A long time ago, in a galaxy pretty close by, a film called Star Wars: A New Hope was released to stunned audiences everywhere.
Not even a Jedi could have predicted the empire it would create, and that 40 years after the first film Star Wars would still be a cinematic staple. The mysterious mythology, an extensive universe and the vast array of interesting, unique characters have ensured the saga remains a silver screen event for kids and grown-ups alike.
Speaking of a vast array of crazy characters, Disney have clearly realised what they have at their disposal and are taking the franchise in a new direction: spin-offs. With a Han Solo movie due for release next year and an Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off in the offing, let’s take a look at what side characters truly deserve their chance in the spotlight.
5. Chirrut Imwe & Baze Malbus
Introduced in last year's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the bromance between this blind martial artist and his mate is merely teased, almost overshadowed amongst the large cast of characters.
It is bromance in its purest form, and the reason why they need a spin-off as a double act. Both men were born on the desert moon of Jedha, with both showing potential and being recruited into the Guardians of the Whills.
Tasked with defending the Temple of Kyber, a sacred place held dear to the Jedi and believers of the Force, simply watching the two of them on protection duty would be interesting enough – but there’s more.
Once the Guardians disbanded, Chirrut became a preacher whilst Baze went in a different direction, becoming a freelance assassin. The rich storytelling potential here is palpable, and with the talent of Donnie Yen and Wen Jiang front and centre, this spin-off could be a rather unique addition to the Star Wars series.
4. Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes
More popularly known as the Cantina Band, these large-headed, black-eyed Biths with a penchant for melody are crying out for their own movie.
Though they seem to only have the one song (it’s called 'Mad About Me'), Figran D’an and his band of Modal Nodes would be the perfect subject for a dramatic biopic. We would get to see how they met, how the band formed, how they came up with that name - everything.
Their falling outs and making ups and wild partying would all be up there on the big screen, no doubt inspiring us all to follow our dreams.
Perhaps they argue about what direction to take their music? Maybe the lead Modal Node is disheartened and self-destructive over the fact they’re only known for one song? The possibilities are endless. Frankly, this could be one of the best Star Wars films of all time.
3. Maz Kanata
Making her first appearance in The Force Awakens, Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o) is darn mysterious.
Claiming not to be a Jedi, but knowledgeable in the ways of The Force, Maz assists our heroine Rey (Daisy Ridley) on her journey towards finding exiled Jedi, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).
Despite her small stature, we find Maz as the proprietor of one of the most dangerous venues in the galaxy. A large, ancient castle on the planet Takodana, Maz’s home has become a safe space for criminals and smugglers to rest their weary heads and drown their sorrows in between jobs and away from the tyrannical eye of the First Order.
Maz is well known as a pirate queen. Couple how cool that sounds with her enigmatic past and she more than deserves her own movie.
2. Boba Fett
The Fett is one of the most popular characters in Star Wars lore, but watching the movies back he actually doesn’t do very much.
Though we know some of his backstory from the prequel trilogy (where he featured aalongside father Jango), there is still so much untapped potential. The best direction would be to explore the events in between the prequels and original trilogy, following Boba as he tracks down a particularly lucrative bounty.
It would be seriously cool watching him travel from planet to planet, navigating through cities, deserts and forests, picking up bounties along the way and introducing us to the largely unseen criminal underworld that exists in the Star Wars universe.
We’re talking a large scale, action-packed gangster movie with bounty hunter Boba Fett right in the middle. A Fett film has been on the cards for years – surely it’s about time he earned that popularity with something more than just a cool costume?
1. Darth Maul
AKA the biggest wasted opportunity in Star Wars history, Darth Maul needs his own movie. The stunning moment Maul reveals his double-sided lightsaber, all while John Williams’ score gets your heart racing, should be all the evidence you need.
However, if you crave more evidence, how about a story of a tattooed boy torn from his mother, groomed to be a powerful weapon of the Sith by Star Wars big bad Darth Sidious?
Forced to witness huge battles between Sith and Jedi and breathe in the ashes of the slain, Sidious would instil in Maul an unquenchable thirst for vengeance against the Jedi enemy. That potentially is just a taste of Maul prior to his ‘demise’ in the The Phantom Menace.
Jon Fuge is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.