Everything else about the project seems to be up in the air. So far, all Disney has released on the matter is the fact that it's got a script by former video game scribe Gary Whitta and is one of the in-between "spin-off" movies and not one of the canonical, numerical productions that will begin again in earnest with 2015's "Star Wars: Episode VII."
But what "Star Wars" properties could Edwards tackle? Speculation is that it's some kind of origin tale, either of Boba Fett, Yoda, or potentially Han Solo. But it seems unwise to court the ghosts of prequels past. So here are some other ideas we think Edwards could tackle.
1. Tattooine Tales
Director J.J. Abrams and the rest of Team Episode VII are in Abu Dhabi right now shooting sequences that supposedly take place on the desert world of Tattooine. This is where both Luke Skywalker and Anakin Skywalker hail from but what if Edwards focused on the criminal element of Tattooine. After all, it is home to the Mos Eisley catina, which Obi-Wan described as "a wretched hive of scum and villainy." Explore those characters. It could be like a little crime movie; "Ocean's 11" in outer space, and you could have some crossover with beloved "Star Wars" creatures of yore. Didn't Greedo always strike you as an ace safecracker?
2. Jedi Academy
The Jedi Academy is something that we saw, briefly, in the prequels, and it's been heavily alluded to in the oversized "expanded universe" material. But what about setting an entire film there? The possibilities are seemingly endless, and, again, this wouldn't necessarily be a prequel but a story that was set during the heyday of the Jedis, without having to bring in any preexisting characters. Show the trials and tribulations of a young Jedi as he tries to prove his worth, and maybe, just maybe, what happens when one of those young Jedis loses his or her way, and is eventually swayed by the dark side of the Force... Now we're talking.
3. Building a Better Death Star
Imagine a "Social Network"-style scenario about the architects of the Death Star, the young men and women of the Empire who decided to implement this plan and then go out into the darkest recesses of space and actually build it. Not only is this a fascinating story, but you could wrestle with the moral implications of being a small cog in a very large machine that is the Empire, while also entrenching it in a familiar world, with a set of characters and iconography that most moviegoers will know. (Plus, it's got a coolly downbeat ending, since both Death Stars blow up.) Imagine the almost limitless amount of walking and talking that could be going on through the corridors of the Death Star. We can see it now...
4. Lando Now
Billy Dee Williams's Lando Calrissian has more or less been ruled out of coming back for "Star Wars: Episode VII," which is a shame for a number of reasons... but one if the biggest reason was that a stand alone film based on the former Administrator of Cloud City and general in the Rebel Alliance was secretly being plotted? Because that would be straight up awesome. Where did Lando go after the Battle of Endor? Is he still running Cloud City? Is he being hunted by both outlaws, who are mad at him for turning his back on the Empire, and Han Solo, who is pissed because he whacked the little satellite dish off the top of the Millennium Falcon during the second Death Star destruction? In terms of both action and messy relationships, this could be a really exciting proposition.
5. An Unregulated Female Jedi
The Force is often equated with yoga, something that you can go to a studio to do, or practice in your living room, in front of your television and your French bulldog. So what if Edwards tackled the story of a young, female Jedi, who learns the craft from a family member and practices on her own? It could be set on some outer rim planet of rolling hills and grassy plains (and, of course, full of exotic creatures). The tone could be closer to Miyazaki than George Lucas, and you could really play with the possibilities of technology, turning it into a water-colored world. Where is the conflict? When minions of the Empire show up in this dreamy landscape and the young girl, marginalized by her society, steps up to take the evil Empire down. Yesssss.
Please let us know if we're way off base and what you'd rather see him do in the comments below.
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images