Yoda (Photo: Everett Collection)
"Yoda: Jedi Master" has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Or maybe just "The Jedi Master."
Well, before it can have a title, it has to actually exist, and for now a stand-alone "Star Wars" film that puts the powerful pint-sized denizen of Dagobah front and center is just the latest rumor to come out of a galaxy far, far away (well, not that far anymore -- it's now at Disneyland, after all).
Ain't It Cool News first brought word that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy might be doing a lot more than just having secret meetings with J.J. Abrams as she's apparently in the early stages of what Disney does best: milking a brand for all it's worth. Sure, Abrams is going to be directing "Episode VII," but there's more than just a new "Star Wars" trilogy in store -- we're going to be getting a bunch of spinoff films as well, and if Zack Snyder's rumored (and since denied) Jedi-centric riff on "Seven Samurai" isn't going to be the first one out of the gate, then maybe a Yoda movie will be.
Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger has since confirmed in an interiew with CNBC that the studio is indeed planning a series of stand-alone character-based "Star Wars" films that will be separate from the new trilogy. Lawrence Kasdan, who penned "The Empire Strikes Back and "Return of the Jedi," and Simon Kinberg, who just wrote "X-Men: Days of Future Past" for director Bryan Singer, are currently hard at work on the spinoff projects, though of course there's no word on which characters will be involved.
AICN reports that the Yoda film is top priority, though there are currently no plot details to speak of (our guess would be it's an origin story -- actually, how about "Begin, Yoda Shall" as a title?). Disney declined to comment on whether a Yoda-centered spinoff is in the works.
Other possible spinoff films include one that focuses on Jabba the Hutt (potentially the "Goodfellas" of the "Star Wars" universe?) that was apparently pitched by George Lucas himself -- and let's not forget that Joe Johnston, who's in good with Disney after directing "Captain America: The First Avenger," once expressed his desire to call the shots on a movie featuring everyone's favorite bounty hunter, Boba Fett.
Let's not get too carried away, though ... and hope that Disney doesn't, either. "Star Wars" is not "The Avengers." Making a bunch of spinoff movies along with a new trilogy could very well make the Death Star explode before it's fully operational. Maybe it's best to see how it goes with "Episode VII" and evaluate from there, guys? We know you're excited about your new playset but you don't want to wear it out when it's still barely out of the box.
As always, approach these rumors with caution, young Padawans.