As rumors swell of a Star Wars trilogy of Old Republic-based films, we take a look at how a series of films based in the time period could work.
Depending on where you get your news from (I mean, here, hopefully), you may be aware of the latest rumor regarding the future of Star Wars. On March 19th, a rumor, originating from starwarsnewsnet.com, broke that the minds behind the Game of Thrones television series, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, were slated to create a trilogy of films set in the “Old Republic”-era of Star Wars history.
We were already aware of Benioff and Weiss’ upcoming contributions to the Star Wars saga, given they were announced to be working with LucasFilm on a series of films back in February 2018. This rumor also implies their work will see the big screen before that next efforts of Rian Johnson, also confirmed to be working on a trilogy of films.
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So what could a trilogy set in the Old Republic look like? Let’s take a look.
Opening up the timeline
This is undeniably exciting news. Since 1977, the Star Wars series of films has focused on a stretch of a 60-year period. We are aware of is the comings and goings of one family; an Old Republic series would open up the timeline immeasurably, and give grander scope and context to the galaxy.
This wouldn’t be our first journey into this time period, mind. The Old Republic was first shown to Star Wars fans in Bioware’s beloved 2003 PC and Xbox RPG Knights of the Old Republic, leading sequels (2004’s Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords and 2011’s Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG), as well as stories told in novels and comics. These stories, however, were de-canonised in 2014 as part of Disney’s formation of the Legends series, meaning the journeys taken and the stories told were no longer part of the larger story.
With all this in mind, it’s worth considering what a series of films set in the Old Republic-era could be. Thousands of years removed from the Skywalker Saga, what could Benioff and Weiss’ efforts look like?
What we already know
First, and foremost, you have to consider Disney’s handling of the series since 2014. Everything, aside from the then-six films, and The Clone Wars film/TV Series, was no longer part of can, and everything that came after this point IS canon. That means everything you already know about the Old Republic-era, apart from what we’re told in the films, The Clone Wars, and Rebels, is no longer relevant. That includes the games.
To put it bluntly, you are unlikely to see stories from the old Canon retold in cinematic form. Again, everything you thought you knew about the Old Republic is no longer. As of right now, the only events from this time period we know for certain happened are the formation of the Jedi Order, the formation of the Sith Order, the Mandalorian Wars, and the creation of the Rule of Two (I mean we know more stuff, but you’re better off here for more details).
What we should recognize, however, is how Disney has utilized these non-canon elements into their current canon. Consider the character of Thrawn, for example. Pre-Disney, Thrawn was THE post-Return of the Jedi bad guy, given a trilogy of novels detailing how the galaxy dealt with his attempt at control. Thrawn’s post-Jedi story was lost to Legend status in 2014. However, he was repackaged a written into the canon as a Grand Admiral of the Empire in Rebels, and a new trilogy of novels.
With this in mind, the tales of Revan, and Malak, are unlikely to be adapted wholesale. That isn’t to say we won’t see these characters utilized somewhat, in the manner Thrawn has been; re-packaged and re-purposed into something new, while keeping elements of what made them popular to begin with.
The Mandalorian-Jedi War
So, knowing all this, what should we expect from an Old Republic trilogy? What’s clear, from the rumor at least, is Disney’s want to appeal to the Game of Thrones audience. I imagine they’re referring to the grand scale politics of the series, as opposed to the more mature elements of the show. While Game of Thrones is predominantly about the alliances, battles, and compromises that come with claiming the Iron Throne.
Additionally, while the scope for a trilogy of Old Republic films is large, focusing on a handful of events from this period is a necessity. With that in mind, allow me to propose setting these films during the Mandalorian Wars
As with the Clone Wars in A New Hope, the Mandalorian Wars have only really been mentioned in passing, and could certainly play as the backdrop to a power struggle, of sorts, between the Jedi and the Mandalorians. Furthermore, leaning what we were taught in The Clone Wars and Rebels, there are plenty of opportunities to feature massive battle sequences. Sprinkle in the difficulties of the Sith, and you’ve got yourself enough intrigue in the material to easily keep our attention for 3 films.
As the rumor claims principal photography is scheduled for Fall 2019, there’s every chance we could learn more about the next trilogy of Star Wars films sooner rather than later (Celebration, anyone?). Regardless, with the possibility of the timeline opening up, there’s a very exciting future ahead for the franchise.