Having recently purchased the Star Wars franchise from Lucasfilm for US$4 billion, Walt Disney is shifting the films into hyperdrive.
Not only has Disney already begun working on a new trilogy, to start with JJ Abrams directing episode seven, but studio chief Bob Iger said this week have said possible spinoffs are being developed for young Han Solo, the bounty hunter Boba Fett and Yoda.
Obviously, the tauntaun is totally out of the bag. The Star Wars universe is set to rapidly expand, with every cent drained out of George Lucas' franchise.
But why stop with a few predictable choices when there are others deserving of a close-up? Here are a few lighthearted suggestions for further Star Wars spinoffs.
Sure, the leader of the Rebel Alliance's Endor assault doesn't exactly have the matinee looks you'd normally want in a star. Truth be told, he looks like a fish. But he's a master tactician and no one is better at taking evasive action. An Ackbar film could revolve around his deep-seated paranoia of constantly being ambushed. Ackbar drives into a parking garage: "It's a trap!" Ackbar drops off his dry cleaning: "It's a trap!"
THE CANTINA BAND
An obvious one, perhaps, but who doesn't want to know more about the Mos Eisley Cantina Band? Technically known as Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes, one can't help but wonder about the band dynamics. Is Figrin D'an like the Sammy Hager of the outfit and Doikk Na'ts the Eddie Van Halen? Do they tour? And what about Max Rebo, the blue elephant-looking guy who plays keyboards in Jabba the Hutt's palace. Do they ever jam together??
LIFE ON THE DEATH STAR
It was an entire planet (twice) created by Dark Side, but what's it like to live there? How are property values? The whole thing looks entirely grey. Where are the parks? Where do the Stormtroopers get their helmets? This would have to be directed by the comedian Eddie Izzard, who contemplated the scene of a Death Star cafeteria in a famous stand-up bit. Izzard imagined Darth Vader ordering the penne alla arrabiata and arguing with a caterer over whether he needs a tray.
C-3PO AND R2D2 ON HOLIDAY
Because droids need a vacation, too. R2D2 and C-3PO finally get away for an eventful week in the Caribbean where the two learn some lasting lessons on friendship, love and the effects of salt water on their parts. The tagline: "These ARE the droids you're looking for."
It was long ago that on his death bed, Yoda uttered his last words: "There is another Skywalker." It turned out, of course, that Princess Leia was that Skywalker, the twin sister of Luke. But what if Yoda came back to say, "There is another another Skywalker"? Not twins, but triplets. Imagine the possibilities. I'm thinking the third Skywalker should be the black sheep of the family (other than, um, Darth Vader). Possible casting choices for the third, less talented Skywalker: John Goodman, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jason Schwartzman.
OLD HAN SOLO
Granted, young Han Solo is probably very dashing and risk-taking. But don't we all kind of expect old Han would end up a lot like old Elvis? His hard-living is sure to catch up with him. All that time frozen in carbonite can't be good for your metabolism.