This canon novel already proved ‘darker’ Star Wars stories are the way to go


Jon Favreau wants to explore a darker side of the Star Wars franchise we know and love. There’s one book in particular that proves this is not only possible, but a great idea.

Director Jon Favreau is gearing up for the release of the first-ever Star Wars live-action TV series, The Mandalorian. He has revealed that his vision for the show frames the franchise we know and love in a new way.

Favreau expressed an interest in exploring the “darker” side of Star Wars — something we’ve gotten bits and pieces of over the years, but never full-on dark.

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We already know one piece of source material he can draw from when creating future Star Wars content like The Mandalorian: An (in my opinion) underrated standalone novel called Phasma.

Delilah S. Dawson’s villain-centric Star Wars adult novel was released as part of the Journey to The Last Jedi publishing campaign in late 2017.

These books generally give background information on characters, settings, and events that will lead into the upcoming major film, as this year’s series will do for The Rise of Skywalker.

For reasons I’m still not sure I can adequately explain, I was intrigued by Phasma the moment she showed up in The Force Awakens. I wanted to know everything there was to know about her. The thing was, at this point, all we had was what we were given onscreen.

This book was going to change that. And oh, did it live up to its promises … and shoot them right out of the sky.

I’ve read my fair share of Star Wars books over the years. There are some weird ones in the mix. There’s even a horror novel in the legends back catalog that features ZOMBIES IN SPACE. But even Phasma was more intense than I was expecting.

This really shouldn’t surprise anyone — Captain Phasma is, by definition, ruthless. She cares for nothing but her own survival. Her commands are direct and almost always result in someone getting hurt, punished, or in death. Ugh. She deserved so much more screen time.

But thankfully we have this book, which features deadly beetle-like insects that cause their victims to deteriorate from the inside out (and sometimes explode), familial betrayal, murder, and of course, a Hux … but not the Hux you know from the films.

Yes, we get to know Phasma as the warrior before the chrome-armored captain she eventually becomes. But it’s actually one of the few Star Wars books I wouldn’t recommend reading with your kids. It’s dark, as it should have been.

Favreau also mentioned Mad Max in the interview, and well, Phasma has a bit of that, too. Her origin story places her on a backwater world that forces her to go to extreme measures to keep herself alive — which explains why she’s the ideal candidate to lead squads of First Order stormtroopers.

It’s the perfect tone for future stories. Maybe some of which could feature Phasma. Please.

Should certain Star Wars project lean toward darker and “freakier” tones and themes? Absolutely. The franchise is expanding, and the possibilities when it comes to storytelling are becoming almost overwhelming.

Every project has to bring something unique to potential fans, even if it means not every fan will stick with it. That’s how you serve a broader population with your content. Some of it is geared toward kids. Some of it can cater to older fans too.

That’s the thing about Star Wars. Anyone can pick and choose parts of it they want to try or enjoy while leaving the rest for others to savor. You don’t have to like all of it. You just have to fuel your love of the ‘Wars with the things that bring you the most joy.

Even if that involves exploding death beetles and murder.

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The Mandalorian premieres on Disney+ at launch on November 12. If you’re looking for some dark Star Wars to hold you over until then, Phasma is still available wherever books are sold.