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Ian Clark's Pop Culture Club -- 'Star Wars;' Just think of the possibilities

New Hampshire Union Leader

February 15. 2013 9:18PM

The "Star Wars" galaxy may be far, far away, but it's also rife with story potential.

The news broke recently that not only would Disney be making a new trilogy of "Star Wars" films after purchasing the brand from mastermind George Lucas, but also that there would spin-off movies in the years between the main films (episodes seven, eight and nine).

Since my love for "Star Wars" is well documented in this column, I received a number of emails asking my thoughts on the spin-offs. So I figured I may as well take a whack at it this week.

As SW fans know, the stories in the films are just the start of the lore. Dozens of books, comic books and video games from the SW universe have been published from timelines dating to thousands of years before the original trilogy to decades beyond "Return of the Jedi."

Disney has the rights to use any of that material - or scrap it and make their own "official" stories with the spin-off films. And the possibilities for what those spin-offs will feature are endless. Let's talk about the obvious choices first, those being Han Solo, Boba Fett and Yoda.

A Han Solo film (with Chewbacca, of course) is a no-brainer. Many people's favorite character (myself included), Solo has so much potential for cool adventures that take place before the first film ("A New Hope").

Sprinkled within the original movies are hints as to what we could see, including Han and Chewie making the Kessel Run in "less than 12 parsecs" in the Millennium Falcon, and showing us just what "cargo" Han had to dump when an Imperial ship boarded the Falcon, causing his debt to Jabba the Hutt.

Boba Fett became a fan favorite despite very little screen time in the original trilogy. Being a cool and deadly bounty hunter, the story potential for a Fett tale is off the charts. It would be a money-maker for sure.

And who doesn't love Yoda? One mystery that remains from the movies is just what species the little Jedi master is.

Perhaps we could see his origin story and learn more about the wise little green guy who instructed Jedi for 800 years.

Those choices are the obvious ones and Disney would be crazy to pass on any of them. But there are also some other options that could (if given the proper creative minds to bring them to the screen) be big hits.

How about an adventure set before "The Phantom Menace" starring young Jedi padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi and mentor Qui-Gon Jinn? It's hard to believe, but 14 years have passed since "Menace" hit theaters, so both Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson might have trouble passing for younger versions of themselves. But new faces in the roles wouldn't be a deal-breaker since the story potential is through the roof.

We were introduced to numerous Jedi in the prequel trilogy and many of them could be teamed together for a good Jedi flick. Or how about the other bounty Hunters we see in "The Empire Strikes Back," such as Dengar, IG-88 and Bossk? A hunters movie where they are all tracking the same target could be cool.

In short, the franchise is huge and the stories that can be told within its framework are limitless.

The news out of Disney has me and excited and what's more, it has the newest generation of "Star Wars" fans, such as my own boys (ages six and nine), excited for what will become "their Star Wars" for years to come.

Ian Clark's Pop Culture Club appears weekly in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Check out his podcast "Nerdherders" on iTunes or at, and his books, "Prophecy of Shadows" and "Plains of the Past." His e-mail address is

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