ARCHIVE PIECE: Star Wars spin-offs

FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE HERALD, JANUARY 2018

Much like the actual universe, the Star Wars universe is expanding at an incomprehensible rate. This week sees the release of The Last Jedi, movie number eight in a trilogy of trilogies.

Next spring we’ll get the Han Solo spin-off, following last year’s Rogue One and ahead of the mooted Boba Fett film. They’ve also announced a whole stand-alone trilogy. And there’s a TV series in the works.

Then there was that Clones cartoon in 2009. Not to mention the plethora of other TV shows. And cartoons. Videogames. Books. Branded merchandise.

And you know what? It will never end. Star Wars is now a black hole of entertainment: infinitely powerful, with infinite gravitational pull, slowly but surely absorbing the entire cosmos into its infinitely greedy maw. Slurp.

But what are you gonna do? If you can’t beat ‘em (to death, with the blunt end of a lightsabre), join ‘em. So here are our suggestions for further Star Wars “product”. We’re in the book, Disney…

  • “R2D2 – An Origins Story”: eight-hour epic, directed by George Lucas himself in a triumphant return from semi-retirement, following the adventures of a tiny piece of metal which will one day become soldered to a larger piece of metal which then forms part of a computer processor which eventually is inserted into the artificial brain of the lovable trundling kitchen bin-shaped robot from the early movies. The part that makes him go “biddly-BEEP-beep-beep-biddly-bwooOOOooh.”
  • “Star Wars versus Avengers Assemble versus Justice League”: fanboy ecstasy unconfined as the three biggest, wildest and LOUDEST movie franchises collide in a literally head-splitting smash-up. All your favourite heroes and villains are rendered in state-of-the-art CGI, the camerawork and editing range from hyperactive to epileptic, the plot was written on the back of a Carroll’s packet, and the film will make absolutely no sense whatsoever.
  • “Rey of Sunshine”: Daisy Ridley records an album of cheery, insanely catchy songs for charity, including Good Vibrations, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Livin’ on a Prayer and Cannibal Corpse’s Devoured by Vermin. Ed Sheeran probably pops up at some point.
  • “Star Wars does Eight out of Ten Cats does Countdown”: Jimmy Carr hosts this smug-tastic panel show where the laughs are “out of this world”! Allegedly.
  • “Star Wars does the News”: the title says it all.
  • “Star Wars does the Weather”: self-evident.
  • “Star Wars Ear to the Ground special”: pretty much what you’d expect.
  • “Star Wars Scrapes the Barrel”: intriguingly meta-textual outing which satirises the process of squeezing all possible revenues out of a successful brand…while squeezing all possible revenues out of a successful brand.
  • “Chew Baccie”: chewing tobacco with a tenuous name-related connection to the much-loved Wookie/walking fireside-rug. Sale restricted to over-18s.
  • The “Luke, I Am Your Father” paternity test: semi-reliable DNA-measuring chemistry set type gizmo, which helps make the family court’s job of assigning responsibility to deadbeat dads a good bit more fun than it normally is. (Note: only relevant if the child in question is called Luke.)
  • “Dart Invader” dolls: illegal knock-offs that bear hardly any resemblance to the Star Wars character, in name or appearance, but might just about do the job if you’re badly stuck for a present for your nephew and the shops are almost closed. And you don’t like him very much.

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