The circle is now complete. When #StarWars began with A New Hope, it was a case of creating this fascinating universe to tell a timeless tale in a new and exciting fashion. Now, with #RogueOne: A Star Wars Story, this ever-expanding universe has become the main source of inspiration for telling great stories. And that, in turn, puts into perspective just how huge and layered the galaxy far, far away has become.
So as we're about to get a war movie set in the Star Wars expanded universe, let's celebrate the huge potential this world offers by taking a look at three film genres that would be a perfect fit for Star Wars.
1. Detective Noir/Crime Mystery
Why would this genre work in the Star Wars universe? Remember the time when master detective #Kenobi was trying to solve the mystery behind the assassination attempts on Padmé Amidala in Attack of the Clones? Fair to say that it wasn't exactly the most intriguing crime mystery ever, since it was mostly there to give us necessary exposition. Also, it was partially solved by a six-year-old. Yet seeing Obi-Wan travel the galaxy as he slowly got to the bottom of that mystery always captured my childhood imagination.
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But here's the thing — what if this detective plotline had been the main focus of an entire film? Imagine a stylish yet ominous atmosphere as we follow a lone investigator traveling from one shady corner of the galaxy to another, trying to uncover a dark riddle. Think something like Chinatown, only set on #Coruscant.
Not only would this add a layer of subtlety and style yet to be seen in a Star Wars movie, but it would also be a great addition to the crime-mystery genre. With such a vast and detailed world to tool around with, a good writer could really compose a complex and textual mystery.
Granted, there is a certain discord between the dark, ambivalent, even erotic atmosphere of #detectivenoir, and the more adventurous tone of Star Wars. But combining the two is far from insurmountable. In fact, one could argue that the original trilogy had a bit of this noir tone, thanks to the gritty and worn-in look the films possessed. This altering of trajectory could present a golden opportunity for the franchise to go back to basics (stylistically speaking).
How could it serve the established canon? A crime mystery would work best as a standalone story. Naturally, it could have some familiar locations, but the more self-contained it is, the better. If the detective/crime genre is utilized to explore familiar territory within the Star Wars universe, then perhaps this is the perfect way to approach that ever-elusive #BobaFett spinoff.
Not only is the story of a lone bounty hunter given a mysterious assignment a perfect fit for a detective noir, it would also work specifically for that character. You see, one of the biggest potential pitfalls of making a Boba Fett spinoff is the fear of losing the mysterious aura that made him so popular in the first place. However, for a detective noir, he is exactly the type of dark and understated lead befitting of the genre.
2. Survival Flick/Monster Movie
Why would this genre work in the Star Wars universe? This one's a bit of a no-brainer. With all the awesome planets and deadly creatures that inhabit it, Star Wars already boasts a solid foundation for a film in which its leads face deadly creatures or the natural, inhospitable elements. The possibilities are endless, and a visionary team could create something truly spectacular in that vein.
Of course, sci-fi monster territory has already been well mined, with films like Pitch Black and Alien proving popular. But Star Wars could offer its own memorable take amounting to more than just a ripoff. Just look at some #CloneWars or #Rebels episodes and you'll see what I'm talking about.
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How could it serve the established canon? Perhaps the best use of this genre would be to explore character dynamic. Thing is, Star Wars obviously has more than enough intriguing relationships to choose from, and placing them in this survival situation would be an effective way to learn more about these bonds. It could be #LukeSkywalker and Ben Solo for example, or #DarthVader and Sidious (like in the great novel Lords of the Sith).
3. Political Thriller
Why would this genre work in the Star Wars universe? I suppose one should start by addressing the elephant (or #bantha) in the room: The simple fact that politics has not always been the most warmly received aspect of Star Wars. In fact, many fans probably felt that Palpatine literally throwing the senate at #Yoda was the best use of this room in all the prequels.
Having said that, as some excellent canon novels and a few episodes of The Clone Wars have proven, politics can prove compelling in this universe. I for one never disliked the political element of the prequel. #Palpatine's rise to power was both excellent and scary. Also, the mere idea of a political system covering an entire galaxy was a fascinating concept in its own right.
So here's the thing. While it's obvious that Star Wars should never lose its adventurous tone and become overly political, it might be necessary to focus on that aspect a little more in the future. Seeing as we're likely to get a Star Wars movie a year, this world is only going to get bigger and more complex. A political thriller would be an excellent way to give this universe more perspective and context, thus enhancing the drama.
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It would also be a brilliant opportunity to tackle other political notions and philosophies, without becoming too direct or on the nose, since it is still set in a fantasy universe. This kind of a clever exploration could in turn bring Star Wars to a completely new audience. And let's not forget that a political thriller can still have plenty of action and location changes. Therefore, we could still be treated to a Star Wars movie with all the fun and excitement one rightfully expects of it.
How could it serve the established canon? Well, the obvious way would be to explore the corruption in the Galactic Senate during or before the events of the prequels. Why not make it a story about how Count Dooku became disillusioned with both the #Jedi and the Republic? Or maybe explore the old Republic from a political angle set well before the events of the main saga. Either way, it would greatly enrich the galaxy and give us some valuable context.
Return Of The Genre
As great as it sounds, #Disney's plans to make one Star Wars movie a year is cause for concern among many fans. Will we be oversaturated with Star Wars? I think not. There are just too many stories to be told of the galaxy far, far away for that to ever be an issue.
Which reminds me, I wonder what genre would work best for a film starring Ewan McGregor about a guy named Ben chilling out in a desert on #Tatooine.
Which of the three genres would you most like to see realized in a Star Wars anthology film?
[Image: Jeronimo Gomez via Live for Film]