Star Wars is in a weird place right now. After the wet-fart ending of the sequel trilogy, many had lost their hope in the beloved franchise. However, a running success of fun, nostalgia-filled Disney Plus series has kept the torch burning since Palpatine’s anaemic return.
Nevertheless, Star Wars will be returning to the cinemas at some point. Whether that’s with a new film from Taika Waititi, a film from Kevin Feige or Rian Johnson’s fabled trilogy, it’s coming back. But where should the story go?
Star Wars’ legscy problem
Ever since the late 90s, Star Wars has been obsessed with moving backwards. The prequel trilogy showed us the Jedi’s fall whilst Knights of the Old Republic went back even further, telling some of the best Star Wars stories ever made. (Unfortunately, they’re mostly non-canon now.)
In Legends, Star Wars did attempt to move forward. However, the original Legends’ stories set after the Original Trilogy suffered from the same problems that the Sequel Trilogy suffered from: a main threat.
In Legends, a powerful (stupidly powerful) Luke Skywalker spends more time fighting The Empire we already saw defeated. Even worse, we saw heavy use of Palpatine clones, a terrible story idea that only a hack would rely on. However, it was still stuck in the past of the original trilogy.
Star Wars’ consistency to stick with Original Trilogy characters, even back in the prequels, is the series’ biggest issue. In fact, the Sequel Trilogy’s reliance on those beloved characters, so much so that the First Order was just The Empire again, and it was even commanded (secretly) by Palpatine.
But what can be done to fix this?
A hyperjump into the future
Star Wars’ future needs to move past its roots. Instead of relying on formula and recognisable, merch-prime characters, Lucasfilm’s next trilogy desperately needs to look far into the future of its galaxy far, far away.
What does the galaxy look like 100, 200 or even 1,000 years after the events of Rise of Skywalker? What happens when Rey and Kylo Ren are mere myths? Are the Jedi and Sith still around?
A huge jump into the future gives Lucasfilm the opportunity to get far more creative with its world. Perhaps lightsabers are the weapon of choice of mercenaries; maybe Grey Jedi are all that remains of the old ways.
The injection of creativity that a new future gives Lucasfilm could reinvent Star Wars in such amazing ways. While it may end up being more different than some are comfortable with, Lucasfilm would not abandon the Original Trilogy era. At least not while it’s making money.