A while back, it was revealed that the top dogs at Disney had discussed the prospect of creating new TV channels dedicated solely to Marvel and Star Wars properties. Shortly after, rumors began to swirl that Josh Trank's abandoned Anthology movie would act as a direct continuation to the acclaimed Dark Forces video game series.
Needless to say, with such rumors jumping around, the sadly jettisoned Star Wars Expanded Universe has been on a lot of people's minds recently. The news following Trank's departure from the project have shown that Disney are still willing to lift from the EU and the thought of an entire channel dedicated to Star Wars TV shows has opened up a whole new medium for it to feature.
Now, if these rumors are true, we could be seeing a lot of the Expanded Universe on our screens in some form over the coming years. But, even the most dedicated Star Wars fan knows that not every aspect of the new Legends canon is of a high quality and not everything is suitable for the small screen. And so, I've compiled what I believe to be the five best Expanded Universe storylines that would be best suited for a television series in the near future, be it live action or as an animated follow up to Rebels.
5. Star Wars: 1313
If you hadn't heard of 1313, I wouldn't blame you, because technically it doesn't exist. The project, originally intended to be a darker take on the Star Wars Universe in the form of a video game starring a young Boba Fett, was sadly scrapped during the Disney takeover of Lucasfilm. All that remains are a few cool screenshots and a short demo from a past E3 feature.
As you can see, it would have been nothing short of a masterpiece in the same vein as The Force Unleashed in it's slightly less kid-friendly view of the galaxy. It would have addressed several adult themes such as the drug trade and prostitution that are often brushed under the rug in other stories.
While the project itself was cancelled, the prospect of a TV show following similar ideas is not only a great idea, it's also already in progress. Star Wars: Underworld had been stuck in development hell since 2005, but following the Disney acquisition, it's recently found its feet and has allegedly already entered development. It's set to run parallel to Rebels but will be set primarily on Coruscant rather than across the galaxy. 1313 may be gone, but Underworld is still a very real possibility.
4. Knights of The Old Republic
No, sadly I'm not talking about the acclaimed video game series, but rather the accompanying comic and novel series that came with it.
While many fans, myself included, would love to see Revan and Malak fight it out on screen, I think we can all agree that if it were to happen at all, the big screen is the only place for it. A TV series based off the open ended story of the game just wouldn't do it justice. However, that doesn't mean to say that the era is doomed to never appear.
Other supporting characters, such as Carth Onasi or the disgraced Padawan, Zayne Carrick, are far better suited to the small screen. Carth could give us the classic soldier's story with a nice Star Wars twist and a miniseries about Carrick could give us all the mad, saber-swinging action we could possibly want without cutting into the story of the games. The issue with converting the game into a movie or TV show would be with the fact that the story was different for everyone who played it, and it's highly unlikely that the path the writers choose for Revan would go the same way yours did. By telling another character's story, everyone can be happy.
3. Wraith Squadron
When the announcement that the first Anthology movie would be titled "Rogue One" first appeared, everyone expected it to take inspiration from the exceptional X-Wing series of novels. While it was later revealed this was no longer the case, the idea of bringing the X-Wing series to life on screen remained. While the series as a whole is near flawless and is often regarded as some of the best Expanded Universe material ever made, one story always stood out for me personally. Wraith Squadron followed a team of misfits and rejects who had been given a second chance by everyone's favorite unsung hero, Wedge Antilles. It was the first time in the Star Wars mythos that issues such as depression and PTSD had been touched upon and many fans commended the series for these reasons.
While the X-Wing stories proved extremely popular, their format isn't best suited for a feature film. Wraith Squadron was just one of many storylines in the X-Wing series that could easily be done to the standard they deserve by a full season of episodes rather than a feature film. The show would also have greater freedom to address darker themes that would be otherwise unsuitable for a wider Star Wars audience.
2. The Lando Calrissian Adventures
Over the recent months, Lando's presence in the Star Wars canon has seen a huge boost following his appearance in Star Wars: Rebels and his newly introduced comic series. Both of these go into detail on the smooth-talking scoundrel's whereabouts and activities before Cloud City and help flesh out the character even more, hopefully in preparation for a silver screen return in Rian Johnson's Episode VIII. It's also likely that Lando will make some kind of appearance in the upcoming Han Solo Anthology movie set for a 2018 release. So with all this future screen time and his own comic series, why does Lando need his own TV show?
Because, let's face it, Lando is one of the most interesting, underrated characters in the Star Wars Universe. I mean, in the space of just two movies he:
- Became Baron Administrator of a mining colony
- Betrayed his best friend to Darth Vader
- Defied Darth Vader's orders
- Risked his life saving people who hated him
- Went undercover in a crime lord's palace to rescue his friend
- Nearly died fighting Boba Fett
- Became a General within the Rebel Alliance
- Destroyed the second Death Star
And for a character who had just a fraction of the screentime that our three heroes had, I'd say that's pretty impressive.
And that's all long after he gave up his career as a smuggler. The Lando Calrissian Adventures documented our titular hero's travels in the Millennium Falcon from around five years before A New Hope to the game of Sabaac where he loses the Falcon to Han Solo. Due to his appearance in Rebels, it's likely the original stories won't be used exactly as they contradict the new canon but that doesn't mean that the series can't draw inspiration. Because hey, any Lando is good Lando.
1. Shadows of the Empire
When considering which EU storylines deserve to remain canon, one springs to mind above all others. Shadows of the Empire was a huge arc set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi which explained some of the drastic changes between the movies as well as providing a well written story with memorable characters. Even to this day, despite being jettisoned along with the rest of the Expanded Universe, heroes and villains introduced in these stories such as Dash Rendar and Prince Xizor frequently appear on fan favorite lists and action figure request polls.
Shadows of the Empire was often described as the "movie without a movie" and for good reason. Comprised of a novel, video game and a comic series, Shadows was as well developed and thought out as any of the movies that had been released at the time. It had all the makings of a Star Wars film, without requiring the movie to actually be made.
While many Star Wars fans were hoping for a movie release, George Lucas made it clear that one would never surface. Instead, he released the Prequel Trilogy, and Shadows was left in its original form. However, with the recent acquisition by Disney, it seems an on screen adaptation may be back on the cards. While it may seem like the perfect storyline to fill an Anthology movie, in my opinion, Shadows of the Empire would definitely suit a TV format much better. Why? Because there's just so much of it!
It would take more than one movie to cover all of the material, and while Disney have every right to pick and choose what they want, it would be a huge shame to skip out some of the plot to fit it into a two hour movie. No, Shadows of the Empire would require the full TV treatment to be done right, perhaps as an animated movie to get around the issue of an aging cast.
- The Force Unleashed
- The Thrawn Trilogy
- Star Wars: Legacy
- Rogue Squadron
- Dark Disciple