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Star Wars' New Jedi Order Movie Is Already Missing An Opportunity To Please Fans

One statement that is difficult to argue with is that "Star Wars" is one of the biggest and most successful franchises of all time. Having said that, the franchise isn't without its problems. While the original trilogy kick-started the franchise that changed the industry in many ways, the prequel and sequel trilogies were divisive with fans. Once the latest film, "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" dropped, the fanbase had plenty of negative things to say about it, causing the studio to focus more on Disney+ series taking place within the Skywalker Saga such as "The Mandalorian" and "Andor."

Now that the studio announced plans to develop another film, "Star Wars: New Jedi Order," at Star Wars Celebration 2023, fans have all kinds of new things to speculate about. While the storyline is currently being kept under wraps, what they did announce was that it would take place 15 years after the culmination of the "Skywalker Saga." They also announced the return of Daisy Ridley as her sequel protagonist, Rey. This is a curious decision for the House of Mouse, as conventional thinking would likely tell them to move on from the more divisive character and the messiness of the sequel trilogy.

The "Star Wars" Universe has a treasure trove of storylines, both canon and not, that the studio could pull from to bring rich stories to the screen. While the announcement of a brand new film on the horizon should be a reason for fans of the galaxy far, far away to celebrate, the knowledge that Rey will be returning for a continuation of the divisive storyline seems to signal that the studio is missing a giant opportunity to please fans. Instead of electing to write the maligned elements out of canon, here are some routes the studio could take.

Rey could follow the steps Luke took in The New Jedi Order

In the years following Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hamill) exploits during the Battle of Endor, where he defeated Darth Vader (James Earl Jones), who dispatched Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), the Jedi set out on a path to rebuild their order. While the sequel trilogy saw the legendary Jedi fail to recreate the Order and even go so far as to try and murder his nephew, Ben Solo (Adam Driver), and prevent him from going to the dark side, the Expanded Universe saw him take a different path.

In the 19 novels under "The New Jedi Order" storyline, Luke spent years searching for the Jedi Temple and eventually established a new Jedi Order with a new set of rules that were less strict than the previous version. While the old version didn't allow its members to engage in romantic relationships, Luke was more lenient, even marrying Mara Jade Skywalker and having children.

While the film version of the series would have to be rewritten entirely to make room for Rey Skywalker to step into the role of Jedi Master in place of the late Luke, it would fit nicely into the world that they have created with Rey, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and Finn (John Boyega).

Rey could face off against The Dark Nest

The studio could pull from dozens of series from the Expanded Universe for a little inspiration. However, one of the biggest problems the sequel trilogy had was a lack of a unique and devious big bad. The return of Palpatine, while a formidable villain, seemed like a retread of something already done by the franchise. Therefore, a new and different villain should be the focus.

Among the storylines that would fit perfectly in the franchise is The Dark Nest trilogy. In the novels, a hive mind of a species known as Killik enters into a border war with the Chiss, sparking the remaining Jedi in the Jedi Temple on Yavin IV to take action to avoid an all-out war. When they arrive, they find that a former Jedi is leading and manipulating the hive mind, attempting to take them all into their consciousness.

While the hive mind is a very different kind of villain for Rey's Jedi Knights, it might be just the right kind of villain for them to face. The Sith are a devastating force in the galaxy, but after nine movies facing off against the same kind of villain, it is an excellent time for Rey to go up against the hive mind in what is called The Swarm War.

Rey's Jedis could decide the Fate of the Jedi

While the sequel trilogy may not have been everyone's forte, there are plenty of outstanding installments in the franchise that could actually do with some revisiting. "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" gave us a glimpse into what took place during Anakin Skywalker's training as a Jedi Master. Also included in that story arc was that of a being named Abeloth. While she is not really seen in the animated series that focused on the father and daughter, the immortal being was the main antagonist of the nine novels in the "Fate of the Jedi" series.

Following the death of Darth Caedus (Jacen Solo), the Jedi are seen as an untrusted group of soldiers who are more dangerous than helpful. The fight of Luke to regain control of his beloved Order allows for the rise of an unseen force known as The Bringer of Chaos or The Mother. She is a master of the dark side of the force but also able to teleport, possess, and corrupt the mind of the Jedi.

Abeloth is a the perfect fit for the next phase in the "Star Wars" films because she accomplishes multiple things without stepping on too many beloved factions of the story. She is a strong villain to face off against Rey Skywalker and one that doesn't feel rehashed. And she is able to be a callback to a more beloved medium in the franchise by bringing the story full circle back to Anakan, who dispatched the rest of her family, known as The Ones. A solid female villain who can give Rey a run for her money, a call back to past stories, a build on the fallen Jedi, and an element of horror for "Star Wars?" Sign us up.

It could pull a Matrix and repeat the story

Now for some outside-the-box thinking. Sure, the team over at Lucasfilm could easily pull from the deep roster of the Expanded Universe to adapt into film, but what if they drew inspiration from a different place? What if they pulled inspiration from, say, "The Matrix?" We know what you're thinking, heresy! Hear us out; it is already set up to do just that.

Just like Neo (Keanu Reeves) was the savior of the human race as a prophesied chosen one, so too was Anakin Skywalker. The two characters were set on a course, largely not of their choosing, to go toe-to-toe with the forces of evil, but there is one difference between them. While Anakin was the true chosen one, Neo was a recurring pest for the machines, revealed to be the sixth version of the prophecy. Now that the Sith are vanquished entirely (or so the Jedi think), the Republic is set up for a long period of peace. But that scenario feels all too familiar.

The Jedi believed they had killed off the Sith before, and that allowed them to work in the shadows, where they pull the strings behind the scenes. The setting is perfect for the Sith to work in secret yet again, building from the ground up to reestablish an Empire and maybe even a new "chosen one" to counter-balance the coming threat. Freddie Prinze Jr. famously ranted about in an interview on Jeff Dye's Friendship Podcast that George Lucas taught him that the force would balance a growing Sith power. Maybe this time, we will get an all-new chosen one outside the Skywalker family.