How Star Wars Saga Films Will Differ From The Anthology Stories

Back when Disney first purchased Lucasfilm, not only did the Mouse House announce more entries in the Star Wars saga, they also announced additional standalone films. What exactly that meant, however, was not entirely clear. How will these Anthology or Story movies differ from the films we knew? The difference, it seems, has to do with the film’s relative level of Skywalker.

Speaking with the Costco Newsletter, The Costco Connection (because everybody else is covering Star Wars, so why the hell not Costco?) The Keeper of the Force (which is a title I just gave her), Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, explained that the Episode films, the traditional movies we are familiar with, are the story of the Skywalker family, while the others all deal with other parts of the galaxy far, far, away. She said:

The Saga films focus on the Skywalker family saga. The stories follow a linear narrative that connects to the previous six films. The Force Awakens follows Return of the Jedi and continues that generational story. The Anthology films offer opportunities to explore fresh characters, new storylines and a variety of genres inside the Star Wars universe.

This seems to scan with the data that we have so far. While there are Anthology movies currently on the schedule for Han Solo and Boba Fett, we haven’t heard anything about a standalone Princess Leia movie, which is unfortunate, but understandable if they feel her complete story is told in the Episode movies. Still, it would seem there’s a great opportunity for a rom-com about Princess Leia being set up with a dopey prince from another planet… we’re thinking of Spaceballs.

What’s most intriguing about the entire plan is the idea for the films to dive into entirely different genres. Just because a film takes place on another planet does not mean science fiction has to be its defining characteristic. Everything we know about the first Anthology film, Rogue One, screams "heist," which is an incredibly exciting idea, and it's also been described as a grim war movie. The options are potentially limitless. There are opportunities for stories that take place within the world of Star Wars that don’t even touch on the greater plot points of the series.

On the flip side, this should also give traditional fans some confidence that they have a good idea what to expect when The Force Awakens hits theaters in a couple months. While nobody can guarantee that the new movies will be good -- as mediocre as they were the prequels still felt like Star Wars movies -- anybody who wants to "play" in the Star Wars universe can go write or direct an Anthology movie and leave the primary films alone.

It’s a nice thought anyway. We’ll find out what the differences truly are when Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens December 18 and when Star Wars: Rogue One arrives December 16, 2016.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.