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What if STAR WARS gets a WHAT IF … ?

Over the past 47 years of the galaxy far, far away, we’ve had some weird and wonderful stories served up as side dishes to the Skywalker Saga. The now-defunct Star Wars Legends canon includes out-there adventures like an Indiana Jones crossover and the Ewoks getting their own Care Bears parody, making us question whether some writers have been supping too much of the Kowakian rum. Aside from the ludicrous, there have been some diamonds in the rough that we’re hoping can find their way into mainline canon.

Even though Legends became a dumping ground for some amazing tales, Disney tightened the sprawling saga’s ranks and built something akin to the MCU when it bought Lucasfilm in 2012. A slow trickle of Legends stories like Boba Fett’s survival and Grand Admiral Thrawn have been loosely adapted for canon, and while Han and Leia’s wayward son turning the dark side isn’t named Jacen like in Legends, you can see where the idea for Kylo Ren/Ben Solo (Adam Driver) came from.

We’ve seen the Marvel Cinematic Universe largely circumnavigate its own canon conundrums via the madness of the Multiverse and the alternate tales of Marvel’s What If…? that blessed us with fan-favorites like Captain Carter. As a growing number of Fett fans ask whether Star Wars will finally succumb to the dark side of temptation, the immortal question of “What if Star Wars got a what if?” just took a leap into hyperspace.

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Legends never die

Dark Horse Publications

While it’s a shame that major Legends stories like the Emperor returning from the dead via cloning (which happened in the Dark Empire comics) have already been revamped for canon, there are plenty of other obscure outings out there. Industry insider Daniel Richtman claims (via SFFGazette.com) that Disney is potentially putting the AT-ATs in motion for a Star Wars-inspired What If…? series. There’s no mention of whether it would be live-action or animated, but if we’re sticking with the What If…? theme of bringing back alumni like Marvel’s What If…?, animation makes the most sense. 

This comes after What If…? Executive Producer Bryan Andrews told Moovy TV how writer Matthew Chauncey had previously pitched a Star Wars crossover. The crossover apparently made sense and was a “letter to old-school Star Wars,” so consider our interest piqued. Even though MCU overlord Kevin Feige apparently didn’t want to “cross streams,” the idea has reared its head again. 

Legends was never too bothered with its own canon, but we ironically already had a What If…? In the comics, Dark Horse’s Star Wars Infinities took each movie from Lucas’ original trilogy and told an alternate tale branching off from key moments — like Luke failing to detonate the first Death Star. If Disney doesn’t want a complete clone of What If…?, the Star Wars version could bring back Infinities.

Star Wars: Visions has tapped into the anthology genre, but with these largely being standalone away from the characters we know and love, it’s lacked the star power of Marvel’s What If…? On the flipside, Tales of the Jedi fleshed out the likes of Ahsoka and Yaddle but was shackled by canon and missed What If…?‘s outlandish fun without messing up established lore. Seemingly for fear of screwing with the precious Skywalker Saga, Disney is wary of diving into the really wacky — yes, Master Baytes is an actual Jedi Master.

The stars are aligning 

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Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Ahsoka. Disney.

Thanks to the Multiverse, the MCU had What If…? waiting in the shadows, whereas Star Wars would have to find its own reason to branch out. Those who tuned into Ahsoka will know it was the first time we visited a second galaxy. Dave Filoni’s series also emphasized the importance of Clone Wars’ Mortis Gods, with these ancient deities possibly being Star Wars’ versions of Jeffrey Wright’s Watcher in the MCU. With galaxy-hopping Purrgils at our disposal, it would be easy to find ourselves in some alternate galaxy where the concept art of an evil Obi-Wan Kenobi from the canned Star Wars: Battlefront III makes sense. 

It’s not just fans ready for What If…?, as Hayden Christensen told audiences at Fan Expo Philadelphia how he’d love to return for an alternate history where Anakin didn’t fall to the dark side and got to raise Luke and Leia with Padmé. It’s also a shame that we haven’t had Natalie Portman back…yet. The star herself told What Happens Live (via ComicBook.com) that she’s open to a return, but no one has asked her. Filoni has inadvertently pointed out another perfect episode when discussing the famed Duel of the Fates during Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian. Saying how the death of Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) is what defines Anakin’s future as a literal “duel” for his fate. Exploring the Jedi Master’s survival is ripe for exploring in an alternate saga.

Aside from Christensen and Portman, “What if Mace Windu survived?” lends itself to Samuel L. Jackson telling Entertainment Weekly he survived his Revenge of the Sith death in his head. Imagine a Blade Runner-esque episode where Boba Fett tracks Windu down following the murder of his father, and speaking of the stoic bounty hunter, “What if Boba Fett took a job on 1313?” could dig up LucasArts’ lost game. Sticking with video games, the cult classic Force Unleashed games told their own alternate story, with Starkiller being Vader’s secret protégé. As Starkiller’s outfit was unexpectedly featured as an Andor Easter egg, “What if Starkiller was Vader’s apprentice?” is crying out for an episode.

Remembering the cinematic slate of Star Wars is all over the show thanks to everything from Feige’s movie being canned to Rian Johnson’s trilogy being MIA, What If…? could lead to some ongoing adventures. After all, Marvel’s What If…? undoubtedly led to Hayley Atwell appearing in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. They could also follow on from established stories like Jon Favreau’s upcoming The Mandalorian & Grogu. Picture the scene of a 900-year-old Grogu at the same age as Yoda in Empire Strikes Back, recounting his epic life to a new legion of Jedi in the far-flung future. 

Do or do not. There is no try

Luuke clone from the Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn. Bantam Spectra.

Importantly, Star Wars What If…? is a chance to throw the rulebook out of the window and have a little fun without worrying about complaints. In particular, Disney’s sequel trilogy struggled to balance the comedy and fantasy of the George Lucas era with a modern adventure. Give audiences a What If…? series, and they don’t have to worry about the ramifications of Han staying trapped in carbonite or an evil Luke Skywalker clone. Yes, Luuke (with two Us) Skywalker exists in Legends

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Closer to home, actual stories from the nine-movie Skywalker Saga, spin-off movies, and multitude of TV shows could get a rejig. While it would be a little in the nose to do “What if The Last Jedi never happened?” to appease those who unfairly direct their hate at Episode VIII, some divisive plot choices could get a retcon. “What if Finn was a Jedi” can make good on all those posters of John Boyega’s underused character holding a lightsaber, while “What if Rey really was no one?” can overturn that divisive Episode IX twist that she’s Palpatine’s granddaughter.

Aside from the serious, “What if Jaxxon saved the day?” can bring over the giant green rabbit who’s arguably too obscure for mainline canon. If gun-toting space rabbits aren’t ridiculous enough for you, we’d love an episode dedicated to the wild theory that Jar Jar Binks was a Sith mastermind. Finally, think about Star Wars Zombies. A highlight of Marvel’s What If…? season 1 was the zombies episode that spun out into its own miniseries. Going full What If…?, the zombie stormtroopers of Joe Schreiber’s Deathtroopers novel or zombie Gungans of Star Wars: Republic #51 could serve as its own Star Wars Zombies pilot.

Still not wild enough for you? Let’s try “What if the Ewoks went rogue?” where those cuddly critters turn into cannibalistic creatures akin to the titular monsters of the Gremlins movies. With the entirety of Legends to pick from and an untapped well of new stories ready to be sliced open like a Tauntaun, the House of Mouse would be foolish not to capitalize on the idea. We’re not saying we need Chris Pratt voicing a live-action Jaxxon akin to Seth Green playing Howard the Duck in the MCU, but Star Wars What If…? would be a gift to those who are lamenting the loss of so many Legends stories. After all, we think it’s about time that Skippy the Force-sensitive droid got his time in the spotlight.



Based in Manchester, UK, Tom Chapman has over seven years’ experience covering everything from dragons to Demogorgons. Starting out with a stint at Movie Pilot in Berlin, Tom has since branched out to indulge his love of all things Star Wars and the MCU at Digital Spy, Den of Geek, IGN, Yahoo! and more. These days, you’ll find Tom channelling his inner Gale Weathers and ranting about how HBO did us dirty with Game of Thrones Season Eight.





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