Star Wars spin-off movies may take some cues from Marvel

Being down the hall from Marvel Studios might be rubbing off a bit on the Star Wars/Lucasfilm team.

OK, we don't know if they're actually down the corridor from each other or even in the same building, but Lucasfilm and Marvel are both wholly owned subsidiaries of the gigantic Disney corporate media machine. So it wouldn't be surprising at all if the Lucasfilm group -- while certainly successful on their own -- were taking a peek at what the Marvel Cinematic Universe gang has been doing these last seven years.

That indeed seems to be the case -- at least to a certain degree. Speaking with Slashfilm about the Star Wars spinoff movies -- which include the now-filming Rogue One, a Han Solo prequel and a third, yet-to-be-revealed idea -- Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy described what those movies might have in common with Marvel's, saying that the "standalone films can be a wide variety of genres inside the Star Wars universe.”

Elaborating on that, the main Star Wars trilogy, starting with The Force Awakens, will focus on the continuing adventures of the Skywalker family and the great space opera clash between the Resistance and the First Order. But the other films can genre-hop. Just as Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a political thriller and Ant-Man a heist comedy, the spinoffs can play with different templates as well. Kennedy even said that Rogue One was a heist film "to a certain extent."

But that was where Kennedy drew the line at comparing the two franchises, saying:

"Star Wars is very different than Marvel in that they basically build their stories around characters, and then they seed those characters in different stories. Star Wars, you know, is a place, it’s a universe, so those stories are constructed a little differently than Marvel."

So it's less likely that we'll see characters jumping from Rogue One to, say, that rumored Boba Fett movie, which is unlike the Marvel method of doing business. That makes sense, because Kennedy also revealed that the standalone movies do not necessarily have to be prequels and they're intended as one-offs, not separate franchise starters. She also said that they can take place "anywhere on the timeline" -- meaning the distant past or even the far future -- and that “there is no strict guidelines for what we’re doing.”

So it seems that while Lucasfilm is taking a couple of cues from its sister studio, the company is also going to forge its own, hopefully unique path with the standalone Star Wars Anthology movies. Sound like a plan?

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