When Disney first concluded its sequel trilogy with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, there seemed to be a growing consensus amongst the fandom. Episodes VII through IX had their highs and lows, and regardless of what any one individual considered those highs and lows (Star Wars' original editor did not like the Sequel Trilogy at all), everyone seemed to agree it was best to take a step back from that era for a bit. Evidently Lucasfilm concurred, as each successive project it announced seemed to focus on other eras in the saga. Now there are rumors the franchise is ready to revisit that era with Damon Lindelof’s upcoming Star Wars movie, and if that’s true, there’s one easy way to boost its relevance.
Star Wars has landed on Disney+ in a big way with a number of shows that fans have tuned into and many more on the way. I believe that if the franchise knows what’s good for it, it'll work toward ensuring that a couple, if not many of the characters from those shows make some appearance in this Lindelof project, assuming it's actually a follow-up to the Sequel Trilogy. There’s obviously some sound logic to talk out on why this is a good idea, so let’s get into it and hope the powers-that-be are already two steps ahead on this idea.
Fan Opinion On Star Wars Television Is More Universal Than The Movies
I wouldn’t say that every Star Wars television project is beloved, but I’d argue the approval rating of most of them is far higher than the movies as of late. Additionally, fan opinions on the shows are more universal compared to the Sequel Trilogy. This is completely understandable in some regard considering that the sequel movies had less time to win audiences over than some of the shows, and this trilogy really split the fandom when it went in decidedly different directions between The Last Jedi and The Rise Of Skywalker.
To be fair to both of those movies, they dealt with higher stakes and were forced to take bigger swings than ones that The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi and the other shows have had to take thus far. Those decisions wouldn’t be effective if they weren’t divisive with the fandom on some level, especially with a fandom as broad and diverse for a franchise like Star Wars. Even so, I think one key to The Mandalorian's specific approval rating is that it’s telling a lower-stakes Star Wars story, and because it’s a television series, audiences are accepting and completely on board with that.
The main point, however, is that people love The Mandalorian, so it seems like an easy choice to put a character like Grogu into this rumored movie in some way. There are, of course, more people than “The Child” that can be thrown into the mix from the shows, though admittedly, quite a few that are off the table. Then again, if Emperor Palpatine can survive being thrown from an upper ledge on the Death Star that later exploded, surely we can make a case for Cassian Andor surviving the destruction of that Scarif base!
Marvel Showed That Marrying Television And Film Is The Right Call
The Marvel Cinematic Universe certainly has its differences from Star Wars, but considering it’s another franchise that is mindful of its content to ensure it all stays in line with the canon of the shared universe, Star Wars could take some notes for how the MCU treats its latest batch of shows. Specifically, Star Wars should look at how the stories Marvel is telling on television is actively impacting its film universe and adds relevance to both mediums.
Think back to how hyped people were when Daredevil first appeared in Spider-Man: No Way Home? They were thrilled to learn Matt Murdock is back in the MCU, and later on, it was announced he was getting his own television show. Almost a year later, people are loving She-Hulk and wondering if and when she’ll pop up in a movie. Oh, and when we’re going to learn the story of where Hulk was at and why he has a son.
So far, Star Wars treats most of its television shows as supplemental to the films. Sure, occasionally a movie will feature a brief reference to a character from an animated series, but beyond that, everything made so far hasn’t notably impacted or changed the universe on a scale the movies have to address it. In fairness, that’s partially because there are no plans to remake or further change the Prequel and Original Trilogies, but that can change with this rumored plan to build on the Sequel Trilogy.
The Mandalorian seems like the most obvious series for Lucasfilm to incorporate into any successor to the Sequel Trilogy, mainly because Grogu has a long lifespan. With that said, there are plenty of human characters who could appear in that type of project as well from Ahsoka, though they’d be much older. Even so, Luke, Han and Leia were still able to aid the Rebels even in their advanced age, so there’s no reason to think Ezra and others couldn’t as well.
Whether they’re from The Mandalorian, Star Wars Rebels or one of the other shows, there’s no shortage of beloved characters of the franchise who could help increase interest in an upcoming movie. Like Marvel, Star Wars can and should use that to help set up what it has on the way on television, and then use that TV content to pave the way for movies. It’s worked well for Marvel so far, so why not Star Wars?
Star Wars Loves Connecting Things
If there’s one thing the Star Wars franchise loves, it’s making its massive universe feel really small by connecting all the characters within it. Seriously, this galaxy is absolutely massive with tons of planets and people, and yet all the relevant people in movies and shows always seem to know each other? This trend has been a part of Star Wars for a while, so I’ve come to embrace it. As such, the franchise should also embrace it by connecting its original characters to prominent movie characters.
There’s already a playbook to make this happen, of course, as many characters in the Sequel Trilogy knew the OG characters in Star Wars, who are linked to the many of the characters featured in Star Wars shows thus far. Assuming some of these characters are still around in the timeline of the Sequel Trilogy, all they’d have to do is name drop Luke Skywalker, and boom, connection made. Perhaps the strongest argument for adding TV characters to the movies is the fact that it wouldn’t be weird at all given how the franchise connects its universe elsewhere. So hopefully that’s in the works, and each of our favorite characters we keep our Disney+ subscription for will turn up in a future Star Wars movie before too long.
It will likely be a while before we get confirmation or firm details on a Sequel Trilogy follow-up in the Star Wars universe, but there’s plenty of content available to stream on Disney+ in the meantime. I’d recommend checking out Tales of the Jedi, which has already impressed some folks with its stories about beloved Star Wars characters.
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Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.