So far, the animated Marvel Cinematic Universe series “What If…?” on Disney+ has been a fascinating playground for creators to experiment with storytelling and explore possibilities outside of what we’ve already seen in the live-action films.
I would love to see Disney+ release a similar animated show set in the Star Wars universe. There are endless possibilities for “what if?” style storytelling in Star Wars, but here are the six episodes I’d most like to see:
What if Qui-Gon Jinn survived?
I love Obi-Wan Kenobi as a Star Wars character, and I think he did the absolute best that he could to train Anakin Skywalker. However, while Obi-Wan and Anakin make for a great pair as brothers/friends, I believe that Qui-Gon Jinn ultimately would have been a better master for young Anakin. Qui-Gon’s free-spirited independence and willingness to challenge the Jedi Council would have matched more seamlessly with Anakin’s reckless personality. Maybe Qui-Gon could have helped Anakin embrace his personal strengths while avoiding the temptation to fall to the dark side. Or, maybe Count Dooku could have persuaded Qui-Gon to join him in Attack of the Clones, and we could get a lightsaber battle featuring Dooku/Qui-Gon vs. Obi-Wan/Anakin.
What if Anakin walked away from the Jedi Order?
Anakin struggles with the fact he is living a double life: he’s attracted to Senator Padmé Amidala, but as a Jedi he’s forbidden to have attachments. In order for Episodes IV-VI to work out, Anakin had to break Padmé’s heart and turn to the dark side. Yet what if, at the end of Episode II, instead of marrying Padmé in secret, he decides to walk away from the Jedi Order? He and Padmé retreat to Naboo and have their twins, Luke and Leia, and Anakin is able to watch them grow up as an involved father, rather than Darth Vader. Obviously, Anakin’s Force powers don’t just disappear, so how would he go about using them outside the Jedi Order? Does he train his Force-sensitive children, and how does he keep them safe from the Emperor?
What if Leia was a Jedi and Luke was a prince?
I feel like if you asked Star Wars fans to share a concept for a Star Wars “What If…?” episode they’d most like to see, this idea would be a pretty popular one. I’ve always wondered how the Star Wars saga would have played out if Breha and Bail Organa of Alderaan had adopted baby Luke, and baby Leia had been sent to live with Owen and Beru Lars on Tatooine. I really appreciate that The Last Jedi made Force-sensitive Leia canon again after the Legends novels were retired, and I think it would be so cool to see her and Luke’s roles in A New Hope get swapped. Also, imagine Leia fighting the Emperor and Vader in that final showdown on board the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi.
What if Qi’ra appeared in the Original Trilogy?
Though she’s only appeared onscreen in one film, 2018’s Solo prequel, Qi’ra is one of my favorite Star Wars characters. Her doomed romance with Han is heartbreaking and complex, and the film’s final twist features her betraying her boss and becoming a lead operative in crime syndicate Crimson Dawn alongside Darth Maul (!). I think it would be really cool to have a “What If…?” episode that brings Qi’ra into the plot of Empire Strikes Back. Perhaps she’s working with Boba Fett to capture Han and ends up on Cloud City (I have a feeling she’d love the fashion vibe there). How have her feelings about Han changed over the years? Could Leia convince her to join the Rebellion? What would it be like to see Qi’ra share the screen with Darth Vader?
What if Rey took Kylo Ren’s hand in Snoke’s Throne Room?
Although of course Rey makes the right decision in The Last Jedi when she declines Kylo Ren’s request to join him and take over the First Order, I’ve always wondered how the Sequel Trilogy would have played out if Rey actually had taken Kylo Ren’s hand in that moment. There’s so many ways this plot twist could be explored. Maybe Rey thinks she can reform Kylo through their Dyad bond, and maybe they succeed in dismantling the First Order from inside the organization. Or, maybe we could have a bit of a role reversal, where Rey falls to the dark side, while Kylo continues to feel the pull to the light. Kylo ends up joining the Resistance, and he redeems Rey, instead of the other way around.
What if Han and Leia didn’t send their son to Luke’s Jedi academy?
Although Han, Leia, and Luke all want the best for Ben Solo, his time at Luke’s Jedi academy turns tragic, and he eventually succumbs to the dark side and takes up the name “Kylo Ren.” Yet what if young Ben decides he doesn’t want to be a Jedi or learn about the Force, because he wants to escape from Snoke’s whisperings in his head? Imagine a version of The Force Awakens where Hux is the “big bad” instead of Kylo, and Ben Solo is a pilot/smuggler like his father. Although Ben doesn’t want to join the Resistance because he’s afraid of living up to his mother’s legacy, Rey and Finn convince him to join the fight. Rey, Finn, and Ben all explore their Force sensitivity and what it means to be a Force-user without the constraints of the old Jedi Order.