So Aint It Cool News has a wild rumor about the content of a new Star Wars movie. It feels like old times!
We know that Disney/Lucasfilm is planning a sequel trilogy, but they’ve also said that they want to produce standalone movies set in the Star Wars universe. This Aint It Cool rumor suggests that the first such film will focus on Yoda.
My feelings on this are conflicted. First, I saw enough of Yoda the Action Hero in the prequels than was necessary.
Next, I’ve hoped that these standalone movies would stay away from the standard characters of the Skywalker saga and focus on regions of the universe left unexplored in film. In other words, no Boba Fett: the Movie, no When Han met Chewie, no The Huttfather: Jabba’s Rise to Power.
However, even though a film centered on Yoda seems to go against everything I said above, given Yoda’s age and position, it could work if the focus is right.
Three ways a Yoda film could work:
1) Go Way Back (Yoda as a side character): I’d love to see what the galaxy was like when Yoda was in his 400s, but I wouldn’t want to see Yoda as the main character. Let him be a side figure whose role is different from that of Master of the Jedi Council but a side figure nonetheless. In this way, we’d be able to meet new characters and learn their story while still seeing a new side of Yoda that is perfectly fine to witness (given his age).
2) I, Jedi (Yoda as a framing device): I could see these standalone films wanting to rely on prequel era settings (given how much computer generated work on locales and aliens etc. is likely still usable from the prequels). So I could see a series of films that focus on separate Jedi adventures where Yoda exists only as a kind of framing device along the lines of I, Robot. Rather than asking what were some times when Robots tested the limits of the laws of robotics, it would be asking Yoda about times when the Jedi order faced its most challenging tests. Each film would present a new view of the Jedi challenges.
3) The Journal of the Whills (Go all out): This is the one thing I don’t think I’d be able to pass up. For those who aren’t Star Wars nuts, Lucas (at one time or another) referred to the whole saga as The Journal of the Whills, which to me always sounded like the Star Wars version of Frodo and Bilbo’s red book that catalogues all of The Hobbit and LOTR. It’s been rumored that Yoda would have something to do with this journal (and it’s been rumored though, I believe, denied that his elusive species is “Whill”), so I would be more than intrigued to see Lucas let someone loose on this Journal and frame the Skywalker saga in an entirely new light by showing us that it’s being catalogued by some unseen forces with whom Yoda has contact.
Three Things to Avoid
1) An explicit exploration of Yoda’s species: Though I would like to know more about the Whills, I don’t want the true nature of Yoda’s kind revealed. Let there be some secrets! A movie that focuses on Yoda’s homeworld and millions of backwards talking Yodas would be dangerous–so easy would it be to allow it to fall into cartoonish ridiculousness.
2) Yoda’s youth: I have no interest in seeing the story of how a young Yoda became a real Jedi, having to prove himself to all the tall Jedi out there who believed that “size matters.” I can just see the previews with their “You think you know the real story of the galaxy’s greatest warrior, well: Know nothing, you do.” Kill me now.
3) Yoda’s ‘weaknesses’: In a similar vein to seeing Yoda’s youth, I have no interest in a more ‘complex’ picture of the Jedi Master we thought we knew. A film that focuses on some hidden weakness/moral failing that completely changes our image of the little green guy would be unnecessary. He’s complex by being mysterious. As it was with midichlorians and the force, a more complicated vision of something isn’t always better.