This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on December 19, 2016.
One of the most impressive thing about Star Wars: Rogue One is that it really does function as its own story. Even if you were to remove the many references to the core Star Wars saga, it stands alone as a story with beginning, middle, and end. Each of its core cast of characters is defined in their own right and there aren’t any dangling plot threads, besides the one leading directly into Star Wars. It’s an accomplishment and one that sets a great standard for future Star Wars stories between the core films.
Just because the film is self-contained doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for some great spin-offs and other related stories to be told though. We may not expect to see too many more movies featuring this crew in a starring role, but that only provides Marvel Comics with an excellent opportunity to tell some new stories in their own line. Rogue One provides a bundle of opportunities for new Star Wars comics. Here are five of our favorite ideas that could be turned into great new series or one-shots.
Now that Marvel’s Darth Vader has reached its conclusion, there’s a need for a new Imperial villain series. While there are plenty of officers waiting to have their stories told, none may be more interesting than Director Orson Krennic. He’s a perfect pick for an ongoing in a similar style to Vader’s series because of how different they are as characters. Krennic is obsessed with appearance, vain, and manipulative; he’s everything Vader is not.
Providing Krennic with his own series would serve two purposes. It could highlight his rise to power and the creation of the Death Star and offer a fascinating contrast to Darth Vader. All sorts of powerful people made the Empire what it was. Bureaucrats like Krennic were just as important as ruthless warriors like Vader. Watching how he operated his way to the top would provide ample opportunity for political intrigue and a diverse supporting cast. In our best case scenario, we will one day have two hardcovers of Darth Vader and Krennic that read beautifully back-to-back.
One of the most overlooked releases from Marvel’s current line of Star Wars comics was the C-3PO one-shot released last year. It served a relatively minor purpose (explaining how Threepio got his new, red arm), but did so in the form of a story that was a surprisingly moving character study. That one issue provided a great deal of humanity to the droids of the Star Wars universe, and we believe K-2SO’s initiation into the Rebel Alliance could do the same.
It’s briefly explained in Rogue One that K-2SO was captured and reprogrammed, but that leaves a lot of details out. Not only does it not explain what this process means, but it fails to offer an explanation for his dry wit and incredible bravery at the end of the film. Examining K-2SO’s origin isn’t just a chance to look at one droid’s story, but to question the very nature of artificial intelligence and machine life. Anyone who has seen the film knows that there was more to this character than simple programming. It would be great to see this one droid’s personality and life explored in greater detail.
Galen and Bodhi’s Story
There’s a big gap in Galen Erso’s story between when he is taken by Krennic and when he is next seen during the events of Rogue One, and in that time he accomplishes a lot. Not only does he help to build the Death Star, but creates and executes a plan to destroy it all under the noses of some of the greatest scientists and military leaders in the entire Empire. It’s a story of bravery and cunning in impossible circumstances.
That alone is enough to make the case for this spin-off story, but it’s made even better by the dual narrative that could be told with Bodhi Rook, the Imperial defector. He is another man who decides to do the impossible in order to fight for what’s right. Galen plays a key role in his journey for Imperial pilot to Rebel spy, and this highlights his accomplishments working from the inside of the system. Showing these two men struggling together to help one another and find opportunities to help the Rebels is a concept packed with potential and loads of suspense.
Rise of the Partisans
Saw Gerrera is the most interesting character that we see the least of in Rogue One. Everything that is said about him, that he does, and about his appearance suggests a tremendous history worth exploring. Much of that history is already coming to light in both the spin-off cartoons The Clone Wars and Rebels. These stories are highlighting his fall from grace in the Rebel Alliance, but that still leaves a key part of his story unexplored.
When we see Gerrera at the start of Rogue One he is the leader of The Partisans, a massive group with a hellish reputation. Seeing his fall will be fascinating, but the rise of The Partisans has just as much potential. What methods drove a rift between them and the Rebels? Just how far did Saw go in his quest to overthrow the Empire? Who was hurt along the way? Answering these questions could lay the bedrock for a fantastic comics series.
The Bothan Plan
Just about every Star Wars fan on the planet has to be exhausted by the Bothan jokes in relation to Rogue One. We all know that Bothans died stealing plans to the second Death Star and have probably explained it a hundred times by now. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room to spin-off this story from the foundation of Rogue One. We know that this sort of story work brilliantly in the Star Wars universe now, and there’s no reason to not tell a similar one in a brand new medium.
The cost and potential rejection of an all-alien cast might mean that the Bothans never have their story told on the big screen, but it’s perfectly suited to comics. Artists can make each of the individuals unique and expressive without a massive CGI budget. They can also provide more space for individual back stories and tangents, allowing it to be a miniseries or ongoing story with an inevitable, tragic conclusion. This story might trace its roots to a single line spoken by Mon Mothma, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a story worth telling.