We’ve been waiting our entire Star Wars-obsessed lives for a film about young Han Solo — but the agony is almost over, because we’ll finally be getting it in 2018. This means we can now turn our energy to waiting desperately for other science fiction-fantasy properties with potential spin-offs.
Now, we don’t mean prequels, sequels, or reboots; we mean spin-offs, as in, films that take one character or aspect of a previously established story, and examine them/it in more detail. Yes, many would require recasting a beloved/familiar character with a younger/not dead actor—like Alden Ehrenreich, the kid who’s going to play Han Solo — but we’re OK with that, as long as the end result does justice to whoever and whatever came before.
Here are a few of our spin-off ideas, but we’d like to hear yours in the comments!
The education of Doc Brown, Back to the Future
“Welcome to my latest experiment. This is the big one — the one I’ve been waiting for all my life!” exclaims Doc Brown when Marty skates up to the modified DeLorean outside the Twin Pines Mall.
How did Doc — who’s already in full frazzled-inventor mode when we meet him in 1955 — get interested in time travel in the first place? What did he do during World War II? Where did he study, and where did his ideas come from?
The further adventures of Gaff, Blade Runner
We know almost nothing about Edward James Olmos’s enigmatic Blade Runner other than that he seems to know what’s going on inside Rick Deckard’s head and he’s a bit of an origami enthusiast. We’d happily just watch him take on another rogue replicant, but anything that explained any aspect of his personality would be amazing. Does he know if Deckard is a replicant? Where did he get his uncanny fashion sense? Is there a fascinating story behind his origami hobby? We bet there is.
The strange subterranean world of Lazlo Hollyfeld, Real Genius
After a nervous breakdown, the smartest guy at Pacific Tech built an underground laboratory that can only be accessed through one particular dorm-room closet. After experiencing his own frustrations, the current occupant of that dorm room, teenage prodigy Mitch, follows him in — and it’s just as weird as you want it to be down there.
Though Lazlo eventually comes out of his shell to get the happy ending he deserves, we’re still dying to know what the hell he was up to in that basement all those years.
The real heroes of Pacific Rim
For this we defer to our Pacific Rim enthusiast-scholar James Whitbrook:
Instead of following the Pilots, it follows the maintenance crew and ground teams that have to work alongside these giant-ass robots, and in some cases, go into combat alongside them without the comfort of being inside a giant robot. Like, basically Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team but set in a universe where it’s Mecha v Kaiju.
A comedy set within Beetlejuice’s afterlife bureaucracy
Caseworker Juno appears in a puff of smoke to help frustrated ghosts Barbara and Adam figure out what to do about the family that’s moved into their beloved house. But she’s so busy with other clients that she can barely spend any time on their case — except to warn them to stay away from her former assistant, the one and only Beetlejuice.
“Never trust the living!” she scolds them, later, when they manage to stumble into her chaotic office, which is overflowing with deeply confused, recently deceased clients — the most perfectly insane setting for a workplace comedy we can think of.
The post-Princess Bride adventures of Inigo Montoya and Fezzik
Disclaimer: this is obviously more fantasy than science fiction, but we’re including it anyway. “You’d make a wonderful Dread Pirate Roberts,” Wesley tells Inigo at the end of The Princess Bride, when the Spanish swordsman ponders his post-revenge future. So ... that would be, like, Inigo and his best buddy Fezzik on the high seas, plundering ships that belong to pompous rich guys and (presumably) playing rhyming games whenever there’s a lull?
It’s inconceivable that we haven’t seen this film happen yet.
So, go on, give us your best pitch. What do you think would be a great spin-off film from a major (or perhaps minor) sci-fi film or franchise?