It’s starting to look like Lucasfilm is looking to make very different films with their Star Wars Anthology releases, formerly known as the standalone/spin-off movies. They confirmed yesterday that they’re going in very different avenue from previous Star Wars films with the film focusing on Rebel Alliance heisting the Death Star plans, being more of a mix of a war/heist film. The biggest shock of the film’s story details the jedi will be absent in the film, that’s right no jedi. Something I believe will usher-in a wave of films focusing on many different areas and characters from the Star Wars universe that don’t use the force. There a many genres of films Lucasfilm could pursue with the anthology movies and put the hero concept on it’s ear.
The film’s concept coming from ILM’s John Knoll, the first time a Star Wars movie idea came from someone other than the main brain-trust. Meaning that Lucasfilm is now open to ideas coming from people other than George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, Larry Kasdan, Kathy Kennedy, Rian Johnson, and Simon Kinberg.
Could Lucasfilm be open to something just as unique as Rogue One for future Star Wars Anthology releases?
Red Five, an anthology film focusing on a group of x-wing pilots has been circling development for a while now but is currently only a rumor. I’m not saying that it needs to get tossed-out but it could be a really neat concept to have two companion films about space pilots from different sides of the war.
Not unlike what Clint Eastwood did with Flags of Our Fathers and Letters To Iwo Jima, I would expect former would turnout better in the hands of Lucasfilm. The universe is mostly inspired by Japanese samurai films, American serial shorts, along with actual WWII footage and imagery.
What would a pilot film from the Imperial side look like?
Well there’s been an animated short film titled TIE Fighter making the rounds for last little while that focuses on a squad of Imperial TIE fighters kicking the ass of the Rebels in extremely visual dog fights. Created by super fan Paul Johnson, Fighter is homaging the many space focused anime films and series coming out of Japan in the 1980’s. He was also greatly inspired by the 1994 LucasArts game of the same name.
The most striking of the characters is the female pilot Ada, who has a quite a large scar across her eye. It would be amazing if they made Ada the main character if they turned the short into a feature film. Including a female pilot lead character would be a giant apology for cutting-out a whole group of female x-wing pilots out of Return of the Jedi.
Thanks to Nerdist for posting a link to these awesome TIE Fighter character profiles which includes characters such as Flight Lieutenant Ada, Wing Commander Rosh, Petty Officer Neel, and Commander Gaunt.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy talked at Star Wars Celebration about how female characters will become a larger presence in the Star Wars universe, addressing the decades of sexism within the franchise and it’s limited female presence that will be overturned with The Force Awakens and Rogue One. I’d love to see Kennedy develop a project like this with the perspective it could focus on a female protagonist pilot. She’s essentially the Kevin Feige of the Star Wars franchise, and we hope to see her exploring many anthology ideas including this one.
“Going forward with all we’re talking about there are going to be a lot of wonderful new [female] characters.”
In the The Force Awakens, we’ll be getting an idea of what the people behind the stormtrooper helmets are like and what motivates them to do what they do. These people aren’t as purely evil like the Emperor or some of the main Imperial Officers, I’m sure they’re just as complex and struggling with the Empire’s polices as the heroes. They just have a different point of view and being motivated by duty and honor. Exploring that side of the universe could be interesting, as we don’t know how much the Imperial pilots actually factor into the Awakens.
At the very least it should help inspire Lucasfilm to make something like this in the live-action realm in the future. I think making these two pilot films similar to stuff like a mix between Battlestar Galactica and Top Gun could be worth making. TIE Fighter would be the Letters of Iwo Jima of the two companion films.
I’m sure we’ll be seeing many films from the perspectives of the bounty hunters, criminals, and even outcast jedi, but seeing a movie focusing on the Imperial forces would be something extremely different and worthwhile for this new era of Star Wars Anthology. Here’s hoping that Kathleen Kennedy is listening and tries to make these anthology films varied in perspective as they will be in genre.
Would you like to see a Star Wars film focusing on a group of characters from the Imperial side?