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It’s time for a Star Wars horror movie

After decades of flirting with fear and dread in its family movies, it's about time we got a Star Wars horror movie and here's how it could play out

It's time for a Star Wars horror movie: Darth Vader in Rogue One

When you think of Star Wars, one of the last tags you would associate with the franchise from a galaxy far, far away is that of horror. The series of science fiction movies is one of the most beloved and successful franchises of all time, and is perfect for a night of family movie fun. But, what if Disney and LucasFilm dared to go a little bit darker and gave us a full-on Star Wars horror movie?

In the 45 years since the first Star Wars movie hit the big screen, we have seen rare flashes of dread, fear, and certain horror tropes being utilised. Think back to seeing the gruesome face of Emperor Palpatine for the first time, or the brutal massacre of Order 66, or more recently, the incredibly violent sequence of Darth Vader emerging from the shadows and slaying the Rebels in Rogue One.

With the Dark Side of the Force, the rich lore of the Sith, and the vast galaxy created already, there’s plenty of ideas that could conjure up a terrifying Star Wars movie. It’s unlikely to happen, but we’d love to see it!

With Disney in charge of the sci-fi series now, it’s hard to assess whether this would actually come to fruition. On the one hand, Disney is clearly keen to pump out Star Wars content regularly, especially in utilising its streaming service Disney Plus.

But, on the other hand, Disney is very much in the business of making movies for as wide an audience as possible, so would the studio really risk alienating younger viewers by diving into the horror genre?

The beauty of Star Wars is, given how long the franchise has been going, there is such a diverse range of people within the fanbase, that in theory, you could market a Star Wars horror story even just to a section of the fans and still have a resounding success on your hands.

So, let’s assume the concept of a Star Wars horror movie would need to appeal to older fans, probably those with a good knowledge of the history of Star Wars and its wider characters. There are so many avenues to explore that are still basically untouched within the franchise, that it’s very exciting to think about potential storylines.

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In the prequel trilogy from the 2000s, the tale of Darth Plagueis is mentioned by Palpatine. His story is portrayed as a tragic one, but is also a very bleak and dark concept too. Basically, Plagueis was so powerful and attuned to the ways of the Dark Side, that he could keep his loved ones from dying.

Now, tell me you wouldn’t love to see a grisly body horror movie about a Sith Lord who desperately chases immortality and tinkers with the very fabric of life. Something akin to David Cronenberg’s The Fly and the classic tale of Frankenstein’s monster comes to mind and would be a brilliant way to explore the moral compass of the Sith.

If Disney wanted to go down a more supernatural route, they could revisit the story of Mother Talzin, a character who appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Talzin dabbles in Dark Side magic and is the mother of Darth Maul. She committed most of her life, and her time in the afterlife, to getting revenge on Darth Sidious for betraying her and taking her son.

This could lend itself to a pretty cool ghost movie about witchcraft, evil spirits, and demonic possession, along the lines of The Exorcist and The Conjuring. It would also have some ties to existing characters, which would make it more digestible for marketing purposes.

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Of course, if Disney really wanted to put some recognisable faces at the front of any potential venture into the horror realm, why not go for the most iconic of them all – Darth Vader. While we have seen Vader a fair bit in the various iterations of Star Wars, there’s still so much to explore about this character.

One route you could take is to really dig deep into what makes the Rogue One slaughter scene so exciting, and turn Vader into a slasher killer, hunting rebels across the galaxy. Think A Nightmare on Elm Street, but with Vader and his lightsaber, instead of Freddy Krueger and his razor-claw glove.

Conversely, it would be fascinating to turn the tables and make Vader the prey instead of the predator. Imagine, he boards a spaceship in search of Jedi, only to find everyone on board has already been killed. Before Vader can leave, an unseen creature begins to hunt him, trapping him on the vessel. Did somebody say Alien versus Vader? In space, no one can hear you breathe really heavily.

We don’t know about you, but we would really like to see these ideas come to life. If Star Wars continues to live on as long as it looks like it will, there’s every chance we will get to see these nightmares becomes a reality one day. Go on, Disney, we dare you!