Monday, February 13, 2017

Star Wars Canon Gap: What Does Lucasfilm Have Planned Between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi?

There is a current gap in Star Wars new canon. There have been no new stories taking place between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. This time period provided some of the best stories from Legends, like Shadows of the Empire. To date the comics and books have focused on either the time between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back or after Return of the Jedi. There are numerous stories which can be told between Empire and Return of the Jedi focusing on how Luke and Leia planned on getting Han back, and how Luke grew in power. This is a time period which should be explored more in canon, and its absence might mean Lucasfilm has something big planned for the time period.  

The biggest announcement or plan could be a standalone Star Wars Story film set between the two episodes. Another war story focusing on other Rebellion battles could be exciting. I don’t think Lucasfilm would do another film centered around the Death Star. However, a film about the Bothan’s getting information back to the Rebellion about the second Death Star would interest me. This could be an idea greenlit after some time has passed for Rogue One They could do a movie on how Lando infiltrated Jabba’s palace and learned about the organization. If Donald Glover is cast in the universe, they may as well use him.  I don’t know if this could be a full film, but a movie focusing more on the underworld of the Star Wars universe would be welcome. There is little reason for their not to be more canon material in this time period, so them holding off for a film announcement might be one reason why there is a lack of content.

Books and comics should be coming for this time period if they aren’t going to announce a film. The comics have been running for almost three years in the main line, and eventually the amount of stories set between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back are going to reach a tipping point in believability. There is only so many adventures they could have had between the first two movies to be believable. The comics should make a jump, and hopefully it happens in the next year or so. Books should also start to explore the story about how Luke grows in power during this time. A reason the story group is reluctant to tackle this time period might be because of how well regarded Shadows of the Empire is held by fans. The story group may have ideas about adding a story similar to this to canon, but are reluctant because of backlash. They could just reintroduce Shadows back into canon, but I doubt they will do this either. It would cause too much confusion where there is already confusion to begin with. I doubt they are afraid to tackle this time period canonically, but it could be another reason why there hasn’t been books or other media.

The time period between Empire and Return of the Jedi is also lacking Han Solo, which is a selling point to many fans of the universe. The lack of Han during this time period is probably why they didn’t start new stories set between Empire and Return of the Jedi, but with his death in Force Awakens and him getting his own standalone film they could start adding stories. The most interesting would center around how Luke gained power and created a new lightsaber. The creation of his green saber should be the focus on one entire novel. I would personally love a film about this time focusing on Luke, but I doubt this would happen with so many adventures and films already centered on the last Jedi.

This is a time period which should be explored, because it is set during some of the heaviest fighting between the Empire and Rebellion. The Rebellion were at their strongest, and so were the Empire. Maybe a new animated show is in the works and will start during this time period and go through the events of Return of Jedi. If Star Wars Rebels is only going to be on for a few more seasons this would make sense. Dave Filoni is working on a new project, and maybe this would be it. Regardless of what new canon is created for this time frame, it is a gap which should be addressed. There is too much story between the two episodes not to be told.

Comment and let me know what stories you would like to see set between Episode Four and Five. 

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