Star Wars: Episode 3.5 was where I hoped but never expected the Star Wars franchise to progress after the release of Revenge of the Sith in 2005. With Darth Vader’s origin story complete, Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru staring off into the iconic Tatooine sunset with baby Luke Skywalker, Leia and Obi-Wan and the other major players where they needed to be leading up to the events of A New Hope, the Star Wars story seemed to have come full-circle. As much as I loved Star Wars, it seemed like the story, at least the core story within the film saga, was finished.
I tried to accept that, though part of me wanted an Episode 3.5 movie. I wanted a movie that took place after Revenge of the Sith and before A New Hope, a movie that showed us
- How the Rebellion formed into what we see in A New Hope
- How Darth Vader and the Emperor and the Empire furthered their ruthless reign over the galaxy
- How Obi-Wan and Yoda dealt with the destruction of the Jedi Order and the Republic, and how they lived out their individual exiles
I never imagined I would get to see any of this come to fruition. I convinced myself it was wishful thinking. The Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV show became a sort of Star Wars: Episode 2.5 reality, showcasing events between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. An animated Star Wars show sounded silly to me, so I ignored it and contented myself with repeatedly watching the original trilogy and prequel trilogy (the original trilogy is far superior, but I still enjoy the prequel trilogy and what it adds to the overall story, particularly with Revenge of the Sith).
When Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, I thought for sure they would only bring out the Dark Side in the franchise’s future. I knew I’d see Episode VII, but thought for sure they’d produce a trivial story for an easy money grab. Return of the Jedi is my all-time favorite Star Wars movie, an epic, fitting, and satisfying concluding chapter. How could Disney rob us of that?
My skepticism turned into cautious optimism at the news that Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, and Anthony Daniels would be returning to play their respective characters. The cautious optimism exploded into infinite excitement when the first teaser trailer was released.
The Force Awakens ended up being an incredible addition to the Star Wars universe, a chapter that didn’t rob us of the powerful ending to Return of the Jedi, but rather acted as a natural continuation of one of the greatest stories ever told. It was no Episode 3.5, but in fact turned into something even better.
And to top it all off, Lucasfilm is in a few different ways making Episode 3.5 somewhat of a reality. The TV show Star Wars Rebels is digging a lot into how the Rebellion formed, how Darth Vader and the Emperor and the Empire furthered their ruthless reign over the galaxy, and even a little into Yoda’s exile. In several major ways Star Wars Rebels has connected back to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which convinced me to finally watch a fair amount of the show I dismissed years ago. I particularly recommend season 6 of that show as it delves further into Order 66 and a lot more with Yoda . . . Anyway, Episode 3.5 is continuing to sort of become a reality with the December 2016 release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Add in the numerous novels and graphic novels being released, including Star Wars Volume 2: Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon which features a story of Obi-Wan during his years of exile and watching over Luke on Tatooine. Thus, my Episode 3.5 dream is largely coming true.
I thought Disney buying Lucasfilm would mean the Dark Side. It’s still a possibility but so far, Lucasfilm is definitely keeping Star Wars in the Light because there are still meaningful and fascinating stories to tell about this incredible universe.
Image taken from http://www.abegibson.com/blog/sunsets-on-tatooine/