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As Star Wars: Episode IX draws ever closer, Disney and Lucasfilm are getting another chance to tell a unique story in the Star Wars universe. I'm not sure when the next Star Wars trilogy will arrive or what it will be about, but I can say without question there's one particular change that should happen. It's time to shift away from human characters and have the next trilogy feature a nonhuman character as the lead.
The Star Wars movies' constant focus on its human characters isn't necessarily bad, and to say the Skywalker saga has been a boring adventure is a flat-out lie. With that said, it has been very limiting to see how one family line has essentially been at the center of three major wars. We get it, the Skywalker family is important, and the Dark Side is evil, but why must we only experience that from a human perspective?
It doesn't make a lot of sense, especially since a lot of these species are present during key events in the Star Wars Universe. Think of all the non-human members of the Jedi Council and guys like Rebel pilot Nien Nunb. Surely their stories and backgrounds regarding how they became a part of these organizations are deep, but in the films, they're inconsequential characters seen in brief segments.
Which is a real shame because all of these intergalactic conflicts have touched every species of the Star Wars galaxy in some way. Sure, the Jawas of Tatooine probably haven't suffered as much in wartime as the Wookiees of Kashyyyk, but someone who's seen the films really has no way of knowing that. Will we ever get an in-depth movie that highlights how other species have suffered as a result of these wars?
I think it should be considered, especially given the polarizing reception Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the disappointing box office numbers of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Meanwhile, the community seemed largely excited Star Wars: The Clone Wars is getting another season, and there have been frequent calls for films to include characters like Ahsoka Tano and Grand Admiral Thrawn over the years. I feel this is something the fanbase wants, it just doesn't know it yet.
Well, the casual fanbase may not know it anyway. Seasoned Star Wars fans are probably well aware of the rich backstory each species has from the various television shows, comics and novels that have been released. Every other medium of the franchise appears to be taking full advantage of the eclectic universe, and it's led to some pretty great stories and fresh takes on the universe that can't be told from a human perspective.
A great specific character to mention here is Grand Admiral Thrawn, who had his past history erased and revamped so that he could fit into the current goings on in Star Wars. This eventually led to Timothy Zahn's Thrawn, which details the Chiss warrior's ascendency through the Empire. It's a feat that's rather rare, especially given the Empire isn't particularly fond of giving non-humans entry, let alone high rankings within its order.
That right there is an example of a riveting and thought-provoking factoid worthy of a trilogy. Imagine following an alien hero (not Thrawn, he's evil) in the Star Wars universe whose family lived through the oppression from the Empire. Now we have the First Order who looks to be the same outfit, so obviously they're going to have some reservations about that. They even may want to fight, and thus another arm of the rebellion and a viable storyline is born.
It's such an easy thing to do, and with Star Wars already establishing that several alien species speak English, it's a wonder Lucasfilm doesn't have a few scripts looking to make this film franchise more of a film universe like Marvel. Expanding the scope of this war in the cinematic universe would do wonders with enhancing the directions it could go and keep this film franchise capable of running for as long as Disney wishes.
Again, if ever there was a time to do it, this is it. We can't know what Episode IX is planning, but with its characters firmly established in their roles at this point, it's even plausible it would be fine for Episode X to focus on a nonhuman character. Perhaps the main story continues in the background, but is shown through the lens of a Rodian padawan of Rey's, or a Togruta orphan discovered by Kylo Ren?
What if a trilogy was told entirely through the perspective of a droid? Everyone loves a good droid character, and while characters like C-3PO were never in the thick of the action, characters like K-2SO and L3-37 have shown these mechanical beings have the personality and battle wits to hold their own in an adventure. Plus, it would be kind of odd to see these various conflicts through a droid perspective, especially given their lack of stake in all this.
Perhaps it would take a droid to see this isn't a battle of Light vs. Dark. It's about the eternal struggle of a galaxy working to destroy hatred, yet being unable to unify without it. The cycle is doomed to repeat itself until someone comes forward with a different way. Kylo Ren might be on the verge of that epiphany, but imagine how much quicker he would've thought of it if he had asked an astromech patrolling Starkiller Base!
Time will tell whether any of these ideas are implemented, but there's certainly a ton of potential in using a nonhuman character to further propel the Star Wars franchise into the next decade. If Disney loosened the reigns and took a chance, it could allow for some of the great aspects that have been present in other Star Wars media for quite a while to invade its movie franchise in the best way.
Maybe someone at Disney is way ahead of me, and the Star Wars franchise will introduce a nonhuman lead in Episode IX. If that feels unlikely to some, fans can vote in the poll below on whether they think a nonhuman lead is a good idea for Star Wars and read up on why the title of the upcoming film doesn't really matter all that much.