Star Wars is here to stay. Sure, the franchise has lasted 4 decades but the following few years will cement the uncomfortable and existential fact that we will all die before seeing the franchise conclude as Disney keep us hooked on their unique blend of space opera. But hey, I ain’t complaining. As the sequel trilogy crosses the halfway point, Lucasfilm needs a new idea to carry on the series and, as well as continuing on with the standalone films, they have given The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson the keys to the very expensive car and are allowing him to create a brand-new trilogy focusing on new characters in a new situation. So, what could this new trilogy be? Let’s look at the possibilities.
Origins of the Jedi (and Sith)
To me, this seems like the most likely option. Sure, Rian Johnson can go anywhere in the timeline but I feel ‘The Last Jedi’ will guide where he ends up. In ‘The Force Awakens’ we discover Luke went off in search of the first Jedi temple and it is possible that Ahch-To, the planet Luke is on at the end of the film and spends a lot of ‘The Last Jedi’ on, could be the location of such a temple. The old books seen in the trailer also hints at this as they could be the Journal of the Whills. Johnson could use this as a jumping off point for his new trilogy which could see the origins of both the Jedi and the Sith. A couple of Force-users could set up the Jedi and in classic tragedy fashion one of them could fall to the dark side and create the Sith. We could see them build up their forces, create their collective creeds and begin the battle which reverberates across the galaxy for millennia to come. Worlds like Jedha and Coruscant could be seen as we explore the galaxy as it was even longer ago than ‘a long time ago’ where space travel and weaponry was more primitive and hand-held weapons like Lightsabers are prevalent. Or maybe I’ve just been playing too much Assassin’s Creed: Origins lately.
The Old Republic
Obligatory mention of The Old Republic is obligatory. This is the idea that is gaining the most traction online and I can see why. Armies of Jedi and Sith shaping the galaxy we know from the current films. I have never played the games or read any material set in this time period so I’m going to work my way through this paragraph like a blind man in a brothel: unsure of his surroundings but liking everything he catches a feel of. The huge battles of Lightsaber-wielding armies running at each other like a glowstick rave version of The Lord of the Rings sounds suitably cool and epic but I’m more interested in the idea of a cold war between the two philosophies, bringing a political intrigue to the franchise that desperately needs some politics and universe-building again. The Clone Wars animated show brought Darth Bane into the canon and so he, the man who began the Sith’s Rule of Two, could be a major focus and Rebels has talked about Old Republic-era conflicts between the Jedi and Mandalorians which I would be down with seeing.
The Unknown Regions
All those infatuated with the new Star Wars canon as much as me will know that the Unknown Regions is popping up a lot lately. Mentioned in multiple novels and comics, the Unknown Regions is a large area of the galaxy that is unexplored and (clue’s in the name) unknown due to the surrounding area being a hotbed of hard-to-navigate nebulae and other space traps. We know that the remnants of the Empire fled to the Unknown Regions after the Battle of Jakku before returning decades later as the stronger First Order, now run by Snoke who is therefore presumed to come from the Unknown Regions. Timothy Zahn’s canon Thrawn novel details that Thrawn and his species (the Chiss) come from the Unknown Regions and the enigmatic blue guy joined the Empire’s ranks as part of a deal with Palpatine to protect themselves against a mysterious threat from the regions. Could it be Snoke or maybe the no-longer-canon Yuuzhan Vong? There is a lot going on within the Unknown Regions which could be explored in Johnson’s new trilogy which could tie Snoke, Thrawn and the First Order all together but still have the primary focus be on new characters. I just really want to see the Chiss Ascendancy onscreen too.
Something Completely and Utterly New
Just imagine a Star Wars without Stormtroopers. Without Lightsabers. Without Jedi and Sith and copious amounts of desert planets. I would love for Star Wars to get a reinvention with a film trilogy set on a planet or quadrant (Unknown Regions, anybody?) so far away from the previous films that they don’t play into the plot whatsoever. The time period in relation to the other films is never revealed because it doesn’t matter. New heroes, new villains, new conflict and a new tone. Some Star Wars DNA does have to be included however or it just wouldn’t be Star Wars. Scoundrels and spaceships and The Force can all be included just without the constant and over-indulgent connections to films past. It’ll never happen because the entertainment industry now uses manufactured nostalgia to drug the compliant masses but I can dream. I’ll stand looking at a sunset and listen to John Williams while dreaming of a more creative industry for when you stare at the sun long enough you can indeed see double. And then eventually lose your eyesight altogether so I don’t recommend it.
What do you want the new trilogy to be about? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about TV, movies and videogames on Twitter @kylebrrtt.