Ever since the announcement that Disney had acquired Lucasfilm and would begin development on Star Wars: Episode VII, rumors began to circulate that the studio would also be producing a number of spinoff films set in the Star Wars universe, but not necessarily focused on the core storyline. We’ve known for awhile that Simon Kinberg and Lawrence Kasdan were working on scripts for future Star Wars films, and now we have a few more details.
In a recent television appearance, Disney CEO Bob Iger had this to say:
I can confirm to you today that in fact we are working on a few standalone films, Larry Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are both working on films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga. We still plan to make Star Wars 7, 8, and 9 roughly over a six-year period of time, starting in 2015. But there are going to be a few other films released in that period, too.
While Iger stopped short of mentioning any characters, AICN‘s Harry Knowles seems to have it on good authority that the first of these spinoff films will focus on legendary Jedi master and fan favorite Yoda. This seems plausible, especially when taking into account the fact that Kasdan wrote The Empire Strikes Back, which featured the character’s first appearance in the Star Wars saga.
Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly has confirmed via several sources that two other beloved characters will be featured in other standalone films: “a young Han Solo saga, focusing on the wisecracking smuggler’s origin story, and a bounty hunter adventure with Boba Fett at the center of a rogue’s gallery of galactic scum.” Here’s more:
The Han Solo story would take place in the time period between Revenge of the Sith and the first Star Wars (now known as A New Hope), so although it’s possible Harrison Ford could appear as a framing device, the movie would require a new actor for the lead — one presumably much younger than even the 35-year-old Ford when he appeared in the 1977 original.
The Boba Fett film would take place either between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, or between Empire and Jedi, where the bounty hunter was last seen plunging unceremoniously into a sarlacc pit. Exactly who would play him isn’t much of a complication – in the original trilogy, he never took off his helmet. And in the prequels, we learned he was the son of the original stormtrooper clone, played by Temuera Morrison, who’s still the right age for the part if his services were required.
In addition to bringing back two fan-favorite characters as the leads of their own films, the Han Solo and Boba Fett projects would also allow Darth Vader, in full-on black death-metal gear, to return as a villain, since placing the spin-offs within the original trilogy would mean he is still alive and hissing. That timeline would also open the door for a return from visit with everyone’s favorite degenerate slug-like gangster, Jabba the Hutt.
Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J. Abrams is expected to oversee developments on the Star Wars spinoffs, but directorial duties will most likely be handled by someone else, as Abrams will certainly have his plate full as the guardian of two beloved sci-fi franchises. Lucasfilm and Disney have declined comment on these rumors.