[Potential MILD SPOILERS for upcoming Star Wars movies ahead.]
Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's Star Wars universe is already underway on the small screen with the animated series Star Wars Rebels and this week, certain filmgoers will get their first look at J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens when the teaser premieres in theaters. Now, a rumor has surfaced, regarding what's being planned for the first Star Wars spinoff movie.
Disney/Lucasfilm's plan is to release a Star Wars spinoff during the years in between "Episodes", for (at least) the film trilogy that begins with Force Awakens in 2015. The first of these spinoffs - some (if not all) of which are expected to be origin stories for certain characters - is being scripted by Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth) and directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla (2014)), for a theatrical release in 2016.
/Film is reporting on a rumored storyline for Edwards' spinoff; here are the details, in bullet-point form:
- The film will be a heist movie, about the mission to steal the original Death Star's plans.
- The team responsible for capturing the plans is composed of bounty hunters.
- The Millennium Falcon will be involved.
- Han Solo will NOT appear in the movie.
- The spinoff's protagonist will be introduced in The Force Awakens.
Now, while all this should be taken with a grain of salt... it doesn't sound too far-fetched. Lucas film's VP of Development has indicated that the Star Wars spinoffs will encompass multiple genres, and a Star Wars heist movie would do just that. It's also been rumored that Edwards' film is a Boba Fett movie; the Fett character could well be part of a Suicide Squad-style team of bounty hunters responsible for stealing the Death Star plans, seeing as his origins have already been explored onscreen (in Episode II).
... On the other hand, we've also long heard that Lawrence Kasdan - screenwriter of The Empire Strikes Back and co-writer on The Force Awakens - is the one penning the Boba Fett movie; meaning, Edwards' spinoff (as written by Whitta) could well revolve around the operation to steal the original Death Star's plans, but it might not involve Jango Fett's "son"/clone (or any bounty hunters for that matter).
Max von Sydow's character, as noted by /Film in its report, is a prime suspect for the spinoff's protagonist, given the actor's age; whoever he's playing in Force Awakens would be a younger and more active man, around the time of A New Hope (i.e. when the Death Star's plans were stolen). Alternatively, the Force Awakens rumored storyline indicates that Sydow could be playing an older "Jedi Hunter" - the rumored Force Awakens villains whose ranks, at one point, included Rebels antagonist The Inquisitor - so if his character does show up in Edwards' spinoff, he may or may not be the protagonist.
A young Han Solo movie is also rumored to be one of the developing Star Wars spinoffs, possibly the one that Chronicle director Josh Trank is working on; if so, that would help to explain why Han isn't going to appear in Edwards' spinoff, should this rumor pan out. It's canon that Han won the Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a game (see their conversation in The Empire Strikes Back) - so if we do see the ship in its days before Han owned it, that could mean an appearance by a young Lando is in order (either buying the Falcon or already being its owner).
There are still far too many unknown variables to say with any certainty that this rumored storyline for Edwards' Star Wars spinoff is or is not accurate, though. We still don't know who the majority of the Force Awakens cast are playing in this film universe (the Star Wars OT cast members aside) and even if one of the spinoffs does indeed revolve around a mission to steal the Death Star plans, there's no guarantee it'll be the first one released in theaters.
Keeping that in mind - do you like this proposed Star Wars spinoff movie storyline? Does it sound like a fitting compliment to the upcoming "Episodes", which should play out as more traditional Star Wars film narratives?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in U.S. theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Gareth Edwards' spinoff on December 16th, 2016.