Our good friend Jason Ward over at MakingStarWars.net has posted a rather interesting rumour today. It seems that George Lucas had 10 or 11 story ideas for the Star Wars universe when he handed the reins over to Kathleen Kennedy: to be conservative, if three of those stories were episodes VII-IX, that still leaves at least seven other stories for spinoffs… and one of them just might be a Star Wars Seven Samurai film.
Disney are following the Marvel path for Star Wars. As detailed by The Hollywood Reporter, Jay Rasulo (Senior Executive VP and CFO of the The Walt Disney Company) recently explained that Marvel is the template to which Star Wars will adhere:
Overall, he said investors should expect Lucasfilm to follow the successful Marvel path now that it is part of Disney as the company would look to push its content across various Disney and other platforms just like in the case of the Marvel acquisition.
According to The Wrap, these were his exact words:
You can substitute the word Marvel for LucasFilm.
So it’s pretty clear that Disney will apply their successful Marvel strategy to Star Wars.
As Jason notes, one of Marvel’s biggest strength is in the synergy between its Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Avengers properties. What would be the Star Wars equivalent? Spinoff or “origin” stories (e.g. the Han Solo origin movie rumoured to be in development) culminating in a Seven Samurai-style film tying all these origins together.
We know they’re planning specifically origin movies for Star Wars—Rasulo had previous called the spinoffs “origin story” films.
The rumour is that this Seven Samurai movie was one of the stories given to Kennedy by Lucas. And it makes sense—Akira Kurosawa, the director of Seven Samurai, has been a major influence on Lucas and Star Wars, such that elements of his film The Hidden Fortress exist in both Star Wars: A New Hope and The Phantom Menace. Indeed, Seven Samurai itself inspired an episode of The Clone Wars.
Who knows what the future holds, but maybe now we’re starting to get a glimpse into what the bigger picture is for Star Wars from 2016 onwards.