Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has already captured the imaginations of millions of Star Wars fans worldwide and may be even more exciting than the new sequels in that it seeks to tell an entirely new story. Together with the planned Han Solo film, Rogue One seeks to tell stories outside of the mainstream saga and that may give these standalone films more leeway in delivering new perspectives in the Star Wars universe, but they may do even more than that. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy suggests Rogue One and Han Solo may just be the first offerings in a long line of standalone Star Wars stories.
Star Wars Boss Kathleen Kennedy Teases Rogue One DetailsIn talking to Entertainment Weekly, Kennedy reiterated some of what devoted Star Wars fans already suspected and that is that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will lack some of the traditional elements normally associated with the franchise. For instance, Kathleen says it's "more than likely" that there will be no introductory opening crawl, as the bosses over at Lucasfilm feel that particular element should be exclusive to the primary saga films.
What may be even more exciting is that the expected success of Rogue One will usher in a series of standalone Star Wars films, a plan that originated with the franchise's creator, George Lucas, and one which Kennedy revived when she took control of the company.
"George talked to me about doing this when I first came aboard," Kennedy says. "He had often thought about doing it and he had actually written down three or four thoughts and ideas, directions you could go. Obviously inside the mythology there were lots of opportunities. So that was the first conversation I had."
Among the story arcs being considered for standalone Star Wars films is a Boba Fett film, which had actually received the go-ahead, but was put on an indefinite hold when director Josh Trank dropped out. Another concept under consideration would revisit Obi-Wan Kenobi with Ewan McGregor possibly reprising the character as he was in the Star Wars prequel films.
Ms. Kennedy says there is a whole host of story arcs under consideration, though Lucasfilm is hesitant to reveal any of them at this early date. The company prefers to see the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: Episode VIII, before committing to any ideas for future standalone films.
Han Solo To Be A Space Western With A Female DirectorThe next big Star Wars standalone film will take a look back at Han Solo's younger days, when he was running wild with Lando Calrissian, and Kathleen Kennedy reveals to Variety that the film will be a wilder ride, much more like a space western. While that may make it sound as though Lucasfilm is setting up one branch of the Star Wars franchise to more directly compete with Star Trek, Ms. Kennedy clarifies that there's a much grittier concept in mind.
"This moves closer to a heist or Western type feel," says Kennedy. "We've talked about [Frederic] Remington and those primary colors that are used in his paintings defining the look and feel of the film."
Like much of Hollywood, Disney and Lucasfilm are doing what they can to bring more diversity to their films, and acknowledging that less than 12 percent of last year's blockbusters were directed by women, Kathleen Kennedy says she's determined to bring in a female director for the Han Solo film. That said, the Star Wars boss adds that she won't hire a director based solely on his or her gender.
"We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do Star Wars, they're set up for success," says Kennedy. "They're gigantic films, and you can't come into them with essentially no experience."
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16.
[Featured Image by Disney/Lucasfilm]