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Debate Club: The Star Wars characters who need spinoffs

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Dec 4, 2019

Welcome to Debate Club, where Tim Grierson and Will Leitch, the hosts of the Grierson & Leitch podcast, tackle the greatest arguments in pop culture.

After the commercial disappointment of Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story — and what a crazy world we live in when making nearly $400 million worldwide is considered failure — Lucasfilm has pumped the brakes a little on standalone adventures.

This will not stop us, however, from brashly proposing five spinoff films we really think should happen. We've selected the Star Wars characters who haven't had their moment in the sun and, therefore, deserve an origin story. Some of them are Jedi. Some of them are bounty hunters. And one of them is the galaxy's greatest princess.

(Quick note: We decided not to focus on Boba Fett since Lucasfilm scrapped that film already and gave us The Mandalorian instead.)

Greedo

Greedo's story is aggressively simple — he has an issue with Han, and Han shoots him — which is why it's so strange that his one scene keeps getting fiddled with each time A New Hope is rereleased.

It must be very confusing for poor Greedo: he just shows up once, and yet he's doing something different every time. Perhaps we should just clear the whole thing up with a standalone movie once and for all.

Mace Windu

To the casual observer, Mace Windu has only two real traits that distinguish him from other characters on the Jedi Council and in the Star Wars universe: he has a purple lightsaber, and he looks and talks like Samuel L. Jackson. That's… probably enough right there for his own movie?

More seriously, in a Clone Wars novel called Shatterpoint, he gets to lead his own adventure and turns out to be more than just Samuel L. Jackson in a robe. That's a good starting point.

Yoda

So fine: Baby Yoda isn't that Yoda. But doesn't that make you that much more curious about where Yoda came from? After all, you can make a pretty strong argument that the best thing about the prequels is the Yoda backstory it provides.

Who wouldn't want more? There has to be a Yoda love story in there somewhere, yes? That is, after all, how Baby Yodas happen.

Darth Maul

Venom proved that audiences are hungry for movies starring bad (-ish) guys, so why not devote a spinoff film to this colorful Sith Lord?

As played by Ray Park in The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul is probably the franchise's coolest lightsaber-wielding villain since Darth Vader. And the fact that he didn't speak only added to Maul's cachet — he's a silent, menacing assassin.

It's not like Star Wars nuts don't love the guy: a few years ago, a fan-made prequel short, Darth Maul: Apprentice, hit the internet, hinting at the narrative possibilities for this Sith. Darth Maul showed up in Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story and the animated series, so stop toying with us, Lucasfilm: pull the trigger and let's make the full-length movie happen.

Leia

Considering we live in an age when more and more action movies are featuring female leads, it's surprising that the world's biggest franchise has yet to do an origin story about its most prominent princess.

Heaven knows we had a whole prequel trilogy devoted to her father's backstory — and the original trilogy was really more about her brother's journey than anyone else's — so when will Leia have her own starring vehicle? It might be fun to see what her young life was like on Alderaan — or how she first got involved with the Rebel Alliance.

The challenge, of course, is the fandom's eternal love for the late Carrie Fisher. How do you fill those shoes? Before Rogue One, the Star Wars saga never really had a female-driven installment. We seem overdue for a Leia movie.

Grierson & Leitch write about the movies regularly and host a podcast on film. Follow them on Twitter or visit their site.

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