A Thousand Generations: Five Ideas to Refresh Star Wars
Now that I’ve watched Mandalorian (and dived back into Star Wars The Old Republic) Star Wars is back on my radar and one thing I’ve noticed is things have gotten a little…
Shall we say “contentious?”
I’m not going to step on any third rails so don’t expect that, but there is a bit of a problem that I think there might be a relatively simple (simple doesn’t mean easy mind you) solution. There’s been eleven movies and counting, animated cartoons, television shows and more on the way. All of them take place within a hundred year period and essentially come down to a feud between the Skywalkers and the Palpatines. So I think we’ve all kind of forgot that one of the earliest pieces of lore we had was Obi-Wan Kenobi saying:
Since a generation is generally accepted to be about twenty to twenty-five years that means the Old Republic lasted for at least twenty thousand years. That’s a lot of time to cover and there’s been a lot of stories that have been told or eluded to that could give writers, producers and directors a ton to play with.
I know what you’re thinking “More Prequels?” Not really, if a director made a World War II movie then made a movie about the Roman conquest of Britain would you call that a prequel? None of these stories need connect to what we’ve already seen and that’s the point. It’s time for Star Wars to explore a time before Rey, Luke, Anakin, Palpatine or even Yoda were born and here’s some ideas for where they could go:
One: The Birth of the Old Republic, the Jedi Order and the Hundred-Year Darkness
Let’s start by winding the clock all the way back. Thousands of years before Order 66 ended the Galactic Republic the Galaxy Far, Far Away saw the birth of the Republic as little more than an ambitious union of systems in the core region. The early Republic dealt with remnants of previous empires in both Canon and the old Expanded Universe (or Legends as it’s called now) all the while it was intimately tied with the early Jedi Order and the first major schism in the order when many Jedi decided to embrace the Dark Side of the Force which nearly brought the whole thing tumbling down long before there was ever a Dark Lord of the Sith but still paved the way for them to begin.
The struggle was titanic and devastating and ended with many Jedi being banished from the Republic where they found a savage world called Korriban and conquered the race that lived there called the Sith.
The details don’t really matter, either in this scenario or any of the scenarios that follow, since until it’s on the screen it isn’t real. The point is there’s a lot of meat to the story of the birth of a “nation” that spans a galaxy especially with how the Jedi Order was intimately tied to it and that story could easily play out over multiple films and series on Disney Plus.
Two: The Rise and Fall of Exar Kun, the Mandalorian War and the Saga of Revan
Before Disney purchased Lucasfilm one of the most pivotal events in the Expanded Universe occurred four thousand years before the Battle of Yavin and it all began with a Jedi named Exar Kun. Kun was a human Jedi of incredible strength and potential but like with Anakin Skywalker his power bred ambition and his ambitions led him to ruin.
Kun sought forbidden knowledge of the seemingly extinct Sith Order to understand them but along the way he fell to the Dark Side and turned another promising Jedi by the name of Ulic Qel-Droma. The pair were dubbed Dark Lords of the Sith and they led many of the Jedi astray and started a war that lasted more than a generation because they enlisted the aid of the Mandalorians.
The Mandalorians were united under a single leader, Mandalore and though he died another mandalorian took his place and continued the war on the Republic until a young Jedi rallied both a large part of the remaining Jedi Order and the Republic military to eventual victory. This Jedi adopted the name Revan during the Mandalorian War and he would unwittingly follow Exar Kun’s path by becoming a Dark Lord of the Sith himself and continuing the war.
Revan was eventually redeemed and he saved the Republic when all seem lost and in the process became one of the most beloved characters in all of Star Wars without ever appearing in a single movie. (He was created as the main character for arguably the greatest Star Wars video game of all time, Knights of the Old Republic.)
This story could easily become the most ambitious Star Wars story ever told and would show the almost cyclical nature of the struggle between the Dark and Light Side of the Force. Some of the stories and characters that were birthed from this time are right up there with Revan; Kreia, Darth Sion, Darth Nihilus, Revan’s romance with Bastila Shan and many more. One need only search “Darth Revan” on Youtube to see how beloved he is. This time period could literally give Disney years of films, series, games and books to sell. Because in a lot of ways it already has done just that.
Lastly, on a purely superficial level, who wouldn’t want to see this man in live action?
Three: Darth Bane and the Rebirth of the Sith
Much like Revan, Darth Bane is perhaps the most important character in the Star Wars Universe to never appear in live action. Admittedly Bane has one up on Revan as he appeared in an episode of Clone Wars. Why is Bane so important, you ask?
Oh he was only the man who created the “Rule of Two” and set his reborn Sith Order on the path that led to the Revenge of the Sith.
One thousand years before the film, a young man on a mining world ended up in the general army of the Sith Empire of the time during their latest war to conquer the Republic. This seven foot wall of muscle eventually was found by a Sith Lord and was sent to Korriban to train.
During his training Bane became disillusioned with the Sith Order at the time and he began digging into the history of the order only to become more disgusted by his Sith brethren. He sought all the ancient Sith knowledge he could and eventually traveled to an unknown world where he found a Sith Holocron created by Darth Revan which led him to destroying the Sith Order to the last Dark Lord and reordering it under the Rule of Two which allowed for only One Master and One Apprentice. He then led his apprentice into obscurity where they began to slowly amass power in secret to destroy the Jedi and conquer the Galaxy.
Bane’s story could be a dark version of the classic hero’s journey and could be seen as almost experimental Star Wars. Speaking of “experimental” Star Wars.
Four: A Sith Civil War
This idea isn’t born from the Old Expanded Universe or a Video Game/Comic/Novel but rather a YouTube video I watched that kind of led to the idea of this article. Specifically, This YouTube Video:
This video depicts a concept that I think could make for an interesting idea of a “Star Wars Story” type film. Some of the ancient Sith Lords were staggeringly powerful, some devoured entire worlds or could literally bend the fabric of space and the very nature of Sith Philosophy meant that if two of these incredibly powerful Sith existed at the same time they would sooner or later go to war with each other. (It’s the main reason that the Sith would come within days of toppling the Republic only to turn on each other and save the Republic from them through treachery.)
The idea of two Alpha Sith Lords going at it could make for an amazing story in the right hands.
Five: The Saga of Satele Shan
What would a franchise be without a sequel or two?
Remember when I was talking about Revan and I mentioned his romance with a Jedi named Bastila Shan? Well, despite the Jedi having instituted a ban on marriage and romance in their lifetime Revan and Bastila fell in love, married and had a child before Revan disappeared.
Three hundred years later, Revan and Bastila’s descendant named Satele began her training with the Jedi. In her time, the Sith had disappeared for years (as they often do) but they returned by reclaiming Korriban as her training was coming to a close. Satele happened to be in the system when the Sith returned and her rise to prominence began. Satele became one of the most powerful Jedi in history, she had her own great love affair (with a soldier in the Republic Army) rediscovered a long lost home world of the Jedi. (Tython, the world Din Djarin took Grogu to in the hopes of contacting a Jedi in season two of The Mandalorian) and she eventually rose to Grand Master of the Jedi Order.
Satele’s story is central to the backstory of the game Star Wars: The Old Republic (as well as her battles with her Sith counterpart, Darth Malgus) and is an important character in the game but her story all alone is more than enough to make into several movies.
Plus, anyone that could block a lightsaber with their hand deserves at least some attention.
So there you have it. Five interesting things to do with Star Wars that would get away from the Skywalker Saga and more importantly open up the Universe even more.
Of course I missed some, I probably even missed your personal favorite, for that I’m sorry so here’s another cool Star Wars video as an apology…
So until next time. May the Force Be With You.
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