Are origin story movies for Han Solo and other 'Star Wars' characters in the works?

By Jeff Peterson

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Sept. 20 2013 6:31 p.m. MDT

Chewbacca and Han Solo.

Lucasfilm Ltd.

Enlarge photo»

Ever wonder why Yoda is green or speaks with such mixed-up syntax? Ever wonder what childhood trauma caused Han Solo to shoot first (or second) when confronted with a bounty hunter-shaped problem?

Questions like these — but hopefully much better ones — could be answered in future "Star Wars" movies. Disney is reportedly looking to cash in on the $4.05 billion investment that saw it take control of Lucasfilm last October by releasing origin stories for some of the most popular characters in the Star Wars universe.

After months of speculation to that effect, Disney CFO Jay Rasulo finally confirmed it during an investor conference Sept. 12, according to Variety. Calling the franchise an “evergreen property,” he said a new film would be released each year — either a numbered sequel to “Return of the Jedi” or an “origin story film.”

This news goes along with an earlier statement from Disney CEO Bob Iger. Speaking with CNBC in February, Iger revealed that screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan (“The Empire Strikes Back”) and Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: First Class”) “are both working on films derived from great ‘Star Wars’ characters that are not part of the overall saga.”

So which characters deserve their own spinoff movies?

If rumors are to be believed, some of the names being considered for the prequel treatment include the aforementioned Jedi Master Yoda and Han Solo as well as fan favorite Boba Fett.

Keep in mind, of course, except for J.J. Abrams’ “Episode VII,” which is actively in development at the legendary Pinewood Studios in England (where the James Bond movies were filmed, among many others), other Star Wars films are most likely in the discussion stage right now.

Another character supposedly being eyed for his own spinoff movie is Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. Back in February, McGregor himself pitched an idea for how he imagined it could work: "The only bit that I could get away with doing is after the last one I made, ‘Episode III,’ before Alec Guinness, there's that period where (Obi-Wan is) in the desert,” McGregor told MTV News. “That might be my window, there, to tell that story. I don't know what he did in the desert. We could make up some stuff."

Recently, though, when pressed about his involvement with future Star Wars films, the Scottish actor told E! Online, “They haven’t phoned me yet.” But if they do, he added, “I’d be up for it.”

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is scheduled for release in 2015.

A native of Utah Valley and a devoted cinephile, Jeff Peterson is currently studying humanities and history at Brigham Young University.

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