Star Wars on Netflix? Empire is the New Black

July 31, 2015

  Rumors started swirling this week that multiple live-action 'Star Wars' series would possibly be heading to Netflix in the future, much in the way that Marvel has, with the excellent 'Daredevil' series, and future ones, including series based on 'Luke Cage', 'Iron Fist', 'Jessica Jones', and a miniseries on 'The Defenders', with reports stating one will debut about every 6 months. If the first season of 'Daredevil' was any indication of the tone and quality that Netflix is striving for, we have every reason in the world to believe that they can hit it out of the park with any future 'Star Wars'-related content.

    While I've seen zero rumors about any specific shows, I thought it would be fun to think about a few of the characters and worlds that would be awesome to see expanded into a live-action series. Obviously, we have a new post-ROTJ trilogy on the way, as well as the so-far-announced 'Anthology' films, 'Rogue One' and the untitled Han Solo film, but the beauty about the 'Star Wars' universe is the diversity and uniqueness of everyone and everything in it. These potential series could span any genre, any time period, any era, with an almost unlimited well to draw from. So here is my "most wanted" list for potential Star Wars Netflix series:

    Jabba The Hutt gangster saga - Recently at Comic-con, uber nerd director Guillermo del Toro was asked what kind of Star Wars movie he'd like to make, and his reply was a "Godfather"-esque tale of Jabba the Hutt. The idea is fantastic, and so good in fact, that I think it would be better served by a series, as opposed to a film. We were all captivated by Jabba as a villain, and the fact that he'd been built up since 'A New Hope' as this all powerful crime lord that held a bounty on Han Solo's head, and that showed that there was a history there. Just what *was* it that happened between Solo and Jabba? Where was he from? How did he come to be so powerful? What kind of smuggling operations did he run, etc. I think the best way to tell this story would be in a more serious, drama-based fashion, again, in a 'Godfather'-ish tone. Not quite as deadly serious, I mean, your main character is a giant slug-like creature, but show the Hutts, the crime syndicates, the bounties and high stakes deals, and show some grimy, down and dirty violence. Not necessarily R-rated, but I'm sure the gangster life isn't pretty.

    The Old Republic - Like so many gamers, I was completely enamored with the original 'Knights of the Old Republic'. I dare say that's my favorite video game of all time, so this is a given. The potential of stories to be told in this particular era of the universe is virtually limitless. When I think of the tone, I think how great something akin to 'Game of Thrones', with the unbelievable sword fights that could so easily be turned into lightsaber battles. You would have the political intrigue of the times with the Republic that would add depth, and while you could add totally original spins on it, you have a built in mythology with characters like Darth Revan, should they choose to go that route. You have more traditional Jedi Knights, Sith warriors, a completely blank page when it comes to planets, bounty hunters, ships, etc. Please make this!!

    Shadows of the Empire - I admit it, I'm a big fan of that novel. As a kid, being able to fill in the gaps, in a canonical (at the time) way of what happened between 'Empire' and 'Jedi' was pretty fascinating. But also, as a kid, I was more interested in the kickass Nintendo 64 game and the line of toys they introduced. If you're unfamiliar with the story, there was a crime lord named Prince Xizor (pronounced SHEE-ZOR), who is very, very powerful, and the head of a criminal organization called the Black Sun. He is in competition with Vader and thinks that if he can get to Luke Skywalker, he'll fall in favor with The Emperor and become even more powerful. Of course Lando, Chewie, and Leia are trying to track down leads on how to rescue Han Solo, having been frozen in carbonite and taken by Boba Fett. The big new protagonist introduced is Dash Rendar, a hot shot, for-hire mercenary smuggler type, who Leia has to watch over Luke. You already have two pretty strong characters in play here. Dash, while most see as a Han Solo ripoff, could provide you with a more humorous spin, I'm thinking kind of Nathan Fillion on 'Firefly'. In Prince Xizor, you have a pretty deep, multi-layered villain, who would constantly be on the hunt for Skywalker, or whoever his target is. He plays both sides of the coin, and you could go in many different directions with him. Again, you could tell this particular story in one movie, but I think the story arch is something that could use a lot of fleshing out and become very entertaining.

    The Force Unleashed - Again, something based on a video game, but the game was pretty damn cool, you gotta admit. For the uninitiated, the game tells the story of Galen Marek aka Starkiller, a Force sensitive kid that Vader discovered during a raid on Kashyyyk. Vader trains Starkiller as his secret apprentice, and uses him to hunt down the Jedi that survived Order 66. That in itself is a litany of stories waiting to be told. We have so many different things at play in this. You have the ever growing Galactic Empire. You have Vader becoming all powerful. Starkiller is the kind of character, while I guess technically a bad guy, you're very sympathetic towards him. Every episode, you could have him hunting down another Jedi that Vader has discovered is still alive, and the beauty is, you really don't have to be tied down to the already existing universe, you could create new Jedi for him to hunt down. His pilot Juno Eclipse could be with him on his adventures, and his awesome droid PROXY would provide a bit of levity. The thing that people fell in love with about the game was this was really the first time you were able to be a REALLY powerful Force user. I mean, he singlehandedly brings down a Star Destroyer. It would make for some really intense action sequences, and best of all, Sam Witwer, the actor that Starkiller was completely modeled, voiced by, and acted out by, is an active actor, and is a Star Wars uber geek in real life. The casting is already done.

    Band of Brothers: Stormtroopers - I know 'Rogue One' is aiming to be the "Zero Dark Thirty" of the Star Wars universe, but imagine a 10-episode arch, told in a super dirty, bloody way, about a squadron of Stormtroopers that have been sent on a mission to sabotage a Rebel base on Yavin, and they're stuck behind enemy lines, having to use teamwork and their trust in one another, as a squad, to survive. You could have some variety, much like in your standard military movies, but instead of grenadiers, snipers, etc., you would have a squadron composed of Stormtroopers, Biker Scouts, TIE pilots, etc. They would have to make it super violent and realistic, to amp up the tension and make them characters that you deeply care for and want to survive, even though they're technically bad guys. While you could have some great and intense battles and action, I'd love for the series to be more focused on the actual people, the men behind the helmets, and their camaraderie with one another, and not just them necessarily wanting to complete their mission, but having to rely on themselves as a unit to survive.

Tales of the Bounty Hunters - I think in their heart of hearts, every Star Wars fan had a fascination with the bounty hunters from 'Empire'. One of the coolest, most legendary scenes in the the entire saga, for me anyway, is that one quick scene where Vader has gathered a group of bounty hunters to hunt down Han Solo. It's actually a very quick and uneventful scene, but the quick glimpses of those bounty hunters captured so many of our imaginations, and Boba Fett was really the only one we even seen again later. So I propose an anthology-type series where each hour-long episode will tell the tale of a bounty hunter. One thing that was so fascinating about them was the mystery, so I don't necessarily want any origin stories or anything like that, just a really interesting, captivating story about each one. Doesn't have to be about their hunt for Solo, in fact, I'd rather it not be. Show them in a new and different setting, either hunting a target down, dealing with rival bounty hunters, etc. Show us how 4-LOM and Zuckuss tried to infiltrate a Rebel base on a mission, show us how Dengar was almost killed in a swoop bike race and rebuilt as an assassin. Tell us a story of how Bossk, the coolest bounty hunter of all time, hunted down Wookiees during the Clone Wars. There are a million different stories to tell, and tell them each as totally independent, stand-alone episodes. You don't have to have them intertwined or woven together. But whatever you do, keep the mystery alive.

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