ABC'S hit show Once Upon a Time is a powerhouse of fairytale magic that shows no sign of slowing down. Recently renewed for a sixth season and with the back-catalogue of Disney characters dwindling, where does the tale of Storybrooke go next? With the hype surrounding Disney's Star Wars, it only makes sense that Emma Swan and her band of intrepid fairytale foes take a trip to the Dark Side and saddle up for a trip to the stars. A one way ticket to a ratings boost, or an early grave for the show? Remember:
Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, farm boy.
Star Wars is pretty hot property at the moment - just look at the trailer for Rogue One, which broke the internet with an impressive 30 million views in just 29 hours. Also the galaxy is pretty packed at the moment, with a slate chock full of Star Wars films. Disney now plans to release a Star Wars film every year until 2019, including Episodes VIII and I, as well as a Han Solo-solo film and a third (untitled) anthology film. Once Upon A Time is well known for its inclusion of Disney Princesses, but we are fast running out - so with Disney's $4.05 billion takeover of the Star Wars brand, is it time that Princess Leia finally takes her place as a rightful Disney Princess?
A New Dark One?
The crux of Once Upon a Time has always been its battle between good and evil. We've seen Swan and Co. duke it out against the Wicked Witch of the West, Rumplestiltskin and the ever-changing Regina Mills/Evil Queen. This season we have watched Emma Swan battle her own demons as 'the dark one', before taking a trip to the Underworld to battle Hades, but who is the next force of evil? After six seasons it is arguable that the show has a bit of a villain complex, with the majority not sticking around for very long, or just rehashing the same tale of good vs. evil. Cruella de Vil has already been killed off and Greg Germann's turn as Hades has us begging for James Woods to reprise his Hercules role. Star Wars has one of the most iconic villains ever in the form of Darth Vader, not to mention The Emperor, the Galactic Empire and others like Darth Maul. Take your pick!
There has actually been a hint of a larger universe before in the show. In Season 2, Episode 12: "In the Name of the Brother", Emma's ringtone is the iconic Star Wars theme.
In Season 2, Episode 15: "The Queen is Dead", Snow White says the line:
Please Mother Superior, you're our only hope!
This is an obvious nod to Leia's please to Obi Wan Kenobi from Episode VI: A New Hope. Also during the season three finale, "Snow Drifts/There's No Place Like Home", Emma introduces herself as Princess Leia as a pseudonym.
Even short-lived spin-off Once Upon a Time in Wonderland referenced the monster Sarlacc, where Jabba the Hutt's barge crashed during Return of the Jedi. Is this co-creator Adam Horowitz playing a very long game, or is he just teasing us? It clearly means that the world in which Once Upon a Time is set acknowledges that Star Wars exists, as much as a show like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Big Bang Theory do so also - however it doesn't necessarily mean they would crossover.
It is no secret that space adventures are no cheap outing...the cost of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was $245 million. Whilst i'm not expecting Once Upon a Time to match Lucasfilm's special FX, it is still probably out of reach for ABC's budget. Logistically too, how do you bring spacemen, droids and a tiny green goblin that talks in riddles to the (relatively) realistic world of Storybrooke? Admittedly the show does a pretty good job of turning fairytale ideas into true life - Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito became the magic mirror as character Sidney Glass. Sadly, the idea of spaceships and planet-destroying space stations could be a step too far for the sleepy town. Star Wars itself has a universe so large, it is a worry that the cast of Once Upon a Time would be swallowed into a bigger story and lose the essence of the show. Not that there is anything wrong with Emma Swan, Prince Charming and Captain Hook...but let's be honest, they are no Princess Leia, Han Solo and Darth Vader!
Unfortunately we have also been here before. Back in 2014 as the show was taking on Frozen fever, Adam Horowitz discussed bringing 'The Force' to the show in an interview with EW:
As far as Star Wars goes, there are things that would fit into the world of our show, but Star Wars is not something we want to bring into the world of our show. Frozen was a different kind of thing. It felt like a more natural fit into our mythology, which is why we approached the company.
But never say never! 2014 was a long time ago and with an ever changing landscape and renewal of the show, it has to be heading somewhere. We have already had Oz, Wonderland, Neverland and now the Underworld. How long before we jump into an X-Wing fighter and head to Tatooine? Hmmm, Star Wars visit we must!