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Lucasfilm may be pumping the brakes somewhat on new Star Wars movies in order to strategize, but fans should rest assured that there’s unlikely to be a shortage of Star Wars content to enjoy for years to come.
That content doesn’t merely include new series like Ahsoka. The Star Wars expanded universe novels also offer seemingly countless stories featuring everyone from familiar characters to new faces that only die-hard Star Wars obsessives may be aware of.
As it turns out, plenty of these novels are also strong enough to deserve TV or movie adaptations of their own. The following are a few noteworthy examples.
(Note: No, none of the books in the Thrawn trilogy made the cut. Although some fans may consider these novels to represent the “true” Star Wars sequel trilogy, we must remember that they heavily focus on Luke, Han, and Leia. Given the ages of the actors and the fact that Carrie Fisher is sadly no longer with us, we know the odds of a Thrawn trilogy adaptation are slim to none.)
Yes, it’s true—after just stating this list wouldn’t include any Thrawn trilogy novels due to the presence of characters whose actors are unlikely or unable to reprise their roles, we’re starting the list with Shadows of the Empire, a novel that also features those characters. It’s entirely fair if you consider that cheating.
However, most of the story, which takes place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, follows Dash Rendar, another charming smuggler in a galaxy with no shortage of such characters. It wouldn’t be too difficult to make adjustments and omissions when adapting the novel so that the core narrative remains intact even if certain characters from the book don’t make an appearance.
From the first Star Wars, it’s been clear that the Jedi have existed for millennia. The tales we see on both the big screen and the small screen depict only a few brief episodes (no pun intended) in the history of the Jedi.
Several expanded universe novels more thoroughly explore the history of the Jedi and the establishment of the Jedi order. Few do so as engagingly as Tim Lebbon’s Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void.
The novel certainly offers readers the type of Jedi history that many fans might wish to see on screen. However, its content isn’t merely informational. Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void primarily succeeds because it tells a compelling story about family and the way bonds between a brother and sister may be tested when they follow separate paths in life.
The various bounty hunters who inhabit the Star Wars universe are among the most interesting and mysterious figures in the galaxy, right?
Many fans agree with this sentiment. That said, most of the bounty hunters in the Star Wars movies and shows don’t actually have the chance to do very much. A limited series adaptation of the anthology Tales from the Bounty Hunters would finally give fans the opportunity to see some of these characters in action.
This one almost happened. Maybe it still will.
Director Patty Jenkins was developing a Rogue Squadron movie for quite some time when she decided to step away from the project, stating that the long development process threatened to delay her work on other projects. At this point, the general assumption among fans was that the movie was dead.
That’s not necessarily the case. As recently as last April, Kathleen Kennedy has stated that Rogue Squadron remains a project that interests Lucasfilm.
It’s easy to understand why. Rogue Squadron is basically Star Wars meets Top Gun. Hard to imagine that type of movie not making its budget back (and then some).
“Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?”
This line from Revenge of the Sith has since become more than just a Reddit meme. In Darth Plagueis, author James Luceno expands on Emperor Palpatine’s backstory, while focusing primarily on a tragic Sith figure who could make for an iconic screen character in the Star Wars universe with the right actor in the role.
The Star Wars: Republic Commando series of novels (which were spun-off from the Republic Commando video games) highlight the tactical element of galactic war in greater detail than any of the films or subsequent TV shows ever have. Fans of both Star Wars and military-centric stories would almost certainly appreciate seeing these stories on screen.
Because the novels follow clone soldiers for the most part, they might not serve as ideal source material for their own movies, given that audiences might prefer their big screen Star Wars heroes to be more iconic and less, well, villainous. However, as a TV series, Republic Commando could very likely find a welcoming viewership.
Fans may have split opinions on this one. Some may balk at the idea of adapting what is essentially a Star Wars young adult romance novel, fearing that Star Wars could become too much like Twilight.
(Although… didn’t we already see that? Wasn’t Attack of the Clones pretty much the Star Wars version of Twilight before Twilight existed?)
This is arguably a reasonable concern. Luckily, Claudia Gray’s novel about two childhood friends whose love is tested when one chooses to fight for the Rebel Alliance while another remains a soldier of the Galactic Empire rises above the trappings of its genre thanks to Gray’s ability to generate true feelings for the characters.
There’s plenty of room for romance in the Star Wars universe, but on screen, it’s rarely been depicted well. The romantic subplots in the original trilogy were muddled due to Lucas not always knowing where every detail of the story was going. In the sequels, romantic subplots that got set up were abandoned. And the prequels… well, when the chemistry between the romantic leads reminds viewers of the most awkward dates they’ve ever been on, the love story simply isn’t going to shine.
That doesn’t mean Lucasfilm should dismiss the idea of romance in the cinematic Star Wars universe altogether. With strong source material like this, it may be possible to tell a genuinely moving love story against the backdrop of galactic conflict.
There’s More Star Wars Content to Explore
This latest era of Star Wars has been hit-or-miss for many fans. A common complaint is that the stories being told simply don’t live up to the quality of storytelling that came before.
Perhaps Lucasfilm should turn its attention to Star Wars stories that fans have already voiced their approval for. These are just a few options to consider.
Agree? Disagree? Sound off in our comment section below!
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