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Future Star Wars Movies May Not Feature Legacy Characters, Writer Says

Lucasfilm may have plans for Star Wars that extend far beyond just the world established in the original trilogy. According to Gary Whitta, who worked on the story for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the company is trying to create a universe that will allow them to tell stories that don't include any of the "legacy characters" from the original movies.

Whitta told Coming Soon that he believes they got 90 percent of the way there with Rogue One, which included a Darth Vader storyline and a Princess Leia cameo, but focused mostly on new characters and new planets. "It's a Star Wars movie with no Jedi," he said. "You don't see a lightsaber once until Vader pops it out at the end. It doesn't have any spirituality or mysticism... it's very different DNA to the Star Wars films that have come before it."

The writer said that he would like to see future movies go even further away from the original trilogy, and noted that that he believes this is also a goal of Lucasfilm. Part of this effort will be spearheaded by Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Kylo Renn (Adam Driver), who Witta said have already helped to shepherd in a new generation of characters.

"Whatever kind of Star Wars films they're making 10 or 20 years from now, I don't think they're going to be relying on the same legacy story elements as we have in the past," he added. While Whitta did caution that he doesn't know the official overarching plans for the franchise, from a writer's perspective, moving away from relying on the legacy characters makes sense to him. "You don't want to keep telling the same story over and over again," he said. "You want to tell new stories."

Expanding the Star Wars universe beyond just the tentpole characters makes a good amount of sense for the studio, as it should give filmmakers more flexibility and allow them to keep creating projects without worrying about overextending the storylines of their central leads, similar to what the Marvel and DC universes have begun to do. Plus, there are already plenty of sources to mine for stories in the Star Wars universe, including the comics, books, and even the animated Star Wars Rebels.

However, fans of the franchise may never tire of hearing more about Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, which might mean that doing true standalone stories won't be as appealing. Still, there are always opportunities for Easter eggs and little references to what has come before in totally new stories. The Star Wars universe will get its next entry when Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on Dec. 15. While we wait, take a look at our theories about what the title means for Rey and Luke Skywalker.