While Star Wars is my main fandom, another franchise I have fallen in love with over the years is that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Recently, the MCU released an animated series What If…? which looks at moments in the franchise and how a different decision would change the universe. Well, what if… something similar was done with Star Wars?
Well personally, it’s not something that I want to see at this moment. I think that too much of the Star Wars canon is currently too heavily focused on the Skywalker family (especially in the movies) for this to work as well as the MCU version has, while I also worry that the fan divides will see people latching on certain “what if…?” scenarios and saying that this should be the canon as it gives them the version of a character that they always wanted.
However, if such a show were to go ahead, what potential moments could appear in this series. Below, I look at a few options specifically from the movies that I feel could make for interesting episodes.
What If… Qui-Gon survived?
What happened: During the battle of Theed, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi fought Darth Maul. Kenobi was separated from the others during the fighting, and Maul took advantage of the 1v1 combat to kill Jinn. Kenobi successfully defeated Maul and was knighted by the Jedi Order, before fulfilling a promise made to his dying master to train Anakin Skywalker.
What if…?: This is probably one of the most obvious options. As Dave Filoni so eloquently discussed during Disney’s The Gallery, this duel became known as the Duel of the Fates for a reason. Even if Maul were to survive as in canon, Kenobi would be knighted and Anakin would be trained by Qui-Gon. Whereas Obi-Wan lives very much by the code, Qui-Gon is much more of a free spirit as the Jedi should be, and would likely be a much more competent master for a special case like Anakin, while Obi-Wan could have taken on more of a brotherly role rather than the odd fatherly/brotherly/master role he had to take on. In this alternative reality, could Anakin have had the happy life he deserved?
What If… the Skywalker Twins were swapped?
What happened: Following the death of Padmé and the Rise of the Empire, it was decided that the Skywalker Twins should be split up and hidden. Bail Organa chose to take Leia and adopt her, while Obi-Wan Kenobi took Luke to Owen and Beru Lars and watched over him from a distance as he grew up a moisture farmer.
What if…?: Another pretty obvious one here that has really been on my mind for the past couple of months before I saw Uzuri Art’s images on twitter of Leia seeing the Binary Sunset and Luke hiding in on the Tantive IV (check their work out on twitter @uzuriartonline). Leia is much more Anakin while Luke is more Padmé, would Luke have taken on such an active role in the Rebellion? Would Leia have become the one trained as a Jedi? Let’s find out!
What If… Padmé survived?
What happened: After being Force-choked by Anakin on Mustafar, Padmé was taken to Polis Massa, where the medical droids diagnosed that she was dying as she had lost the will to live. She survived long enough to give birth to Luke and Leia, but passed away soon after, and as noted above, the Twins were split up.
What if…?: While simply switching Luke and Leia could lead to big changes, Padmé surviving could really change things! With Padmé alive, it’s easy enough to imagine that the Twins would simply have stayed with her, which could have led to both of them learning about both politics and the Force. Not only that, but deleted scenes from Revenge of the Sith show Padmé involved in early political steps against Palpatine, which would go on to become the initial Rebel Alliance. But the interesting thing here could be the effect on Vader. If Anakin were to find out in the early stages of the Rise of the Empire that Padmé was alive and fighting against the Empire, would he remain loyal to Palpatine or be returned to the light?
What If… Anakin Died on Mustafar?
What happened: When Obi-Wan was sent to kill Anakin (now Darth Vader), the pair fought on Mustafar. When Kenobi managed to get the memed-to-death high ground, he successfully cut off 3 of Anakin’s limbs and left him burning after the nearby lava ignited Anakin. However Palpatine arrived just in time to get Anakin treatment and he was saved, while he spent the rest of his life in the infamous armour.
What if…?: So this would have a dark start, with Obi-Wan having to finish the job and actually going down to kill the burning Anakin. And from here we have 2 stories to follow: Obi-Wan trying to recover from killing the man he thought of as his brother, and trying to come to terms with whether his killing of Anakin in the moment was a mercy kill or something darker. Meanwhile Palpatine finds himself ruling the galaxy but without the apprentice he had desired. Where would he find his next apprentice?
What If… Obi-Wan fought Sidious?
What happened: After finding a hologram in the Jedi Temple that confirmed Anakin was Palpatine’s new apprentice, Obi-Wan begged Yoda to let him fight the Emperor as he did not think that he could fight Anakin. However, Yoda felt that Palpatine would be too strong for Kenobi so went himself and lost. While Kenobi won his duel with Anakin, the young Sith lord survived to terrorise the galaxy as Darth Vader.
What if…?: It’s crazy to think that in both of Revenge of the Sith‘s climactic duels, nobody died, but in this alternative version, I think that this would change. He may have been one of the best defensive duellists in the Jedi Order, but it’s hard to imagine that Obi-Wan would have survived if he faced off against Darth Sidious. Meanwhile, Yoda would probably have had the ability to defeat Anakin, but also been emotionally distant enough to strike the killing blow. With Kenobi and Vader dead, would Yoda go into hiding to train the Skywalker Twins, or would he find Sidious for one final duel to shape the future of the galaxy…?
What If… Han didn’t return to the Battle of Yavin?
What happened: Han Solo and Chewbacca left with their reward ahead of the Battle of Yavin, but a change of heart from Solo brought them back just in time to distract Vader’s wingmen, causing him to be pushed away from the Death Star and giving Luke Skywalker the vital seconds he needed to get off the shot that destroyed the Death Star.
What if…?: So this is interesting as it was covered a little in the first From A Certain Point of View book, which showed that Mon Mothma was planning to surrender to Palpatine should the Rebellion lose the Battle of Yavin. Luke would be shot down before he could destroy the Death Star, all the Rebel leaders on Yavin 4 would be killed and with Mon Mothma surrendering, the Rebellion would be dead. But perhaps some of those who had not been present on Yavin 4 would fight on, with others joining their cause after seeing what he Empire did to Alderaan. Potentially even Han Solo could join the fight after feeling guilt for not helping when he had the chance, and with his debt to Jabba paid off, his contacts in the Underworld could help form a resistance. But with the Skywalker Twins both dead, would this be a resistance doomed to fail?
What If… Ben Solo killed Snoke?
What happened: Supreme Leader Snoke’s arrogance caused him to think that he could accurately read Kylo Ren’s mind, but he was deceived. While Snoke thought that Ren was about to execute Rey, Ren instead killed Snoke, and joined Rey in battle against Snoke’s Praetorian Guard. However, once they were beaten, Ren took control of the First Order and continued the fight against the Resistance.
What if…?: Kylo was so conflicted, it is easy enough to imagine that this moment would have been enough to turn him back to the light and join Rey. He cold have stopped the First Order’s attack on the fleeing Resistance shuttles, resulting in a larger force making it down to Crait’s surface, while Vice Admiral Holdo may not have had to sacrifice herself and the Raddus (though this would then lead to the survival of the Supremacy). While Hux would likely realise that Snoke was no longer alive and that Ren had betrayed them, it would probably still delay the First Order’s attack on Crait, potentially giving the Resistance a chance to escape packed inside the Falcon, with Luke still alive to help Rey and Ben deal with the return of Palpatine.
What do you think of these scenarios? Are there any others that you would suggest?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you….