Something dawned on me a while ago while I was playing Disney Infinity 3.0 with my daughter. In the video game Disney Infinity you have a roster of Disney characters to pull from which include Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars. The characters are sold in the form of a little figure which you could purchase at any department store, super store, or toy / game store. The figures are nice and I have hopes of displaying them whenever the time comes when we are finished playing the game. Sadly Disney finished playing the game before us, but that is a discussion for another day.
Over the course of playing the game for over a year or so I have had some pretty awesome team-ups between the characters. It is very fun to cross over all of the universes and the results have been everywhere from hilarious to thought provoking. Of course you can play it safe and have the Avengers stick with the Avengers, Mickey fight shoulder to shoulder with Donald, or Buzz and Woody fighting of hordes of baddies…but what fun is that. In my daughters world of Disney there are no lines drawn. To her it is natural for Spider-Man to team up with Boba Fett or Rocket Raccoon to be pals with Mike Wazowski and I think it’s awesome. To me having one big ol’ Disney universe is inspiring and to my kids it has opened up a almost limitless world of playing that has crossed over into the real world with their toys.
But after all this time spent with the game I end up thinking about the “What ifs” of a shared Disney/Marvel/Star Wars universe. In a nutshell it wouldn’t work. I mean it can work but it would totally be only fan service with no real substance. It would awesome to see the Guardians of the Galaxy pop up in the Star Wars universes or something from the Star Wars universe appear in a mainline Marvel book, but it would do nothing to drive the universes forward and it would do nothing but incite rage from the purist factions on either side. We kinda saw this in 1996 when the X-Men crossed over with the crew(s) of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
But after many hours of thinking about this “brave new world” I am left with only ONE character that can cross over the threshold and be a part of two worlds. My decision is based on a couple factors. First, I switched out one character in a Star Wars movie that this Disney character could replace. Second, does it make sense, third, is it something that could stand on its own legs and enrich the Star Wars mythos, and fourth does this character fill in a niche we haven’t seen yet in Star Wars. Now just because I stated that I have been left with ONE answer doesn’t mean there aren’t others. My thinking has been focused on a few factors and to be honest since coming to MY conclusion I’ve been happy with the results and stopped pondering and started day dreaming.
My answer will not go over well and I hope everyone hears me out on why I came to this decision. I know this given the rocky road others have been forced to walk down recently. We have been told as fans that we have to follow the herd in the thinking of the loudest voices in the fandom and our own theories suck. It’s the dark side (no pun intended) of Star Wars becoming a thing again. For 40 years I’ve never been told any theory about Star Wars sucks, mine or otherwise. But I’m prepared now to hear it. But just remember this is partly for fun. Damn, guess I should just say it already….
I believe Stitch is theoretically a Disney character that could thrive within the Star Wars universe. Yes, he is cute and to the Star Wars “purists” that is like holy water to a Vampire. Which I have to ask, “What the hell is a Star Wars purist?” Ever since 1977 Star Wars was part of my world. My parents were fans and it just became a part of life. I still can have fun with it but others cannot…think its pretty sad honestly. Also, George Lucas wasn’t even a purist when it came to his own universe he created. Anyway, yes he’s cute but that is part of his charm. He is this little fuzzy ball of bad ass.
For those of you that haven’t seen the 2002 Disney movie Lilo and Stitch, the movie is about an alien named 626 that crash lands on Earth and is adopted by a little girl named Lilo. Easy enough, but the backstory is 626 is named that because he is the six hundred and twenty-sixth attempt at making a perfect weapon. 626 was created to incite chaos and cause destruction. He is pure id, acting on impulse. Deemed to unpredictable and chaotic, 626 is sentenced to death but escapes and ends up on Earth. Throughout the movie 626, now named Stitch is running from his creators and a bounty hunter all the while learning about love, compassion, family, and all of the other Disney magic stuff. By the end he is a bona fide hero.
So what makes him Star Wars worthy? I started simple in my thought process. Lets take out a character everybody hates and drop in Stitch, or at least the character without the backstory. So I replayed Episode One in my head and dropped in Stitch where Jar Jar was. Both are characters that are comic relief so Stitch would fill that roll but instead of being a buffoon like Jar Jar, Stitch would bring a level of surliness and crassness. That would change the tone of that aspect of the film without changing the characters around him. Obi Wan would still be skeptical and Qui-Gon could still say “The ability to speak does not make you intelligent”. The only things that would change are his fighting ability and the whole lack of any sort of intelligence that Jar Jar had. During the last battle of Naboo it would be so much better (for fans) cinematically if that comic relief character stepped up and became a real hero opposed to just some asshole who bumbles himself through the battle. With Stitch’s power set he is indestructible, super strong, and has wall crawling, now imagine the last battle with Stitch instead of Jar Jar. There was always the rumor that Lucas wanted to put Jar Jar in the other movies but because of the backlash he toned him back to merely a cameo. Could having Stitch change the course of the other prequels? Maybe, but is that a bad thing?
Second, would it make sense? Sure why not. 626/Stitch is an alien within a world where there is a Galactic Federation with many, many worlds and many, many peoples. Could Star Wars have inspired this, sure. The aliens that we see in the movie are varied and come from all manner of home worlds and backgrounds, also very Star Wars like. So the framework is there. Could we just swap out the Disney alien universe for the Star Wars universe…hell yes we can. We can even use Stitch’s creator, Dr. Jumba Jookiba as a rogue scientist hiding from the Empire like he did from the Galactic Federation in Lilo and Stitch. Heck, take it one step further and include all of the 625 cousins of Stitch through out the Star Wars galaxy. Simply put…it could be fun. We could even add a few of the cool aliens seen in the movie…oh that makes me excited.
Third, is this something that could stand on its own? I believe it can. Heck, just take the story of Lilo and Stitch itself and place it in the Star Wars universe. It can take place at anytime during the timeline, just swap out the Earth and Hawaii for some alien planet. The themes of alienation, loneliness, and redemption are something that are not new to Star Wars fans. So on that note the character of Stitch could live within the world of Star Wars easily. I’m not saying he needs to be in the thick of the war against the Empire or anything but he can still be there. He can pilot a ship, a crack shot with a blaster, and is heroic…sounds good to me.
And lastly, does Stitch fill a niche? I think so. For years the Ewok debate has raged within the Star Wars community. Some people love them (me) and some people hate them and because of this debate the Ewoks have remained stagnate. Nothing has really been done with them since the animated show in 1985, other than the casual reference in the new novels that reduced them to service animals…ugh. So if we can capitalize on the cuteness but back it up with a someone that can use a blaster while also strong enough to pick up an X-Wing I think it is a win-win situation. Just imagine a cute, bright eyed little dude that can also wade through a platoon of Stormtroopers. Crawling on the walls of a Imperial hallway and jumping into the fight with his four arms punching and clawing. Wow, that sounds boss to me and it is something I have done a hundred times in Disney Infinity.
We have seen Stitch already placed in the Star Wars universe for the sake of selling T-shirts and pins from Disney. In these depictions he is usually standing in for a character like Yoda, the Emperor, or just a Jedi. That’s cool and all but just imagine if he was just a character like all the rest, standing next to characters like Chewbacca or Luke opposed to emulating them.
Believe me, I know I am in the minority here but I think it would be fun and it offers more than just fan service than just plopping down any ol’ Marvel or Disney character within the Star Wars universe. I also know people get all lippy over any “disturbance in the Force” and I welcome it. But to those who read and have a fun imagination like mine, Thank you for allowing me to be a crackpot dork.