We’re just a month away from the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story. The second ever standalone Star Wars film (in the new era at least.) The fourth film to be released since the Disney purchase and first film to come within six months of the latest film release. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in December 2016 served as a direct prequel to A New Hope, and while Solo still serves as a prequel to the original film, it occupies a different kind of story. A story that I find myself more in anticipation of than the continuation of the episodic saga films that we have gotten.
In this new era of Star Wars, the films are still the biggest draw when it comes to storytelling. Since December 2015 there have been three films released, with the aforementioned Solo, coming out in a month, making it four. Two of the films have been sequels to Return of the Jedi as part of the greater Skywalker saga, while the two others are standalones that operate outside that purview. In an effort to expand the Star Wars mythos, the standalone films have been developed and created to expand upon the galaxy and offer looks into other aspects in the universe. Saying that they are experiments would be quite the understatement.
Leading up into Rogue One, the idea of the standalone was still up for debate since there had literally and figuratively been nothing to compare it to. The film was focused on the direct military forces of the Rebel Alliance and Empire, while not featuring a Skywalker as a main focal point and relying on a majority of brand-new, never-before-seen, cast of characters. Rogue One is my third favorite Star Wars film of all-time. Its success paved the way for standalones yet to come as it proved these kind of stories could be told.
I mentioned in the opening that I am more excited for, and in anticipation of, the standalone films than the saga films, and it is 100% true. While I do think this puts me in the minority of the fandom, I find that the standalone films offer so much more intrigue to me. I do not hate the sequels we’ve gotten so far, but there’s something about them that has been unable to sink hooks into me in the way the standalones have. Rogue One was such a breath of fresh air to the Star Wars universe and opened up so many possibilities for things we otherwise would have never seen previously. When it comes to the episodic films, it’s pretty safe to say that they are going to follow a lot of the main character and story beats that have come before them. In the stand-alone films, especially with Solo, there is just about nothing we can formulate about the film by looking at what’s come prior. That sense of unknown is what has me so locked-in. Solo looks like it is going to be just an insanely fun ride and is something that Star Wars needs more of. All that galaxy-shattering stuff in the episodic films gets to be too much time after time.
After Solo, there is an 18-month wait until the release of Episode IX. In that time I hope that there are announcements of new future standalone films in the pipeline. As of now there are two separate series of films that have been revealed, but nothing along the lines of what we’ve gotten with Rogue One and Solo, and I hope that these aren’t the only two that we get.
If you’re just as excited as I am for the standalone films, and Solo in particular, feel free to comment below or reach out via email!
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