I am excited to see many things in Episode VII and the first of the spin-offs, but lately I’ve really been looking forward to exploring some new—and possibly revisiting some of the familiar and favorite—worlds in the Star Wars galaxy. Discovering and exploring different worlds has always been one of my favorite parts of Star Wars, whether I’m watching the movies, reading my favorite Legends book, or lost in a video game. The descriptions and visuals of the planets—really the entire setting—have a major influence on my immersion into the story, and it certainly won’t be any different with these films. We don't have all that much information about the first spin-off film, so I'll be focusing on Episode VII.
We’ll most likely be seeing Tatooine in Episode VII, or so it seems from the Force for Change video featuring JJ Abrams, a new creature that we affectionally called a Turkle (did you name it? Email your name for the Turkle to firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance to win a copy Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Alien Species!), and a sandy background marketplace.
I personally find the desert and sand dunes of Tatooine visually stunning. Beyond its subtle beauty, Tatooine has appeared in 5 of the 6 Star Wars films and has become a staple in the realm of Star Wars planets. Tatooine also carries a resounding sense of nostalgia with it to the big screen, constantly reminding us of its role in galactic history. It may be the farthest planet from the bright center of the galaxy, but Tatooine clearly has a strong connection to the Force, and I personally will be beyond happy to see that it's included in Episode VII.
The Star Wars galaxy is a big place, though, and we truly do that vastness a disservice by only visiting familiar planets. Though I’ll be happy to revisit Tatooine, why should we go to the same places when almost an entire galaxy is at our fingertips? The old and new need to be balanced, and I think it's crucial for the majority of the planets visited in Episode VII to be new and unexplored.
It's only briefly mentioned in the Original Trilogy, but my absolute favorite planet is Dantooine. I’ve been infatuated with the beauty of this planet since playing Knights of the Old Republic I on my original Xbox for the first time almost 10 years ago (I'm currently playing it again for the 13th time on the same Xbox!). Dantooine is delicately intertwined with the Force and, like Tatooine, remains stunning in its simplicity despite playing a crucial role in galactic history.
I’m also in love with the music played on Dantooine while playing either Knights of the Old Republic I or II (if you haven't heard it before, you can listen to it here for KOTOR I or here for KOTOR II!). The music added so much to the already breathtaking scenery and the mystical feeling of running through the fields on Dantooine. Though Dantooine is a special place with a strong connection to the Jedi, the Force, and galactic history, I'm not sure that it would be on anyone's radar to include in Episode VII. A girl can hope, though, and I certainly do hope to see Dantooine in Episode VII!
Aside from Dantooine, I would love to see more crossovers between different Star Wars eras, especially those pertaining to the Old Republic, in Episode VII. Including planets from different eras in the Star Wars galaxy promotes a sense of excitement and cohesion between a wide range of stories. In many ways, it's like a reminder that all our favorite stories do take place in the same galaxy. For me, it's particularly interesting to see how planets and the planet's inhabitants evolve over thousands of years. My personal favorite crossovers so far include our first views of Mandalore, as well as Onderon, in The Clone Wars. With that said, I do think there is a limit to how many familiar planets we should see in the new films--just like there is a limit to how many familiar characters should be included. Too few, and we ignore the wealth of history that makes the Star Wars Universe so fascinating. Too many, and we may as well be watching the Prequels or Original Trilogy again.
I recently asked about everyone’s favorite planets from the Star Wars galaxy on Twitter, and I got some truly spectacular responses! So spectacular that you all actually inspired me to write this post. Thanks to everyone for your thoughts, and in case you missed it, here are a few of the Twitter responses for you all to see:
If you didn’t get a chance to answer or aren’t on Twitter, leave a comment, send us a voicemail, or shoot us an email and let us know your thoughts! The rest of the FAR team and I want to hear about your favorite planets and which you are hoping to see most in Episode VII. Who knows, we may even read your response on the show!