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Star Wars Joins “Coming of Age” Stories

Star Wars: Skeleton Crew
"Star Wars: Skeleton Crew" from

From epic battles to massive starships, “Star Wars” has captivated audiences with its unforgettable characters and groundbreaking concepts.  “Star Wars” changed movies with epic battles, massive starships, lightsabers, and the Force.  What we do not see much of is the focus on the classic “coming of age” tales that have captured audiences for decades.

“Skeleton Crew” will change that with its release later this year.  It’s time to look to the classics for inspiration and prepare for the journey ahead.  Who knows what wonders we might discover with a universe as vast and full of possibility as this one?  Let us embrace the spirit of adventure and prepare to be inspired once more.

Child-Focused Adventures

“Star Wars: Skeleton Crew” follows the footsteps of “The Goonies,” “Stranger Things,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “A Wrinkle in Time” (novel and film), and “Explorers” featuring child adventurers and coming-of-age themes. “The Goonies” and “E.T.” focus on friendship, adventure, and emotional connections that “Skeleton Crew” can adopt. “Stranger Things” has a unique approach with 80s nostalgia, supernatural elements, and dark undertones.  It paves a potential path for “Skeleton Crew” to create its distinctive voice.  Many characters known and loved exist in the same timeline as “Skeleton Crew.”  As “Stranger Things” stirred up nostalgia for the 80s, “Skeleton Crew” can do the same for Star Wars Fans by bringing in character cameos, such as Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian.

The Goonies

“The Goonies” from

“A Wrinkle in Time” displays the power of young characters in an interdimensional space and time adventure.  The planet Uriel comes to mind as something so beautiful yet bizarre and unique.  “Skeleton Crew” should capture this same sense of wonder and discovery while also emphasizing the unique and exciting aspects of the Star Wars universe.  Focusing on Star Wars’ uniqueness and classic tales, “Skeleton Crew” can create its niche in the ever-expanding universe of this Star Wars era.

Cosmic Journeys

“Lost in Space” (both the original and reboot), “Farscape,” “Stargate Universe,” “Red Dwarf,” and “Earth Star Voyager” all share common ground with “Star Wars: Skeleton Crew.”  They focus on characters roaming around space, and “Skeleton Crew” follows four kids on a lost-in-space adventure.  The first three shows in the list feature diverse casts of characters, families, or even alien fugitives exploring the cosmos.  “Lost in Space” and “Earth Star Voyager” highlight the teamwork needed for survival.

Red Dwarf

Red Dwarf 2012 from

The British sci-fi comedy “Red Dwarf” and “Star Trek: Lower Decks” brings humor to the challenges of zipping around in space. Although not a comedy, “Skeleton Crew” can also learn to make its mark from these shows.

"Star Trek: Lower Decks"

“Star Trek: Lower Decks” from

Lost in Space

I’m not saying there is a concern for originality; the Star Wars universe’s unique elements may provide opportunities for unique storytelling using these same tropes.  The creators of “Skeleton Crew” have hinted that while it stars kids, it is not necessarily a kid’s show.  This may help set it apart in an already crowded space.  To succeed, “Skeleton Crew” must emphasize Star Wars’ uniqueness and find its niche in lost-in-space narratives.

“Star Wars: Skeleton Crew” has potential in child-focused and lost-in-space adventures.  Drawing from classic stories, it can highlight Star Wars’ unique aspects.  It can include friendship, adventure, emotional connections, and more adult themes to find its unique voice.  It must balance honoring the genre’s history with offering a fresh and compelling story to succeed.

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