The Original Trilogy Is Open To Spinoffs
Although the original trilogy shows some of the most important events in the Galactic Civil War, there are vast aspects of this period of the Star Wars timeline that are unexplored on the big screen. There's a three-year period between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, then another one-year time jump to get to Return of the Jedi. While that third film is really the decisive victory in the conflict, Chuck Wendig's "Aftermath" novels have confirmed that war continued to rage in the galaxy for another five years after the Battle of Endor.
These gaps are traditionally filled by official tie-in media. The old Expanded Universe (now branded "Legends") explored the Galactic Civil War in comics and books; Disney relaunched the canon after they purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, and have simply followed the same pattern. But here's the interesting thing; Lucasfilm's spinoff movies to date have drawn inspiration from ideas originally developed in the Legends books and comics. With the stars of the Star Wars original trilogy recast, it's entirely possible they could hone in on the Galactic Civil War and show what happened to Luke, Han, and Leia in those unseen years.
What An original Trilogy Spinoff Could Be About
The Galactic Civil War began in A New Hope, when the Empire's Death Star gambit failed dramatically. Until this point, resistance to the Empire was done by a fractured group of Rebel cells, the relationship between these groups dangerously disjointed. Leaders like Bail Organa and Mon Mothma were desperately trying to get the Rebels to cooperate, but nobody could agree on a central strategy, and every group was primarily concerned with fighting against the Empire's tyranny on their own worlds. The Death Star, however, changed everything. When the Empire destroyed Alderaan, they proved to the entire galaxy that they were evil beyond measure, and that they had to be overthrown. When the Death Star itself was destroyed, the Rebel Alliance demonstrated the Empire's vulnerability - and this remarkable military victory confirmed that the Alliance was the way forward. Local cells were absorbed into the Alliance's structure, and the Rebellion began to build up its own military. Soon the galaxy was in a state of open war between two galactic powers.
This three-year time period was a difficult and dangerous one, and Luke, Han, and Leia would have been at the forefront of it. Leia was one of the Rebellion's most notable diplomats, and she would have been one of the people heading out to visit other planets and encourage entire worlds to side with the Alliance. Luke would have participated in countless battles as an X-Wing pilot and a celebrated Rebel hero, the man who shot down the Death Star. At the same time, he'd have been trying to learn everything he could about the Jedi Knights and the Force. Han's role is a little more uncertain, but for all his objections he clearly stuck around, and probably tried to link the Rebels in with black market arms suppliers. Against this backdrop, all three were marked for death by terrifying forces. The Empire would have targeted Leia in particular; when Luke's name became known to Darth Vader, the Sith Lord would have become relentlessly focused on capturing him. And as for Han, Jabba would have sent a wave of bounty hunters after him. Any of these ideas could form the heart of a spinoff movie.
By the time of The Empire Strikes Back, the Rebel Alliance was on the back foot, driven back to their secret base on Hoth. Empire shows the darkest time in the entire Galactic Civil War, with Alliance Command fleeing Hoth in disarray, Han captured by Jabba, and Luke learning the truth of his horrifying lineage.
Again, there's a period not covered, a one-year gap where the Alliance reorganized themselves in spite of the fact Luke and Leia were focused on finding their friend Han. This, too, could form the basis for a spinoff - perhaps loosely inspired by the Legends story Shadows of the Empire. One of the most popular tales in the old EU, this saw Leia attempting to navigate the galaxy's criminal underworld in her attempt to track down Han. This period is a little trickier, given Alden Ehrenreich - the most prominent member of the recast heroes - wouldn't be able to appear it. But there are still clear possibilities, and Disney has yet to explore this one year period at all in the new canon.
Page 3 of 3: Would Disney Make A Proper Original Trilogy Spinoff?
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019