Fans of Star Wars love to explore the different eras of the galaxy far, far away. Beyond the films and television shows are even more tales to enjoy. Through various media the heroes and villains of that universe have their legends expanded. New characters join their ranks, each filling the setting with exotic planets, eccentric starships, and exciting adventures. With the conclusion of the Sequel Trilogy, the focus of Disney’s storytelling has begun to widen further than ever. It’s starting to include different periods in galactic history. But for some, their interest lies in the years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
This time period is connected strongly with beloved characters from film, animation, novels, and comic books. The era resonates with the familiar, making it something that is easily accessible to hardcore and casual fans alike. There have been some releases that touch on the nearly three decades that pass between Episodes VI and VII. A good portion of that material is part of the “Journey to The Force Awakens” series. The lack of other content has left fans with many questions about what happens to their favorite characters and places during the thirty year span. A period longer than the ‘dark times’ of the Empire that shaped the Saga’s first three films.
While there are many possibilities for stories in this time period, there are a few which stand out. This is by no means an exhaustive list. But it is one that covers differing formats, characters, and genres under the mantle of Star Wars.
It should come as no surprise that many fans have been eagerly awaiting the continuing story of the Ghost’s crew. Star Wars Rebels presented a largely self contained narrative in its four season run. But the finale certainly left its heroes, and potentially villains, on the path to their next adventure. So much so that the hashtag above often finds its way onto Star Wars social media and convention panel discussions. With fans hoping that Dave Filoni might reward the faithful like devotees of the Clone Wars.
Rumors have recently circulated about just such a series being in production. Its said to continue the journeys of Sabine Wren, Ahsoka Tano, Ezra Bridger and Mitth’raw’nuruodo (better known to many as Grand Admiral Thrawn). Hera Syndulla and Zeb have appeared in Marvel comics. Hera also features in the Alphabet Squadron novels and in Star Wars: Squadrons coming in October from Motive Studios. There have been suggestions that these characters will possibly be appearing in upcoming seasons of The Mandalorian Disney+ series. Whether that happens or not, there’s certainly interest in a new show featuring some of the old Rebels cast. The premise of which would be to find out where Ezra and Thrawn went after the battle of Lothal. In addition, how Sabine and Ahsoka begin their search for him, and who else might join them on the way.
How long we may have to wait for a sequel series to Rebels is anyone’s guess. However, the enduring popularity of Rebels, and its space family, means interest in one is unlikely to wane. Especially as a new audience view it on the Disney+ platform.
- First Order Ascendant
Details regarding the origins of the main Sequel antagonists are first mentioned in the Aftermath novel series by Chuck Wendig. A portion of the defeated Imperial forces retreat to the Unknown Regions following the Galactic Civil War. The story of this small group of loyalists surviving in a hostile place, being joined by unexpected allies, and eventually growing into the menace of the First Order would make for an excellent comic book run. It could cover that thirty year period in multiple installments, with varying points of view.
Characters like Rae Sloane, Brendol and Armitage Hux, and Supreme Leader Snoke could have their stories expanded. For those interested in cold war-esque politics there’s a great set-up for Star Wars-themed espionage stories. Intrigue surrounding the fledgling First Order working against the New Republic. Or the series could focus on life among the strange systems and species that inhabit the Unknown Regions. It could be told from the perspective of former Imperial officers and soldiers. People unprepared for life beyond what they once knew in the Empire.
- Cara Dune Standalone
Gina Carano’s character from The Mandalorian proved to be an audience favorite despite only appearing in three episodes. Cara Dune’s background as an Alderaanian, Shock trooper, and mercenary was mentioned in a few scattered lines. But that small amount of information makes for what would be a great subject for a solo novel.
Disney Books has produced novels like Leia: Princess of Alderaan and Ahsoka. These books gave a lot of insight into a particular part of their story, while at the same time exploring their past through flashbacks and dialogue. Cara Dune certainly has plenty of exciting moments in her background to draw from. A book from her perspective would contain plenty of action to go along with a deeper exploration of her motivations. Her perspective as a soldier, then an outsider, dealing with grief and anger would make for great reading.
- Game Time
Whether in the form of a table-top Role Playing Game (RPG) or a console/PC Game, the period between the trilogies is a time that would make for an excellent setting. The Empire is failing, but pockets survive and resist the rise of the New Republic. Pirates, raiders, and other criminal syndicates take advantage of the chaos to carve out their own territories. Without the suppression of Imperial doctrine and the Inquisitors some turn to the Force for guidance, or possess the ability to sense and use its power.
An RPG that allows players to create characters in this era either has a lot of potential. They could be veterans of the Galactic Civil War or the next generation growing up in a Galaxy ‘at peace’. In this time of recovery there could be stories of New Republic expansion and exploration. It could still have ‘Star Wars’ feel, a serialized style of adventure on which the franchise was based. And there are many potential antagonists to be found. Criminal scum, remnant Imperials, and even dark mystics, would give the characters exciting obstacles to overcome.
The success of franchises like Mass Effect, Starfinder, and Star Wars: The Old Republic, show that there is certainly a market. A new game would allow fans to experience Star Wars in a more immersive manner than ever. Whether through digital publishing or new technologies.
5. The Continuing Adventures of Luke Skywalker
Lastly, many fans have expressed interest in seeing more stories about Luke Skywalker. Especially after the end of Return of the Jedi. These could come in any format. His brief appearance in the story campaign of Star Wars Battlefront II is often hailed as well written and true to the character. The brief scenes put his brave, wise, and compassionate sides on full display. In the Sequel Trilogy, viewers see a dispirited man, weighed down by guilt and feelings of failure. It’s a far cry from the optimistic son who saved his father from the Dark Side.
Star Wars can certainly benefit from more hopeful stories from a time when Luke traveled the galaxy. Gathering knowledge of the Jedi, learning of the Force, finding and teaching students. It would be amazing to see him speak with the spirits of Obi-Wan and Anakin after Endor. Or to interact with other characters. Maybe Rex or Ahsoka, who knew his father when he was a heroic Jedi.