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Why Star Wars Needs to Experiment With Different Genres

There’s a lot to love about Star Wars, and with so many movies and TV shows, there’s plenty to choose from. However, the theatrical side of the faraway galaxy continues to divide fans, with every single Disney entry with the exception of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story having been met with much criticism. That’s not to say the spin-off is without flaws, but at least it experimented with a somewhat grittier tone, something we’d never seen before on the big screen.

As for everything else, from Solo: A Star Wars Story to the widely-panned sequel trilogy, we don’t think it’s unfair to suggest that they’ve all felt a little too ‘safe’. The same can be said about The Mandalorian, even if it is a beloved show. While the first live-action Star Wars series ‘saved’ the franchise following The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, we still can’t help but think that the show – and all things Star Wars, for that matter – could be a little bolder.

Perhaps another example of Star Wars experimenting with different genres is Star Wars: The Clone Wars. From time to time, the show likes to take a break from the three year-long titular battle and have some fun. One of the best examples of this is “The Zillo Beast” set of episodes, which is essentially a two-part monster movie! And there are many more too, some with C-3PO and R2-D2 taking the reins, and others focusing entirely on the villains.

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Here are other genres we’d like to Star Wars experiment with!

Comedy

Star Wars is no stranger to elements of comedy, but it’s never really immersed itself deep into this genre. This is understandable, of course, as Star Wars simply isn’t a comedy franchise – it’s a fantasy. And just like any fantasy, whether it’s Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, there are gags throughout designed to bring levity to serious situations. But what if the faraway galaxy decided to throw caution to the wind and go all in?

There are a few examples of Star Wars going full throttle with comedy, though, and to risk sounding like a broken record, the best example is Star Wars: The Clone Wars (unless you’ve already guessed, we love this show!). There are a few notable episodes that are particularly hilarious, but one that really comes to mind is the C-3PO and R2-D2-led “Nomad Droids”, which is essentially an episode that reboots the vintage animated series Droids.

So how could Star Wars do comedy? Which character could take to the stage and sweat at the brow as they attempt to send audiences into hysterics? Okay, we’re not actually talking about a Star Wars comedy club (although we wouldn’t complain!), but we think the iconic droid-duo could easily hold their own where comedy is concerned, and they’ve already proven it plenty of times, whether it’s in Star Wars: The Clone Wars or any of the movies they’ve appeared in.

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Romance

Unlike comedy, romance isn’t really something that can found sprinkled throughout the Star Wars franchise, with the only real examples that come to mind being Han Solo’s relationship with Princess Leia and Anakin Skywalker’s doomed marriage with Padme Amidala. There have been other romances, such as Hera Syndulla and Kanan Jarrus in Star Wars: Rebels, but passionate relationships are rarely the focus of Star Wars (although family almost always is).

Well, we think it’s time for a change! And nothing says romance like a forbidden, ill-fated relationship between two characters. While there was obviously something between Rey and Kylo Ren, it wasn’t at all fleshed out. Perhaps the sequel trilogy would have been better for it – what better challenge in resisting the dark side is there than a Jedi who has a lover who’s a Sith Lord! We did have a similar set up between Anakin and Padme, but we want more!

It came as a surprise to see that anime anthology series Star Wars: Visions didn’t really explore this genre, either. We’re not quite sure how a romantic Star Wars movie or show would look, but there’s still plenty of time for Mando just yet! Or maybe Boba Fett and Fennec Shand will explore an unspoken connection – who knows! Whether it’s a TV show or a movie, we’d love to see some real Star Wars romance for a change. What can we say – we’re old romantics!

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Related: What Future Star Wars Shows Could Learn From Marvel’s “WandaVision”

Mystery

We can’t talk about Star Wars experimenting with different genres without including some mystery! We love murder mysteries, and we can’t think of a better setting for a Star Wars ‘whodunnit’ than the city world of Coruscant. In fact, this setting is often used for solving mysteries, as seen in Attack of the Clones and even a few episodes in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, both of which usually involve the Jedi searching for a bounty hunter in true crime detective fashion!

We think Star Wars is yet to turn out a ‘neo-noir’ murder-mystery thriller set on the city world, and at least it’s something the franchise has already flirted with in the movies and shows. But we want to see it done in its entirety, and it doesn’t need to have a Jedi at the centrefold, either. There are all sorts of Star Wars characters who could hover a hi-tech magnifying glass over a fingerprint or blood splatter, both human and non-human!

Not only would trying out genres give Star Wars fans a different flavor from time to time, they would also allow the franchise to grow in unique and interesting ways. The truth is that we never really spend that much time on any one of the Star Wars planets – which is fine, because we do love a bit of world-hopping – but a murder mystery set exclusively on Coruscant would feel like a much-needed break from everything we’ve gotten too used to over the decades.

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Indie

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the only real example we can think of that feels almost like a war movie. While every Star Wars movie should feel like such a movie to some extent, the popular spin-off actually feels like a real-world war movie, if not for all the galactic spectacle, of course! With that said, though, Rogue One also feels very much like Star Wars at the same time – a perfect mix that the filmmakers were undoubtedly going for.

But what if we got something that felt gritty in its entirety? We’re not specifically talking about war movies, but we’re fascinated with the idea of seeing Star Wars, whether in TV or film, done in an indie-style sort of way, in which the story is brought down to earth (or Tatooine, for that matter), and told in such a realistic way that we’d feel like we’re watching something a bit more ‘hand-made’, not unlike indie films, no matter the genre.

There’s plenty of drama in Star Wars already, which might be the best approach. But on the other hand, fans would still expect all the ingredients that makes Star Wars what it is, so like Rogue One, it would need to strike a balance. Or perhaps it should take the risk and do something we’ve never seen from the faraway galaxy before. Perhaps Rogue One director Gareth Edwards would be a good fit, especially if you look at his previous indie films such as Monsters.

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We think it’s high-time that the live-action side of Star Wars needs to take more risks. The Book of Boba Fett certainly looks a lot more ‘underworld’ than we’ve ever seen Star Wars, but will it continue to operate within that ‘safe’ territory fans have grown accustomed to seeing? Meanwhile, it’s fun to compare Star Wars with Marvel, largely because there’s a lot the faraway galaxy can learn from the long-running Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The MCU is also far from perfect, but at least it has experimented with many genres on both the big screen and the small screen. Some of the best examples of this are Guardians of the Galaxy (space opera), WandaVision (US sitcom) and Captain America: Winter Soldier (spy thriller). For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what future Star Wars TV shows and movies will bring. But one thing’s for sure – there are plenty on the horizon.

In the meantime, be sure to check out our ultimate Star Wars viewing guide.

About Daniel

Dan is a huge fan of Star Wars, Disney, Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, TMNT and Harry Potter, and has written for numerous film-focused and Disney-related sites, including Epicstream, Theme Park Tourist and Homey Hawaii. He has also recently completed his first children's novel, which he hopes to get published within the next year.