On top of having George Lucas to thank for the very existence of Star Wars, fans may also owe him some gratitude for December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and other future anthology movies set in the Star Wars universe.
During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly to promote Rogue One, Kathleen Kennedy revealed that before Lucas handed off the reigns of Lucasfilm over to her in anticipation of Disney’s $4 billion acquisition of the company in 2012, he conceived the idea of doing standalone Star Wars movies. Kennedy told the outlet: “George talked to me about doing [standalone movies] when I first came aboard. He had often thought about doing it and he had actually written down three or four thoughts and ideas, directions you could go. Obviously inside the mythology there were lots of opportunities. So that was the first conversation I had.”
Lucas didn’t, however, come up with the concepts for Rogue One or the upcoming Han Solo movie, which led Kennedy to say: “No, we certainly talked about origin type stories, but we didn’t get into the specifics of that. We talked a lot about the Jedi and the foundational ideas that George had thought about when he created the mythology. It was sort of spit-balling ideas.”
This may be jumping to conclusions, but it seems entirely possible that Lucas’ movie ideas would be more interested in areas and eras of the Star Wars universe previously unexplored, instead of movies like Rogue One or Han Solo, which have obvious ties to the main Star Wars saga films.
The world will find out if audiences flock to Star Wars standalone movies like they would a Star Wars saga movie in just a little under a month when Rogue One flies into theaters. If recent pre-release tracking numbers seem to suggest anything it’s that Rogue One certainly won’t be performing at the same level as Star Wars: The Force Awakens (not that anyone expected it to), but it’s going to be making so much money that it doesn’t even matter.