Since Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, and by extension Star Wars, spinoffs have apparently been a big part of its future plans. But can the sequel trilogy’s characters bring fans to theaters on their own?
The sequel trilogy — as many fans would be quick to remind you — hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. The Force Awakens was well received by critics and fans, while The Last Jedi was critically acclaimed, but somewhat divisive among fans. But hey, what’s a Star Wars movie worth if it’s not at least a little divisive?
Now, with Episode IX expected to hit theaters in December of 2019, Lucasfilm will be back in the hunt for Star Wars movies that reliably draw fans to movie theaters. Do the likes of Finn, Rey and Kylo Ren have the ability to fulfill that role when they’re beyond the main saga?
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Rey and Finn
Rey, while one of the more popular new characters, doesn’t seem to be ripe for her own spinoff. The first problem is that it’d be like having a “Luke Skywalker spinoff” in 1985; the sequel trilogy is as much Rey’s trilogy as the original trilogy was Luke’s. A spinoff would be redundant. Additionally, it doesn’t seem like Rey really did anything before she stumbled upon BB-8 and Finn. She was just collecting junk for “portions” on Jakku. There’s no real indication her life was ever eventful until her TFA call to adventure.
The potential for a Finn spinoff suffers similar questions of necessity and entertainment value. He was apparently a simple, obedient Stormtrooper before his rebellion. I’m sure entertaining enough stories revolving around Finn could be written, but writers would probably be more likely to write them around leaders like Phasma.
Both Rey and Finn’s spinoff potential are inhibited by the lack of time between TFA and TLJ. There won’t be any animated Clone Wars series between the two films simply because there’s no time between the movies. A time jump before Episode IX does seem probable, however, so perhaps that’ll open up room for such stories.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
Kylo Ren prequel
The most interesting story linked to the sequel trilogy would likely be Ben Solo’s experiences in the Jedi Academy and his turn to the Dark Side. The glaring issue with this is Luke Skywalker would need to be a central role and Mark Hamill isn’t getting any younger. He’d have to be playing a version of Luke even younger than he was in TFA. Lucasfilm made a bold move in having a new actor play Han Solo, but I think they’d recognized having a new Luke Skywalker would be a step too far.
This could be a good timeline for an animated series. Mark Hamill is a talented voice actor, so he could reprise his role in that medium if he was interested. A series format would give the creators ample time to build their Jedi Academy and flesh out what exactly it is. It could be a cool way to see Padawans learn the Force in a more formal setting than we’ve ever seen before in Star Wars.
Whatever spinoffs may come from the sequels, Disney is bound to let its trilogy breathe a little bit before they get anything going.
What sequel spinoffs would you like to see? Comment your thoughts below!