Rogue One dazzling audiences and critics, but here are some unknown Star Wars films that didn't
These Star Wars films were, like the Millenium Falcon, mostly pieces of junk, according to one superfan
The new Star Wars film, Rogue One, is being considered the first "standalone" Star Wars movie — that is, one not connected to one of the three trilogies.
And that's true, as Obi-Wan Kenobi would say, from a certain point of view.
But over the years, there have been other Star Wars films made that were not connected to a trilogy. Most of them were TV movies, but were considered part of the broader Star Wars lore, or canon.
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One B.C. Star Wars superfan who has seen all of these lesser-known movies is Levi Johnson, who works at Golden Age Collectibles in Vancouver.
He gave us his take on these other standalone films, from a long time ago, on VHS tapes far, far away…
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
This animated movie kicked off a major new wave of Star Wars prequel material, but the theatrical film was not well received, holding only an 18 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
"It wasn't the strongest introduction, but I believe that some of the all-time best Star Wars storylines and characters came out of this movie," said Johnson.
"We got to see Anakin's padawan that he was training ... and that's a very important part of that character changing from Anakin to Darth Vader."
He says it's a must-see for fans because there are some references in Rogue One to these characters.
But all in all, Johnson gives it two and a half (Death) stars (out of five).
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984)
Also called The Ewok Adventure, this TV movie is a Star Wars film, but basically the only element from Star Wars in it is the ewoks.
It follows the story of a young boy and girl who get separated from their parents when their spaceship crash lands on Endor. The kids and the ewoks have to band together with magic powers to save mom and dad.
"As a kid, I almost didn't get the connection to Star Wars. It almost feels like it's more in connection to The NeverEnding Story … [or] a Jim Henson product," Johnson said. "It just sorta has this removed feeling to it. They maybe just had the rights to the ewoks or something."
Johnson gives Caravan of Courageone and a half (Death) stars.
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)
Another TV movie with little to do with Star Wars except the ewoks, this story follows the little girl from Caravan of Courage as she helps the ewoks defend their village against invading villains.
It's been a long time since Johnson has seen this one, but what he remembers best are the "unsettling" ewoks.
"The ewoks are vicious in it," Johnson said. "But I think as a kid when you watch Gremlins or the other Star Wars movies, I think it's half expected that teddy bears have an evil side to them.
"If you're a die-hard Star Wars fan, you owe it to yourself to see these movies … but I don't recommend it if you're not a big fan of the series."
This one also gets one and a half (Death) stars.
The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
The Star Wars Holiday Special is a bizarre late-'70s TV movie that only aired once.
The story features Han Solo and Chewbacca going to Chewie's home planet for a wookie holiday as the Empire chases after them.
It's more like a variety show, however, with musical interludes from Jefferson Starship and guest appearances from Bea Arthur and Art Carney.
"It is closer to a Dr. Who LSD acid trip than Star Wars," Johnson said. "It's been tried to be destroyed and forgotten by fans and the makers themselves."
Johnson gives it no Death Stars. "Not even the Death Star blueprints," he said.
Fortunately, he says, the current standalone Star Wars film, Rogue One,is excellent.