star plans, but based on the title, I have to assume the focus will be on X-Wing battles. This is fine—actually, it’s awesome—but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t love to see Lando at the height of his scoundrel powers. It practically doesn’t matter what he steals or who he steals it from, as long as he assembles a team of the galaxy’s best thieves and outsmarts someone in authority, whether it be the Empire, the Hutts, or some other jerks. Hell, just imagining the Star Wars tech that Lando’s team could use in their plan is pretty exciting. And what if Lando found a Force-sensitive con woman to help muddle a few minds? Man, it practically writes itself.
4) A Horror Flick with General Grievous
While the prequels had plenty of problems, one of the biggest one is that Revenge of the Sith’s major villain, General Greivous, just wasn’t that intimidating. Sure, he could wield four lightsabers at once, but that didn’t stop Obi-Wan from kicking his ass, and his asthmatic cough made him more pathetic than formidable. A movie where General Greivous is actually shown to be the galaxy’s most efficient Jedi-murdering cyborg would do a lot to remedy that—and would be massively entertaining to boot. For proof-of-concept, all you have to do it check out the last episode of the first season of Genndy Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars cartoon (above), in which Grievous singlehandedly takes out a group of Jedi from the shadows, and the Jedi are absolutely terrified. And justly so!
5) Seven Samurai with Jedi
There have actually been rumors of Disney actually making this movie for years, although they’ve since died down. The reason they’ve been so persistent, however, is because it’s such a transparently awesome idea. Take some Jedi knights and have them band together to protect a village—or even a planet—from an invading horde, and you have one hell of a movie. Practically any Jedi would work, and we love to see more of Mace Windu kicking ass, or Quinlan Vos from the Dark Horse comics, or even Ahsoka. Actually, we’d even take the Q-tip Jedi from the prequels—it’d be nice to see why he managed to earn a seat on the Jedi Council.
6) A Political Thriller with Grand Moff Tarkin
You can thank Peter Cushing for making Grand Moff Tarkin a stand-out villain in a movie that introduced Darth Vader to the world. There’s something so fascinatingly evil about Tarkin, and the way he epitomizes the Empire, its desire for power and control as well as its callous disregard for its subjects. If you don’t want to see House of Cards starring Moffs instead of senators, with Tarkin maneuvering his way to the Emperor’s chief administrator, we can’t be friends. It’d be a hell of a lot more interesting than all that trade nonsense in The Phantom Menace, that’s for sure.
7) Basically Anything with Knights of the Old Republic
There’s a reason the Knights of the Old Republic setting managed to create almost as much story content as the “modern” Star Wars universe, and that’s because it was a genius bizarro-version of the galaxy we loved. By setting it even longer ago than the main Star Wars movies, it allows a freedom to do things and try things that would be too weird otherwise. Plus, anything that showed us the millennia-long battle between Jedi and Sith, that added more depth to their enmity, is all right by us.
8) Fast and the Furious with Speeder Bikes
Imagine any of the vehicular stunts of the Fast and the Furious movies with speederbikes instead of cars. Right? Right?! They’d be, at minimum, 300 times more awesome, and that’s saying something. Hell, they could even make a Pod Racer version of Fast and the Furious, and we’d be there opening night (as long as nobody shouts “Yippee!”).
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