10 Best STAR WARS Characters Ripe for Solo Films

<i>by <a href=http://twitter.com/LucasSiegel>Lucas Siegel, Newsarama Editor</a></i> <p>With the news that in addition to the new trilogy, <b>Star Wars</b> <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/film/young-han-solo-boba-fett-films-coming.html>solo character films are also on the way</a>, our first thought was of course, "<a href=http://www.newsarama.com/film/young-han-solo-10-casting-candidates.html>Who is going to play young Han Solo</a>?" <p>But when the dust settled from the Han and Boba Fett spotlights, we got to thinking: what about all the <i>other</i> solo films we want to see? With thousands of years of a fictional timeline covered across hundreds of books, comics, games, and TV episodes, the <b>Star Wars</b> universe may be the richest ever created. Following classic hero tale story structures, there are characters from every era and walk of life in the series that would make great film stars all on their own. <p>With that in mind, here are the first ten we think should step onto the big screen all on their own. We cover multiple eras, multiple points of view, and of course allow for lots of epic battles, massive betrayals, and ultimately heroic redemptions. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>


She's arguably the star of <b>Star Wars: The Clone Wars</b>, and this original-to-the-show character is definitely poised for a live-action breakout. While her future is currently up in the air (the three-part finale of Season 5 promises to push her forward pretty drastically), there is certainly a lot of potential for the character. <p>A movie spotlighting Ahsoka could cover an unknown tale from the Clone Wars, or, if she survives, we could see exactly what Ahsoka gets up to that keeps her out of <i>Episode III</i>, or even what an adult Ahsoka (daresay played by Ashley Eckstein, who voices the character?) is doing to avoid Darth Vader during the purge of the Jedi between the third and fourth episodes. <p>As a female lead, an original character, and someone we've seen a lot of growth out of in five years of a series, it would be nice to see Ahsoka Tano take the box office by storm.


The original pitch of this comic book <b>Star Wars</b> star sells the movie all by itself: It's James Bond meets Star Wars. <p>Giving a different side of the story and a face to the Empire that you can actually cheer <i>for</i>, Jahan could jump from the pages of <b>Agent of the Empire</b> onto the big screen with virtually no changes to the character or story. It's a super secret agent traversing the galaxy getting up to no good. The fact that he's working for the people we've been taught for years are evil adds a deeper dimension to both the character and the <b>Star Wars</b> universe as a whole. <p>The timeframe of <b>Agent</b> (shortly before Episode IV) works alongside the already-announced Han Solo: The early years film, too. Solo showed up in the pages of the comic, giving this one a very natural <i>Avengers</i>-like cameo spot to tie it all together.


Reaching back into the time before the Sith were brought down to two and cast their thousand-year plan to take back the galaxy into motion, the story of a young Jedi Knight named Kerra Holt. Her story takes her away from her home world after her family is killed by a Sith Lord, who has a crazy family of powerful Sith of his own. <p>The story gets dark, and it would show Kerra going down a dark path in her quest that sometimes veers more towards vengeance than justice. Kerra already has both comics and a novel under her belt, so there is plenty of material to mine for what could be an epic trilogy of its own. Like Ahsoka, we look to this female character as our star largely because she's awesome - but it doesn't hurt that she'll also play nicely to the almost 50 percent of Star Wars fans of the fairer sex.


Anyone with kids in their life that are any kind of <b>Star Wars</b> fans have no doubt seen them run around with a white helmet with blue accents, proudly leading their fellow clone troopers into battle. Captain Rex, the head of Anakin Skywalker's clone unit in the Republic military, has been raised far above his fellow clones and, aside from Ahsoka, is the other clear breakout star from <i>Clone Wars</i>. <p>And like Ahsoka, Captain Rex is nowhere to be seen come <i>Episode III</i> and the issuing of Order 66. If Rex survives the Clone Wars, there have been some outs built for him, like a clone who goes off to become a farmer, or a clone with memory loss who lives a simple life in a bar. Ultimately, it's pretty hard to think of Rex abandoning the military - unless it's because he nobly refuses to carry out the order to turn on the Jedi. <p>Now you have the one noble warrior with a face shared by thousands, living on the run and still trying to keep those in the galaxy who are too weak to protect themselves safe. There's even that ultimate moment, when you see Rex throw on his old armor for the first time and systematically take out an entire squad of soldiers, plus the potential for a cameo from his old general, the now-Sith Lord Darth Vader.


Jumping forward in time, it's relatively safe to assume that if the trilogy of Episodes VII - IX takes place some decades after <i>Return of the Jedi</i>, Disney will want some of their solo film characters to spin out of that tale. Enter Kyle Katarn, who it turns out is actually intertwined throughout most of the history of <b>Star Wars</b>, having acted as a rebel agent, an agent of the New Republic, and eventually, a Jedi in the new order, Katarn is a character that could be used multiple times, being one of those rare people in this universe that has acted in several of the different roles usually assigned. <p>Katarn could appear as a teacher in the New Jedi Order, then spin-off to show his own adventures; he could even be the leader of his own squad of Jedi for a more super heroic style film in the <b>Star Wars</b> line, or could be a workaround to setting a solo film in the original trilogy era without using the original main characters.


From the near-future to the far past, Revan presents a difficult suggestion. There are plenty of reasons to make a Revan film, or series of films, but almost as many to just leave the poor man alone. <p>Originally appearing in the <i>Knights of the Old Republic</i> games, which take place about 4,000 years before the original trilogy (remember folks, <b>Star Wars</b> is a fantasy story, not a science fiction one, so the basics of technology, tenets of rule and law, and societal structure all stay relatively static for millennia), Revan is the ultimate embodiment of the hero's journey, perhaps even moreso than Vader. He goes from shining knight to galactic terror, and then returns in a blaze of glory. He is unique amongst the entire <b>Star Wars</b> story as well in that he inspires both future Jedi <i>and</i> future Sith for his actions. In fact, he inspired someone else that shows up a bit higher on our list. <p>So why not give Revan his own story in film? Well, his story has already been told interactively in games, plus comics, plus novels. His near-universal deification may make him too difficult for <i>any</i>one to relate to in the real world. And of course, his story is just too big - if you wanted to do it justice, you'd have to commit to multiple films right off the bat. Ultimately, this would be one of the harder characters to give solo films, but has some of the highest potential for reward, too.


Admittedly difficult to pull off without somehow recasting a young Luke Skywalker, a Red Squadron movie, centered on the brave pilots who fought so nobly in the Rebel Alliance (from household names like Biggs and Wedge to the lesser known Garven or Bren) could show a different side of the war of Rebellion. This squad of X-wing and Y-wing pilots that changed the war at the Battle of Yavin all have a history and a backstory, and that's what this film could explore. <p>Think about these guys coming up in the military, fighting bravely a seemingly futile battle against a tyrannical empire. It's <i>Band of Brothers</i> of the <b>Star Wars</b> universe, and gives viewers the opportunity to realize that while these rank-and-file can't lift an X-wing with their connection to the Force, they can sure as hell pilot one to victory against a dozen TIE-Fighters. OK, it's not technically a solo film, but it is certainly one we'd like to watch that would explore a unique part of the <b>Star Wars</b> tale.


Jumping back to the past, we look to the Sith that started the path that would bring the Emperor to power. Set 1000 years before the original trilogy, Bane's story shows the downfall of the army of Sith, and gives context to that classic Rule of Two - there can only be two Sith, no more, no less, one to embody power, the other to crave it. <p>This would be a rare chance as well to have one of the ultimate villains of the <b>Star Wars</b> mythos play the protagonist in a film. Giving Darth Bane the spotlight lends a sympathetic tone to the nature of the Sith Lords, and fill in the more casual fan on just why it is that the Emperor can't just keep Darth Maul around, and Tyrannus, and Vader, and train a whole army of dark side warriors to do his bidding. Darth Bane's backstory is suitably tragic, and his quest for power - against other powerful servants of the dark side - turns out to be the basis for the next 1100 years or so of <b>Star Wars</b> mythos. He's almost too important to <b>Star Wars</b> to <i>not</i> make a movie of.


This one is really just a no-brainer, isn't it? Secret apprentice of Darth Vader hunts down Jedi between Episodes III and IV, before stumbling into redemption and eventually kickstarting what would become the Rebel Alliance. <p>Oh, and the perfect actor for the role has already been cast, as Sam Witwer, who voiced the character in the video games <i>The Force Unleashed</i>, also lent his likeness to young Starkiller. <p>You have crazy Jedi battles, lush environments, Darth Vader, a showdown with the Emperor, a heartfelt romance, scene-stopping over-the-top displays of Force like never before seen on the big screen. You get extremely important backstory to the original trilogy, and a chance to let the <b>Star Wars</b> universe really just cut loose and go crazy. You even get the original last name for Luke Skywalker thrown in as the ultimate payoff easter egg. <p>Disney, Lucasfilm, listen: there is no reason not to make this movie and make it <i>soon</i>. Sam has answered your call more than once (he also played two <i>very</i> important roles on <i>The Clone Wars</i> including one guy you may have heard of: Darth Maul), and now's the time to give him his due. We eagerly await the <b>Star Wars: Starkiller</b> announcement. Any day now.


One of the more enigmatic characters in the <b>Star Wars</b> mythos, Mara Jade led a complicated life in the expanded universe of novels and comics. She worked directly for the Emperor as his "Hand," a deadly force-sensitive assassin who interacted with many of the most famous characters from the original trilogy while operating in the shadows. She spent time as a smuggler while trying to find herself, and eventually, she went on to marry the man she was conditioned to hate (and kill), Luke Skywalker, and train into a powerful Jedi herself. <p>Mara has obvious potential to appear in the new trilogy of films, but most likely as an aged Jedi teacher. Her deep ties to Luke Skywalker make her a little difficult for a solo film, but like Jahan Cross and Red Squadron, her secret history during the original trilogy Rebellion could make for an intense adventure on its own. In fact, her solo adventure directly following the death of the Emperor is ripe for adaptation, pitting her against an underground criminal organization and putting her on the run from the New Republic (and pretty much everyone else in the galaxy - lady made a lot of enemies in her time). <p>A fiery redhead with a dubious past sounds right up Disney's alley for their new properties, and the ability to introduce her first as the matriarch of the Skywalker family and the New Jedi Order in the trilogy films, then spin her out as a young ass-kicker, should be attractive to Disney. Mara Jade was never the damsel in distress, she was never just eye candy, and she established herself long before Luke came into her life. That's why she'd be perfect to carry the <b>Star Wars</b> legacy into the next chapter.

10 Best STAR WARS Characters Ripe for Solo Films

Date: 12 February 2013 Time: 09:09 PM ET