If you are a Star Wars freak like me, then you already know that it’s been confirmed that there will be brand new Star Wars stand alone films aside from the forthcoming Episode VII. Speculation started with rumors of a film based on Yoda and then today, EW reported we will likely be seeing movies based on both Han Solo and Boba Fett, although it is still very early in the process and things could indeed change. To me, any Star Wars movie would be welcomed with enthusiasm. I’ve seen pleas around the blogosphere for films to be based on every character from Admiral Ackbar to Mace Windu. But I have yet to see anyone mention Expanded Universe/video game characters Dash Rendar and Kyle Katarn.
Dash Rendar was the main character in the book and awesome Nintendo 64 game Shadows of the Empire which both came out in 1996. The story takes place between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi. The alien crime lord and head of the “Black Sun” criminal syndicate, Prince Xizor is trying to eliminate Darth Vader as Emperor Palpatine’s apprentice by assassinating Luke Skywalker. Rendar eventually clashes with Boba Fett while trying to save Han Solo (who is still frozen in carbonite) before facing off in a huge space battle with the Empire and Xizor.
This story would make an excellent stand alone Star Wars film. It has enough ties to the original trilogy to feel familiar, but the story would be brand new to the casual viewer. If I were casting this movie, I would put someone like Bradley Cooper in the role of Dash Rendar. He’s athletic enough to pull off the part, and the ladies love him. The movie could be shot in a way to avoid seeing younger versions of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, and Han Solo would just be a frozen block of carbonite. Appearances by IG-88, Boba Fett and Darth Vader would be just enough to make it epic!
Kyle Katarn was the main protagonist in the Star Wars: Dark Forces, Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy PC games. There’s enough material with this character to be given his own trilogy. Katarn was once an Imperial soldier who went rogue and was the rebel agent who stole the plans to the original Death Star. He later learns his Father, Morgan Katarn was a Jedi and finds his old lightsaber. Slowly, he discovers his own connection to the force to become a Jedi himself.
Gerard Butler would make a great Kyle Katarn. He’s an actor that’s not afraid to rock a beard, and like Cooper, he’s athletic enough (and experienced with a sword…300 anyone?) to pull of some grisly lightsaber fights. Like Shadows of the Empire, the majority of this story takes place within the time frame of the original trilogy, but doesn’t really include any of the other major characters. He faces off against two gnarly villains in Jerec, a Sith that tries to harness the energy of the Valley of the Jedi, and the reptilian Desann, a former apprentice of Luke Skywalker (after his establishment of a New Jedi Order) who has fallen to the dark side.
Of course there are so many characters in both Star Wars Trilogies and the Expanded Universe to make dozens of stand alone films. These are two that I would love to see as a hardcore Star Wars fan. What do you think?