Star Wars is a big universe, and with the anthology movies like Rogue One, it's getting bigger. But the episodic saga films have always revolved around the Skywalker family, from Anakin to his grandson Kylo Ren.
This family has given us some of the greatest stories ever told: Anakin's corruption and redemption, Luke growing from an awkward youth to a powerful Jedi, and Ben Solo's betrayal of his parents. Also, we've seen Princess Leia grow to become one of the greatest generals the Resistance has ever seen.
With The Force Awakens, Disney did something many of us thought would never happen by reviving the Star Wars franchise and making us long for more in a year.
But with Disney planning to make at least two more "central story" movies in Episode 8 and Episode 9, can they veer away from the Skywalkers' story afterward? Or is the franchise's storytelling DNA inextricably linked to the Skywalker bloodline?
You may be thinking, "Isn't that exactly what they did with Rogue One?" Sure, the actual name "Skywalker" wasn't mentioned in Rogue One — and the film introduced plenty of new characters — but Leia's appearance at the end was a perfect surprise, and Darth Vader was still used to sell the movie (excellently, I might add).
Will the upcoming young Han Solo story mention Jedi at all? (As Lucasfilm described it today, "This Star Wars Story is the second in a series of films that live outside the Skywalker family saga.") Can a Star Wars movie stand alone without lightsabers or the Force — and just be an adventure flick?
Whether it be a Boba Fett film or a young Yoda movie, Disney will pull us further and further away from the Skywalker family core. But how would we as fans react to an Episode 10 that doesn't follow Luke or Leia's descendants? Can you imagine a future film that's not in some way connected to one of our beloved characters?
Episodes 8 and 9 will give us clues as to the direction of this franchise. Only time will tell what connections Rey has to the Skywalker family, where Kylo Ren's story will lead, and whether either of them will have a child that carries on the Skywalker bloodline.
Can Star Wars survive without Skywalkers at its core?
Let me know what you think in the comments. Can Star Wars be successful without Skywalkers at its core?