So, Steve Sansweet is to and fro-ing on the issue of the new Star Wars animated series’ place in the plotline more than Jabba’s third chin during an earthquake, after his oops-how-silly-of-me revelation as reported by Collider. If his comments are to be taken as fact (which they’re not, probably) and the powers that be in a galaxy far, far away are bringing us new adventures of Luke, Han and Leia (which they’re not, probably), what better place to look for inspiration than the Expanded Universe (EU)?
After all, the EU is absolutely saturated with weapons grade plot material, ripe for adaptation in a medium so limitless as animation. Let’s be honest, we’re probably not going to have a feature film with the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, or watch Thrawn try to reclaim the Empire any time soon. A cartoon, however, offers limitless possibilities for what can be shown, as long as they avoid the faux-anime style of the Clone Wars.
On an aside, however, I’ve read my fair share of interviews about the direction of the franchise over the years. I’ve been to Big Rock Ranch in San Francisco and I’ve spoken to the people involved in the current production of Star Wars. One thing that consistently seems to come up, both on and off the record, is that Lucas isn’t particularly interested in exploring beyond Return Of The Jedi. That seems to be the end of the story for him and his company, as for them, the official line is that it was always about Vader.
I don’t buy it myself, although it just takes the right moment and the right idea, along with the right projections of profitability in order to push this forward. Let’s just say that it’s no surprise that a seasoned pro like Sansweet lets slip something like that when we’re about to have Blu-ray versions of the original trilogy hit shelves soon.
Anyway, enough of my doom-mongering. Say they are gearing up for new post-ROTJ adventures (which they’re not, probably), here are a few of the best EU stories that we’d happily see adapted.
Beginning with Timothy Zahn’s Heir To The Empire, the titular character of the story arc has proven to be one of the most popular in the entire franchise. The books are often referred to as some of the best in the entire EU, as well as introducing major characters such as Mara Jade, and we’d love to see them brought to life in moving picture format.
Of course, if you’re going to do Thrawn, you have to do the classic prequel Outbound Flight, also written by Timothy Zahn. This is Star Wars at its best – adventuring and bold, and although it’s not post-ROTJ (being set five years after The Phantom Menace) it’s still worth a crack of the animated whip.
Set firmly in the New Republic era, this Michael Stackpole novel was notable for being the first to feature a completely EU character as its main protagonist. Star Wars is a franchise that needs to start practising some serious evolution soon, or risk going the way of TNG-era Trek, and this is a way to do it.
We all know that Lucas likes a good love story, and there’s none more enduring or famous in the EU than that of Han Solo and Princess Leia. Leia is offered marriage by a Hapan noble, driving Han insane with jealousy, but we always knew those two kids would eventually make it work. Shame about their son, though.
This was more or less written to be translated to television, particularly as a series of animated short episodes. It might be a little too involved for an audience not particularly well-versed in the minutiae of the EU, but it would certainly make a great midseason special, or something along those lines at any rate.
There are, of course, too many to feasibly list in one post, so I’ll open up the floor. What would you like to see adapted from the EU?