Star Wars ought to borrow a page from the MCU's playbook by creating an anthology-style “What If?“ show. Just picture the wealth of amazing stories and fanfiction that Disney could breathe into existence – the possibilities stretch across the galaxy.
As the second season of Marvel's What If…? anthology series draws near, many fans buzz with anticipation and speculation about a similar concept in the Star Wars universe. Envision a universe where Anakin Skywalker emerges triumphant over Obi-Wan on Mustafar, or Darth Maul emerges victorious on Naboo. These alternate realities would dramatically reshape the course of Star Wars history.
Rumors of a Star Wars “What If?” Disney+ series have been circulating on social media, stoking the anticipation for diving into these intriguing alternate realities in a galaxy far, far away. Let's explore some of the most mind-blowing Star Wars “What If?” scenarios that could turn an anthology series into an intergalactic sensation.
1. What if Luke Joined Vader in Empire Strikes Back?
Taking the number one spot on our list, the scene that boasts one of the most iconic and ironically misquoted movie quotes of all time. During the dramatic family reunion, Vader informs Luke that he did not kill his father, but rather, he embodies Luke’s father. Despite this revelation, Luke still rejects joining Vader. However, what if Luke had opted to yield and embrace his father’s offer?
In a reality in which Luke embraces his father's proposition, this scenario would once again cause a seismic shift in the galactic balance of power. Envision the possibilities of a united father-son duo, wielding the Force in unison and navigating the complexities of their newfound relationship. Luke could push Vader toward the light, or Vader could pull Luke deeper into the dark. That see-saw type component would make for a compelling Star Wars “What If?” scenario. The potential for familial clashes and dramatic reconciliations would undoubtedly add a compelling layer to their narrative that would enthrall Star Wars fans.
2. What If…Anakin Defeated Obi-Wan on Mustafar?
In an alternate reality where Anakin did not attempt to leap over Obi-Wan when Obi-Wan had the higher ground, things could have gone very differently. With his rage and hatred fueling him, he could have worn Obi-Wan down and emerged victorious. It would have been a one-man celebration, with Padme tragically succumbing to heartbreak, and C-3PO and R2-D2 cowering in fear of the man they once knew as a friend.
This turn of events would further solidify Sith's control of the galaxy and have implications that would drastically change the trajectory of the Skywalker Saga. If Padme had given birth before dying, Anakin's offspring would have fallen under his influence, and by extension, under the sway of Sidious. Luke and Leia would have been raised in the ways of the dark side, and the hope that the Chosen One once represented would have vanished. The Skywalkers might eventually have overthrown Palpatine and seized control of the galaxy, ruling as a family unit.
This prospect should terrify fans, especially for the few remaining Jedi and for anyone who values freedom and prosperity in the galaxy.
3. What If…Darth Maul Was Victorious on Naboo?
Every Star Wars fan remembers when Darth Maul botched the high ground against Obi-Wan, leaving him in two less-than-functional pieces. Yet, in an alternate reality where Maul emerged victorious on Naboo, vanquishing Qui-Gon and leaving Obi-Wan in dire straits, the galaxy would have witnessed a seismic shift in the saga's trajectory.
The question looms large: would the Clone Wars have even come to pass in this alternate timeline?
Despite his ignorance of his master’s grand plans for the Clone Wars, Maul would have nonetheless emerged as an unforeseen and formidable threat as Palpatine’s enforcer. With his ferocious tenacity and strategic brilliance, Maul would have been a strong leader within the Separatist Army.
As both The Clone Wars and Rebels have shown, even without his lower limbs, Maul remains a force to be reckoned with – a testament to his unwavering determination, fueled by rage and hate. The galaxy would witness a vastly altered landscape, where the crimson gaze of Darth Maul casts a chilling shadow over the ever-changing Star Wars galaxy. But in the end, would Palpatine have kept Maul as his apprentice or cast him aside in favor of Anakin Skywalker?
Even outside of his master-apprentice relationship with Sidious, Maul has proven that he can handle himself alone. He would no doubt take on a never-ending quest for revenge if this occurred, culminating in an epic lightsaber duel between Vader (pre-Mustafar) and Maul (with legs). Who would not want to see that?!
4. What If…Darth Vader Was In Charge of The Construction of His Suit?
Anakin Skywalker's affinity for tinkering sparks curiosity about why Darth Vader never souped up his suit. Rumor suggests that Palpatine intentionally hindered Vader's mobility when crafting the suit, giving Vader all the elegance of a Hasbro action figure.
In a reality where Vader's inner tech geek shines through, constantly fine-tuning his suit to epic levels, by the time A New Hope comes around, he would’ve metamorphosized into a more fearsome, agile, and even graceful force instilling fear and chaos throughout the galaxy. Considering his current suit subjects him to constant pain, a souped-up suit would not only enhance his physical capabilities but also alleviate his suffering, making him less robotic and more human-like. It would serve as a great nod to his old tinkering days with C-3PO and pod racing – and convey to the audiences that even in the clutches of the dark side amidst all his rage and self-loathing, Vader still finds solace in souping up his gear.
One can only imagine the ecstasy fans would experience when seeing Vader in a variety of sleek, upgraded suits, adding a new twist to the same old, but still iconic, black ensemble.
5. What If…Ben Solo Never Turned To The Dark Side?
Imagine Luke never contemplating the ill-fated decision to confront a slumbering Ben Solo with a lightsaber – the galaxy would witness an entirely different saga unfold.
Without the scars of betrayal from his uncle, Ben Solo emerges strong enough to resist the calls of Snoke and the Sith and instead embraces his destiny as a Jedi, wielding his lightsaber for the forces of good. His leadership becomes pivotal in the Resistance's struggle against the tyrannical grip of the First Order, and he even engages in a heart-pounding showdown with the cunning Thrawn, emerging victorious and striking a blow to the First Order.
As the saga unfolds, the formidable Rey, discovered by Snoke on Jakku and trained in the arts of the Sith, emerges as a formidable adversary. This sets the stage for an epic lightsaber duel for the ages, pitting Ben against Rey in a titanic showdown. With the guidance of his master, Luke Skywalker, and the unwavering support of his fellow Jedi, Ben emerges triumphant, choosing to spare Rey as he sees her conflicted heart, and that she has the capacity and potential for redemption.
In this alternate reality, the galaxy witnesses a tale of redemption and hope, devoid of petty squabbles and creature milk chugging.
6. What If…Ahsoka Tano Turned Vader In Their Duel In Star Wars Rebels?
In an alternate universe, envision Ahsoka's emotional, heart-wrenching duel with Vader in Star Wars Rebels culminating in a pivotal moment of redemption, where she manages to reach the flickering light within him.
If Ahsoka swayed Vader back to the light, it would have fundamentally altered the trajectory of the Skywalker saga. Vader suddenly sheathes his lightsaber and looks at Ahsoka through his mask, uttering the phrase, “That was a close one, Snips,” through his mask. The two embrace and leave the Sith Temple united against the forces of evil that controlled Anakin. The potential for this unexpected turn of events could have led to a profound exploration of redemption, forgiveness, and the complexities of the Force.
A redeemed Vader could have played a crucial role in the fight against the tyranny of the Empire, standing alongside Ahsoka and the Rebellion in their struggle for freedom. This unforeseen alliance might have sparked a new hope for the galaxy, offering a fresh and compelling narrative.
7. What If…Padme Convinced Anakin To Leave With Her In Revenge of the Sith?
In a happier reality, imagine if Anakin heeded Padme's desperate pleas in Revenge of the Sith and decided to leave the Jedi, the Sith, the Republic, and the Empire behind. Together, they could have found a peaceful planet with no trace of sand, where they could live happily ever after with their force-sensitive children, Luke and Leia. In this idyllic setting, Anakin could have reached out to Ahsoka Tano to join them and help build a new Jedi Order by training Luke and Leia together.
As the twins grew, their formidable force abilities, honed by their father, would have empowered them to play pivotal roles in the Rebellion's fight against the tyrannical Empire. This alternate ending offers a beautiful Star Wars “What If?” scenario, providing a sense of redemption for Anakin and a comforting resolution for Padme, contrasting sharply with the tragic fate that awaited them in the original storyline.
8. What If…General Grievous Defeated Obi-Wan On Utapau?
This tragic reality depicts Discount Darth Vader, also known as General Grievous, emerging victorious in his duel against Obi-Wan Kenobi on Utapau, dealing a devastating blow to the Jedi Order.
Without Obi-Wan's leadership and strategic prowess, the Jedi face a more daunting and uncertain future, grappling with the loss of one of their most staunch defenders. Anakin seethes with hate as he glares at Mace Windu, realizing that he should have taken the mission to fight Grievous. Having lost Obi-Wan, Anakin would continue losing faith and trust in the Jedi Council. This division and resentment between Anakin and the Council continue to fester, pushing Anakin further into the arms of Darth Sidious.
As news of Obi-Wan's defeat spreads, the galaxy braces for continued devastation, as the victory of General Grievous on Utapau heralds a new and more ominous chapter in the ongoing conflict. Unlike the events of Revenge of the Sith, the Clone Wars would not have ended, and this could potentially throw a wrench into Palpatine’s master plan. If Grievous proved too much of a hindrance, Sidious would dispatch Anakin to handle the multiple lightsaber-wielding bionic ghoul.
Nonetheless, this alteration would reshape the course of the Clone Wars and Palpatine’s master plan to construct his Empire atop the ashes of the Republic.
9. What If…Qui-Gon Jinn Survived and Trained Anakin?
In a universe where a lightsaber through the stomach demands just a quick dip in the bacta tank, Qui-Gon Jinn miraculously survives the seemingly fatal blow from Darth Maul and undergoes a swift recovery. As Qui-Gon assumes the role of Anakin's mentor, he becomes more understanding and compassionate, embracing Anakin's relationship with Padmé with a shrug and a bemused smile. “Young love, it's a beautiful thing,” he muses, while Obi-Wan rolls his eyes and mutters about how he's suddenly become the designated babysitter for the galaxy's most conflicted teenager.
With Qui-Gon's fatherly guidance, Anakin finds the support and understanding he needs, and as a result, he never utters the words, “I hate sand.”
Qui-Gon injects a refreshing dose of humor and warmth into the Jedi Order. He becomes the father figure that Anakin needs, and Obi-Wan reluctantly embraces his new role as Anakin's brotherly sidekick, resigned to the fact that he's now the third wheel in this Jedi master-apprentice bromance.
10. What If…Rey Submitted To The Emperor on Exegol?
The Emperor's return in the sequel trilogy proved short-lived, as Rey vanquished him. But what if Rey decided to yield to the Emperor?
In an alternate reality, Rey pledges herself to Palpatine and the ways of the Sith, with Palpatine's choir hissing and chanting in the background. The Resistance lies in disarray, struggling to comprehend Rey's unexpected defection. Finn and Poe exchange bewildered glances, murmuring to each other about how they really should have seen this coming. “She did have a bit of a temper,” Poe concedes.
One thing remains certain – if Rey had yielded to Sidious, the balance of power in the galaxy would have shifted dramatically and perhaps permanently to the dark side, and the Star Wars universe would confront dark days potentially for eons to come.
11. What If…Yoda Was At The Jedi Temple During Order 66?
Things could have taken a dramatically different turn if Yoda lurked at the Jedi Temple during the events of Order 66.
In Revenge of the Sith, Yoda skirted danger on Kashyyyk while numerous other Jedi met tragic fates at the hands of clone troopers. What if Yoda had remained at the temple and dispatched someone else to Kashyyyk? He would have confronted overwhelming odds, engaging Darth Vader and the 501st Legion of clones. While he could contend with Vader, he couldn't single-handedly confront a whole legion of clones. Nevertheless, he might have been able to gather crucial intel to aid Obi-Wan, Bail Organa, and others in the struggle against the Sith and the ascent of the Empire.
Yoda could have even ensured Grogu escaped the Jedi Temple unscathed. Envision Yoda executing a stealth mission to rescue baby Grogu from the Temple, deftly evading and cutting through clone troopers.
After securing Grogu's safety, Yoda might have gone after Sidious with a vengeance, fueled by the horrors he witnessed at the Jedi Temple. Seeing the brutal murder of younglings, the ruthless slaughter of innocent Jedi Knights, and realizing whom he needed to protect could have given Yoda the determination to take down Sidious for good.
12. What If…Ahsoka Tano Joined Darth Maul on Mandalore?
In the climactic moments of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Maul endeavors to persuade Ahsoka to join forces in a bid to thwart Darth Sidious and bring an end to the Sith. Ahsoka, however, rebuffs Maul's plea, dismissing his vision of Anakin's fall as flawed.
But what if Ahsoka had listened to Maul? Envision a reality where Ahsoka heeded Maul's warning about Sidious and Anakin, and they united to halt the dark plan before it unfurled. While Ahsoka and Maul likely would not have been able to vanquish Sidious on their own, together, Ahsoka, Anakin, and Maul might have been able to overthrow the formidable Sith Lord, rescuing Anakin from his grim fate and preserving the Jedi Order and the Republic.
Then again, Maul is not the most trustworthy ally. His hunger for power could propel him to betray Ahsoka once she had served her purpose. Maul's innate nature would inevitably drive him to exploit the ensuing chaos and pursue his own ambitions.