Joe and Anthony Russo are nearing the home stretch of Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the release of the Avengers: Endgame trailer. What the future holds for the pair, namely if they’ll continue to make movies for Marvel, is unclear, but with the success that they’ve seen, they could probably get a job directing anything they want at this point.
Which makes it very interesting that the pair recently indicated that under the right circumstances and given the right story, they would likely be interested in directing something in the Star Wars universe. Well, if they need the right story, we could probably come up with a few that would work. Here are some ideas for Star Wars stories the Russo Brothers could tackle.
A Sith Story
One of the reasons that Avengers: Infinity War was so interesting was that the film wasn’t really about the Avengers. It was actually the story of Thanos and his attempt to complete a quest that he felt needed to be done, regardless of how terrible the consequences. In framing the story this way, it made the villain, if not heroic, at least sympathetic. You understood why he was doing what he was doing and witnessed him making sacrifices to that end.
By looking at that angle, I can’t help but wonder what the Russo Brothers could do with a movie that focused on the great villains of the Star Wars universe, the Sith. A movie about Darth Vader, maybe set between the prequel and original trilogies, is probably a long shot, but perhaps something set earlier in the timeline, when the Sith were more powerful, could work. We could get our first real look (at least in the Disney years) of what the Sith were, what they believed and why they opposed the Jedi. Surely the Sith see themselves as the heroes and the Jedi as the villains.
A Spy Story
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story teased us with a bit of espionage action, but it really qualifies more as a heist movie than a spy movie. In Marvel parlance, it’s closer to Ant-Man than it is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. At least in subject matter, not so much in tone. The Russo Brothers’ work on Winter Soldier is what made them the Marvel bigwigs they are now, so it’s a perfect place for them to start with Star Wars.
We could set a movie either during the Empire/Rebel Alliance era or during the First Order/Resistance era, but either way, an old-fashioned, cold war-style, espionage thriller could fit very well within the galaxy, far, far away. Create a couple of original characters, one on each side, and watch them attempt to one-up and outfox each other again and again.
The Old Republic
One era in the Star Wars timeline that has yet to be tapped by the Disney machine is the ancient days of the galaxy, hundreds and thousands of years before the prequel trilogy. It’s only really been dealt with in video games, and they’re not officially canon, which means the era is actually wide open for film adaptation if and when the decision is made to do so.
This, of course, means that the potential subject matter for such a movie is essentially limitless, so this entry covers a lot of ground. But if I’m being honest, there’s really only one reason I’m suggesting the Russo Brothers get involved in it. Only by making a movie that predates the prequels will there be any excuse to have a massive, Battle of Wakanda-sized fight between Jedi and Sith, and I want to see that. A battle with dozens of people, all wielding Force powers and lightsabers. It would be a massively impressive visual spectacle and I would trust the Russos above all others to pull it off with style.
A Lando Movie
It’s easy to forget after all the time that Joe and Anthony Russo have spent making Marvel movies in recent years, but before they got the job to direct Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the duo did most of their work on TV, directing episodes of television comedies like Community and Arrested Development. These guys know comedy, so what about a Star Wars movie with a bit lighter tone.
Whatever you thought of Solo: A Star Wars Story, most everybody agrees that the best part of it was Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian. We all think he deserves his own movie, and that movie shouldn’t be something overly serious and depressing. It should be fun and it should be funny. A straight-up Star Wars comedy is an unlikely movie, but a buddy cop style movie starring Lando and L3-37 (this hypothetical movie would be set before Solo in my head), that’s something we could possibly actually get and it would be excellent.
Part of Rian Johnson’s New Trilogy
This idea is certainly more hypothetical than any of the others. While we know Rian Johnson is working on a new Star Wars trilogy, we know exactly nothing about it. When it will be set, who the characters will be, how it will fit in the franchise or even if it will fit at all is completely up in the air. It will take place in the same galaxy, and that’s all we can be certain about. However, Rian Johnson and the Russos have a lot in common, and if Johnson doesn’t want to direct his entire new trilogy himself, he could do worse than to call on this pair.
Whatever you think of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the movie is a very character driven story. Johnson says he began his writing process on The Last Jedi by considering what the most difficult challenge would be for each character to face. The characters drove the story forward. The Russo Brothers have done very similar things making movies about people with superpowers quite relatable. The films focus on the humanity of the characters, not the magic. It feels like the Russos could do a very good job with a script written by Rian Johnson.