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The Best Star Wars Spin Offs

Hungry for more of that sweet, sweet action from a Galaxy far, far away? Thanks to Disney+ and a huge push for stories told across the expanded universe, we've never been more spoiled for choice. While the amount of Star Wars content getting published is impressive, it's nothing new: tie-ins and spin offs have been part of Star Wars since the first trilogy. 

However, do these newer series match older spin offs in terms of quality and enjoyment - or are they just 'cash-in' attempts from one of the world's largest corporations? How do the likes of The Mandalorian fare against Star Wars Rebels? 

Let's take a look at our favourite Star Wars spin offs and find out:

Star Wars Rebels

When Rebels first came out, it went relatively unheard of by modern standards. The show focuses on the period between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, a dark time where Jedi were hunted relentlessly and rebellion was dangerous. 

The main draw of Rebels is the protagonist, Ezra Bridger, a young force-sensitive orphan who develops his own style of combat and unique blaster/saber combo. 

While Rebels might not have had the same longevity or popularity as The Clone Wars, it's always compelling to see a rebel team going against enormous odds and in this, Rebels nails it. 

Watch the full thing on Disney+

Star Wars: The Bad Batch

 

When we first saw the trailer for The Bad Batch, we weren't sure how good it would be. It seemed like it could be a potential waste since we already had The Clone Wars animated series to cover that era.  

Upon release, however, we were quickly proven wrong. The series follows a team of clone troopers who have rebelled, encapsulating the gritty, anti-authoritarian attitude we all love. The user reviews speak for themselves: despite only having one season so far, it holds 7.9/10 on IMDb and 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

 

 

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

What might have originally seemed like an appeal for younger audiences, The Clone Wars animated series has become a beloved spin off to fans of all ages. With its deep exploration of the Clone Wars era, the series has done more to flesh out Obi-Wan, Anakin, Darth Maul and others than any of the main movies in the franchise. 

The 2008 animated series came after the initial 2003-2005 one, which shared a name but was far more focused on acting as a prequel to Revenge of the Sith. The later series, which began in 2008 and is still running in 2022, changed animation style and had a far wider scope with smart focus given to lesser developed characters - especially in showcasing the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano. 

Star Wars: Visions

Japanese culture is heavily referenced in Star Wars, especially in the context of the Jedi. The saber-wielding warrior monks are reminiscent of Samurai, especially in the later films after the fall of the order. You could even equate Obi-Wan Kenobi to a Ronin, if you wanted to. 

And if you did, then you might see why this series is so awesome. The episode entitled 'The Duel' is one of the best, pairing classic anime tropes with Star Wars lore when a raid on a village encounter resistance from the classic wandering Ronin character. 

There are 9 different episodes in total, each with a different animator and writing team at the helm - so you never quite know what to expect going in. Because Visions is still relatively new, we don't want to spoil anything - so go in blind and have fun. 

 

Lego Star Wars

There have been lots of video game adaptions of the Star Wars universe and we've written about them in another article. But we have to give a big nod to the franchise that has created the most 'spin offs' - that famed Danish company whose bricks are the bane of every parent's bare feet. 

Lego Star Wars games have existed since 2005 and span six games. The latest, releasing in 2022, will see the entirety of the Skywalker Saga captured in Lego's own unique sense of humour and offered up with fun, accessible gameplay. 

While they may not be the 'best' video games for regular gamers, there are few games as easy to hop in/out of than Lego Star Wars - and few that have the dedication to recreate the entire franchise in a single release. Here's hoping that the new title is as amazing as we expect it to be. 

Star Wars: Rogue One

This isn't a TV series by any means, but who said it had to be? Rogue One is perhaps the greatest example of how to do an effective spin off film without harming the source material. It pays homage to the original trilogy, respects the storyline established in the main universe and then adds to it in a meaningful way. 

It's helped along by the fact that it's the most 'mature' of the films in its tone. The cast of characters are all free of the 'main character syndrome' prevalent in the newer trilogy and are faced with a mission they all know they're not likely to survive. 

The fact that the writing team, and Disney at large, had the courage to end this film the way they did cements its legacy as the best Star Wars spin off film to date. And what a way to end it, too - with Darth Vader's lightsaber igniting and getting to serious work. 

 

What's your favourite Star Wars spin off? If you'd like to tell your own story in the universe, grasp a legendary lightsaber of your own in your hand and harness its power for duelling, cosplay or display. 

 

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