I will not get into the nitty gritty of how Disney has ruined Star Wars, because those talking points and arguments have been made a million times by others. This will be positive, a write up of how I would save Star Wars. So lets get to it.
The first and most important thing, before making any new movies, TV shows, video games, theme park rides, merchandise etc is to restore the Expanded Universe as the timeline, and brand the Disney timeline as the Alternative Universe. As a fan of the SWEU, who knows the pain of having their characters, events, timeline aka canon erased, I would not desire to alienate or anger the fans that love the characters of the past ten years. The Disney canon could continue as an AU, if writers, showrunners and so forth wish to continue it. The only rule would be they can not lift any characters or stories from the EU that haven’t already appeared on screen in a movie or show. All movies set in the AU must be released on Disney Plus rather than theaters. The theaters will be reserved for movies set in the EU.
How would I create a Star Wars movie/TV show franchise based on the EU, when the vast majority of movie going and TV show audiences have not read the books? Great question, so lets get to that. It would be a challenge, and a complex one. It’d have to be carefully planned. Star Wars has not had a movie release since 2019, and when Disney bought LucasFilm in 2012, a movie wasn’t released until 2015. So we can assume the quickest a film could be put out is three years, so if we started an EU movie today, it wouldn’t release until Christmas of 2025 at the earliest. Six years without a Star Wars movie is a long time, and means the next movie is guaranteed to be a huge box office, similar to The Force Awakens after a 10 year gap. This first movie is when you take big risks, introduce new characters and a new story, rather than rehashing an old story and relying on nostalgia like TFA did. As such, if it were up to me, the first movie should be set in the Old Republic, and be a story about the Mandalorian Wars. This movie would be the introduction of general audiences to characters such as Revan and Malak while they are still Jedis, as well as Bastila Shan and others. This will be the beginning of their stories, setting up 10, 20, 30 however many years of stories shown in film and TV shows.
Now that your first movie got the we miss Star Wars BO effect, your second movie needs to really be a hit in many areas to continue rebuilding the trust of the fan base, to set up future movies and shows for sustained success. You need a great story that stands on its own while also setting up future stories/events, a healthy dose of nostalgia but not too much, and new interesting characters. Hence why this will be the Outbound Flight movie. Outbound Flight would suck in general audiences because they’d get to see Ewan and Haydensen as Obi and Anakin as Jedis one more time, plus Mace Windu, Padme, Palpatine, Yoda and so forth, that’s your nostalgia as bait. Your new characters would be Thrawn, Joruus C’Baoth, the Chiss Ascendancy, and the Yuuzhan Vong. These new characters being introduced would set up the Thrawn trilogy movies, as well as a multi year TV show on the Chiss Ascendancy, because general audiences would now be familiar with Thrawn, Joruss, and the Chiss. While the introduction of the Yuuzhan Vong would be minor in this story, it’d be just enough for audiences to be curious about who the Vong are, which would set up a movie trilogy based on the events in their galaxy, including the Cremlevian War. One can’t do the Vong invasion justice on screen without setting it up properly, otherwise it won’t be as epic and grand as it truly is. It is theeeee cross over event of Star Wars.
Being that you’ve now gained a chunk of trust back with these first two movies, while having a minor but enough of an introduction of the Vong to make an audience curious, the third movie should be set in the galaxy of the Yuuzhan Vong, and be about the massive war loving droid army that invades Yuuzhan Tar. It’d be a reprieve from the usual Jedi and Sith stuff, thus appealing to audiences that love shows such as Andor. It’d be kind of like Captain America Civil War, in that you know this story is important because it leads into something far bigger (Infinity War). It’d also appeal to people who love Transformers movies, as well as connect to people’s real life fears of robots and AI, because this would be a story about war loving droids vs organic life.
The fourth movie would, like the second movie, need to rely somewhat on the familiar, but not over do it. Wedge Antilles would be the nostalgia here, and this would obviously be an X Wing movie, I’d go with the Bacta War. In the long term, being that the X Wing series is long, it’d be a multi year hit TV show, but start it off with a movie and/or trilogy. One of the best parts of Star Wars is the space battles, when Star Wars puts the ‘Star’ and ‘Wars’ into Star Wars.
These four movies would wrap up the first year of Star Wars return to movie theaters. A little bit of everything mixed together, to earn back the trust of fans while creating fans of new characters, respecting the lore while telling stories that are new and good set ups for long term story telling.
The TV shows should be actual TV shows, not 6 episode shows that were just movies cut up. Every show should be 12 episodes, enough to cover most or the entirety of books/comics they are based on. Not every book in the EU can or should be a movie, but they are all important. The Han Solo trilogy should be a three season TV show. The Ascendancy Trilogy should be a three season TV show. The Clone Wars need to have a live action TV show based on the EU, and shown accurately in their brutality, rather than with Filoni’s retcons, because not many adults watch animation plus Disney cut short season 7. Tales of the Jedi needs to be a multi season TV show based on their EU namesake, not just Filoni stealing the name for more Skywalker era stuff.
This is not a full 10 year plan of movies and shows, that’d break my brain trying to plan because there is so much that deserves to be seen on screen. Bane trilogy, Sith War, Great Hyperspace War, Rakata Infinite Empire, Zakuul and Eternal Empire, the Old Republic era of Malgus and Satele Shan, Tales of the Jedi, NJO and onwards. This is just a start, a first year plan, to get Star Wars back on its feet. Star Wars used to be the biggest movie and book franchise, and now it is limping greatly while the MCU, DC, and maybe soon Avatar, surpass it. The EU is magical, and Star Wars deserves to never be anything less than magical.