Now that The Rise of Skywalker has come and gone, the question remains of exactly where the overall Star Wars franchise will be going next. On Wednesday, fans got an awesome indication of what that will entail, with the news that Russian Doll's Leslye Headland will be writing and showrunning the franchise's fourth live-action series for Disney+. While details surrounding the series are relatively slim, reports are indicating that the series will be female-focused, have some sort of martial arts element, and take place at a separate point in time from the rest of the current slate of Star Wars shows. Fans instantly began to speculate about what that could entail -- and Doctor Aphra quickly became a pretty popular suggestion.
For the uninitiated, Chelli Lona Aphra is a young woman who operated during the Original Trilogy era, whose arc has become a fan-favorite part of Star Wars comics over the past few years, after being created by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca. Born in 24 BBY, Aphra developed a love for archaeology and galactic history, and began to search for artifacts alongside her assassin droids, 0-0-0 and BT-1. Shortly after the events of A New Hope, Aphra crossed paths with Darth Vader, and even worked alongside the Sith Lord for a stretch of time. Eventually, Aphra began to question just how much she agreed with Vader's ideology, and began hiding from him.
Aphra is a character that fans have been hoping to see in live-action in some capacity -- and we can't help but hope that she could somehow factor into Headland's upcoming series. For one thing, the years that Aphra was established to be active within the Star Wars universe fall outside of the timelines of the other three shows, with The Mandalorian set five years after Return of the Jedi, and the Obi-Wan Kenobi and Cassian Andor series set in the stretch of time between the Prequel and Original trilogies. It certainly doesn't seem impossible for Aphra's story to focus more heavily on the years during the original trilogy, or even (depending on her fate) many years after.
Aphra is also the kind of established Star Wars character who feels perfect for Headland's kind of storytelling. Anyone who has seen Russian Doll (or Headland's other work on films like Bachelorette and Sleeping With Other People) knows that Headland can craft a female protagonist who is flawed, sarcastic, morally-ambiguous, but relatable, and Aphra absolutely checks all of those boxes. Aphra is also one of the few confirmed lesbian characters in the Star Wars universe, and it would be incredibly fitting for her television debut to also be handled by an openly-lesbian showrunner.
Of course, there is also the dilemma of the rumored "martial arts element" of Headland's series, as Aphra is more likely to use a blaster in a fight. But that report could easily be a descriptor for other characters within the series, the same way that The Mandalorian incorporates different types of fighting styles, while its titular character is still primarily a gunslinger.0comments
Let's be honest -- we will watch absolutely anything that Headland brings to the Star Wars universe, whether it's a completely new idea or a mix of established canon. But if there ever was a perfect time and set of circumstances for Doctor Aphra to make her live-action debut, it's now.
Do you want Doctor Aphra to appear in the upcoming live-action Star Wars series? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!