Why: The easy answer is “because it’s already happening.” But the real answer is because Yoda is an enigma. He is the last of his (never named) species, and a movie about the Jedi Master’s younger years would shed light on a dark corner of Star Wars lore. Did his people slowly die out? Or did Yoda witness a genocide 800 years ago in which he lost everyone he’s ever loved?
2. Wedge Antilles
Why: Because his story is just as interesting as Luke Skywalker’s. He joined the Rebels when his girlfriend was murdered by Imperial forces and became such an accomplished pilot, he is the only pilot (save our heroes) to survive the destruction of both Death Stars. After the original trilogy, he was responsible for bringing down the shields on Coruscant, allowing the Rebels to retake the planet city. He went on to become the greatest pilot in the fleet, getting into all sorts of adventures ripe for movie magic.
3. Mace Windu
Why: Because it’s Samuel L. Jackson with a LIGHTSABER, jeez! Need more of a reason? OK, how about Mace Windu was an orphan who was given to the Jedi Academy at the age of six months and was basically raised by Yoda. He created the only purple lightsaber in existence based on a vision and willpower. He created the last form of lightsaber combat, designed specifically to channel his dark tendencies into light. Of all the Jedi who used his stance, he was the only one not to fall to the Dark Side. He is also the only Jedi to beat Palpatine in a duel. Ever.
4. Jabba the Hutt
Why: Because space gangsters! Despite being a hedonist slob, prior to his death Jabba Desilijic Tiure was the most powerful crime lord in the known galaxy. His underworld empire was so vast, even the Galactic Republic went out of their way not to displease him. The Hutts are basically a Mafia culture, with double-crossing and murder commonplace. But Jabba began his life as a small-time crime boss, so what is the story behind amassing such power unfettered?
5. Darth Maul
Why: Because he was too much of a badass to be wasted in a movie with barely three lines. Also, did you know he was raised by Palpatine? From infancy, obedience to the Dark Side was all he ever knew. Any show of mercy was stamped out. Any expectation of praise for a job well done was met with cruelty. At the age of 10, he was ordered by Palpatine not to use his extensive Force powers; Palpatine enrolled him into an academy for training assassins for years, honing Maul’s deadly skill and killing whatever humanity remained.
6. Han Solo
Why: Because Nathan Fillion needs work. Seriously, he’d be perfect. Though Han might be more suited for a TV series with his smuggler escapes (pre-princess) getting him into trouble every week. But a Han Solo–origin movie would be epic. The descendant of Corellian kings, orphaned, and sold into slavery to pirates, he escapes and falls in love with a non-Leia Rebel, joins the Imperial Academy, and serves with distinction before getting kicked out for saving Chewie’s life, winning the Millenium Falcon from Lando, and flying off into the sunset.
7. Shaak Ti
Why: Because Obi-Wan once praised her as being the most cunning Jedi he’d ever met. Her story reads like a Greek tragedy. As the general in the Clone Wars who oversaw the training of the clone troopers on Kamino, Shaak Ti became close to them. She was even instrumental in keeping the child clones safe during two battles. She may have been overcompensating for causing the untimely death of BOTH of her apprentices, but it was this bond that saved her during the culling, as she was one of the few Jedi to escape the genocide. Fleeing with orphaned apprentice Maris Brood, Shaak Ti would eventually have a showdown with Darth Vader’s secret Sith apprentice, dying in the process of trying to save Brood, who would ultimately succumb to the Dark Side.
8. Admiral Ackbar
Why: Because he is so much more than “It’s a trap!” A learned man, Gial Ackbar served as chief military adviser to the Mon Calamari king. When Imperials attacked his homeword, Ackbar led the resistance until his capture and enslavement, using his time in captivity to gain intelligence on the enemy. When finally freed from Imperial slavery and recruited into the Rebellion, he crawled his way from infantryman to become the foremost military commander of his day, even penning the manual for training the Republic Military Fleet.
9. Lando Calrissian
Why: Because going from small-time con man to Republic general is a story arc that must be told. Perhaps the most consistently morally gray character in the Star Wars films, Lando began life as a card shark. Through his gambling addiction he acquired the Millenium Falcon, became a mercenary to raise funds, and had numerous adventures before losing said Falcon to Han Solo. Gambling at cards even won him the title of Baron Administrator of Cloud City, where he was reigning supreme when the main characters meet him in Empire Strikes Back.
10. Luminara Unduli
Why: Because the world needs more lady Jedi. So why not one of the most powerful Guardians to ever live? Rescued from Trade Federation oppression as a child for being Force sensative, Unduli was raised by a fellow Mirialan as per their species agreement with the Jedi Council to preserve their customs. Luminara grew into martial arts master and led the charge in many battles during the Clone Wars, defeating a Sith even though she was partially blinded, with the help of her own Miralan apprentice.
Why: Because you always let the Wookie have his own spin-off. But seriously, while this might be difficult to pull off without subtitles, it is necessary to let the Wookie species recover their dignity from the travesty of the Star Wars Christmas Special.
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