It looks like the first Star Wars “spin-off” movie, to be directed by Gareth Edwards, is gearing up to start shooting. We know that there was a reading of the draft done by Gary Whitta in the UK and now production is going to move stateside, likely to be close to Mexico.
Making Star Wars has some bullet points they obtained by talking to sources inside Pinewood Studios that flesh out where this non-trilogy film is going to look like:
Expect more on-location shooting than for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Crew members are hearing their start dates now.
Many believe they are doing a lot of work on-location in Mexico for the first spin-off.
There have been some Star Wars: The Force Awakens re-shoots going down recently at Pinewood using some of those people.
Bounty hunters are important to the film.
Painters are expected to redress some set pieces from The Force Awakens and there are lots of cost cutting measures like that in place for the first spin-off film. Most of the reshoot materials are to be saved when possible for this reason.
That’s a whole bunch of vagueries that are JUST enough for some major Star Wars speculation.
Mexico’s landscapes are varied and can represent a ton of different Star Wars planets. Since we don’t know exactly what The Force Awakens is going to introduce to the canonical world, it’s curious that some set pieces will be redressed for use in this spin-off film. The easiest thing to guess is all the ships: New X-Wings can become old X-Wings on the cheap, Star Destroyers are Star Destroyers, blasters just need to be re-painted to match their Rise of the Empire era sheen.
Or, we could be looking at more visits to Tatooine, the new “snow desert” planet, good old Utapau (kinda Mexican landscape) or - my favorite - Geonosis. Yes, Geonosis. This all sort of gets tied together into speculation about what the movie is about, but if you recall, Geonosis is the place the Clone Wars started in Attack of the Clones, and the place we last glimpsed the Death Star plans on film. Tarkin, the EU novel, connects the dots of the Death Star a bit, picking up with an important shipment on it’s way to Geonosis and (spoiler?) the last lines of the book see the Death Star leave Geonosis orbit.
Safe to say that planet is still important, and if Marvel’s Darth Vader #1 chooses to pick up on the rise of Darth Vader post Revenge of the Sith, we might get to see the Subjugation of Geonosis, adding to the planet’s vast in-universe history.
“Bounty Hunters” are important to this film is the bullet point that people have been taking as a confirmation of a /Film rumor that this movie is going to be about Bounty Hunters stealing the Death Star Plans. That’s why I go to Geonosis as a planet I suspect Mexico can stand in for or why I’d put Utapau on the list (because it’s also has manufacturing capability on a mass scale). But, more importantly, I’d keep Geonosis as a front runner because that’s where the body of Jango Fett is. Seems like that might be emotionally important to SOMEONE, right?
Speaking of that someone, I feel like I should elaborate a bit more on something I heard about this spin-off awhile back. When we thought that we were looking at a Han Solo or a Boba fett spin-off film first, we got a little bird singing in our ear telling us that we had it all wrong: both these characters are in the same movie.
I’ve been unable to elaborate on what that means, but as this new Star Wars film comes together, I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t a “stand alone” as much as it’s really a “spin-off.” Picture this: Young Han Solo in his life of crime falls in with Bounty Hunters and Hutts for a heist of super weapon plans for a blossoming Rebel Alliance. This movie isn’t about the Death Star, as Han doesn’t recognize it in A New Hope, it’s about the relationship between Han, Boba Fett and the criminals (I assume Hutts because the Hutts are so entangled in the Fett V. Solo story). And if this movie uses Han and Boba Fett as a way of kicking off a whole new series of Star Wars films, I wouldn’t be surprised if Boba Fett’s solo film picks up where this one leaves off. Yes, it’s super-inter-connected, but that’s what Star Wars is now.
Now onto the four female leads rumored to be in the running for this solo film: Rooney Mara, her sister Kate, Tatiana Maslany and not-Catwoman Felicity Jones.
This “lead” role in this bounty hunter western heist has a lot of potential to be majorly badass, like Aurra Sing, a former Padawan turned Bounty Hunter and Assassin. She’s been around since the Clone Wars, so these actresses seem a bit young for that. If Han is alive and we’re locking into my idea that Boba Fett is in this movie and we’re at some point on Geonosis, then I suppose Ailyn Vel is in play.
Ailyn Vel is Boba Fett’s daughter, born 15 BBY in the old cannon, but she can be born any time now. Or you could do something really screwy and have her be fathered by Jango and raised elsewhere. I guess that would make Ailyn Boba’s sister-daughter since Boba’s an exact clone of his father.
Then there is horned Sugi, who made it through the canon purge and is certainly alive in the Rise of the Empire Era. She also has connections to the Hutts, so - another bonus in her corner if this sweet-badass-song-of-Fett-Hutt-and-Solo ends up being accurate. Oh, and remember when Zack Snyder wanted to do a Seven Samurai riff on Star Wars? That's basically what Sugi's Clone Wars episode (called "Bounty Hunters") ends up being. So the idea is solid.
I’ve since heard the spin-off film referred to as “Los Alamos” which, to us Westerners means Manhattan Project which - yeah, let’s go to Geonosis - BUT I want to reiterate for you literal minded readers out there that the only new thing I’ve contributed to this conversation is that I heard a rumor that the Han Solo and Boba Fett movie that we assumed was two movies has become one movie.
All other speculation is just a product of sitting and staring at a lot of new media coming out, trying to see the whole puzzle by examining the shape of a single piece.
328 says left until The Force Awakens.