I can’t believe I’m even saying this, but I do not want to see a film about Han Solo. The new bosses at Lucasfilm, under the corporate parentage of Disney, plan to keep making more original flavor “Star Wars” films — like this December’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — every other year, which is awesome. Less awesome is their plan to fill in the off years with films from the “Star Wars: Anthology” series, prequels that fill audiences in on the back stories of popular characters or galactic lore.
Here’s the thing, though: Prequels are a terrible idea — something of which the people behind “Star Wars” should be more painfully aware than most. The first of these films, “Rogue One,” is currently filming and will chronicle a group of rebel spies (led by Felicity Jones) as they attempt to steal the plans to the Death Star. The events take place before “A New Hope,” when the rebels famously used those plans to destroy the space station. So in “Rogue One,” how do you think that mission is going to turn out? Exactly.
It’s not just the lack of suspense, though. It’s the glut. As a lifelong fan of the “Star Wars” franchise, I’ve been plenty excited for the release of “The Force Awakens” and the episodes to follow, but there’s something to be said for scarcity, for not oversaturating the market. “At any one time, three or four movies will be on our radar, plus all the other media,” io9’s Germain Lussier recently so eloquently wrote. “There’s no time for perspective. No time for reflection. It’s just pedal to the metal, from now until forever.”
Even for a “Star Wars” fan, that’s a bit much. Sure, Disney stable-mate Marvel has been doing great business putting out two movies a year, but those are based on a much broader comic book universe. And a steady, predictable march of “Star Wars” films, TV shows and comics threatens to make the main films feel less like the events they should be, which would be a shame.
As for Han Solo, who is getting his own prequel ensemble film in 2018, why can’t we leave the poor smuggler alone? Not only does it feel weird for anyone other than Harrison Ford to play him, but there’s a certain magic that surrounds the character when his back story is a mystery, and watching him befriend a Wookiee and win the Millennium Falcon from Lando threatens to ruin that. With some icons, less is more.