Monday Morning Question: What To Do With Star Wars Episode VII?

As noted, I heard about new Star Wars and I was originally a little bit “meh.” That is, until I realized that the new film is going to be coming into my son’s life at around the same time that the original film did for me. Suddenly I envisioned some kind of crazy father-son generational sharing thing where we can both high-five over our own respective trilogies and, I dunno, frown at that weird “prequel” trilogy that keeps hanging out in the corner and throwing up in a potted plant. Right? Right. HA HA HA STUPID JAR-JAR HIGH-FIVE, SON.

Anyway.

So. Disney has the films. Michael Arndt is writing.

And, until proven otherwise, J.J. Abrams is directing.

This is not a post about J.J. Abrams directing. (For the record, I think it’s a good fit. He appreciates the magic and mystery of storytelling, and to me any weakness he may have had has leaned toward the script side of things, and that shouldn’t a problem here.)

What I want to talk about is what you or I would do with the new Star Wars film. A pontification, if you will, of what direction to send the new films. This is always dangerous territory because you set up expectations and then when a thing doesn’t meet your needlessly elevated expectations, you get mad (“I bought this dog but I wanted a duck, ZERO STARS”).

Still, fuck it. I am geek, hear me yawp.

Here’s what I’d do with the new Star Wars films, should anybody let me near them.

• The films must continue the generational advancement of the Skywalker clan. Which means: Luke or Leia’s gotta have kids and this film has to be about one or several of them.

• Let’s see a female protagonist all up in here. A Skywalker daughter.

• Doubly interesting if it’s Leia’s daughter. Luke more in the background. Hey, why not?

• Since we’re getting all progressive up in here, I think it’s time to banish the racist miasma that hangs over the films (particularly from the prequels) and cut all the white-washing. White-washing is a big thing in film (“Hey, that character’s black but in the film we can make them white for no other reason except we’re all white and yay whiteys!”), and if Star Wars proudly does no such thing, maybe it’ll lead by example.

• Fuck politics. Listen, I give the prequels credit for actually being unusually on-point in terms of our own political situation here in the country, particularly post 9-11. Good job. Except, it was really, really boring. Listen, politics make for a great Extended Universe thing. I’ll read your Star Wars novel/comic/pamphlet about galactic politics (okay I won’t), but in the films? Cut it out.

• Let’s make it about adventure. The original trilogy has a great sense of adventure to it — dire, suspenseful adventure, but adventure. The same kind of adventure you feel in the Indiana Jones movies. The kind you don’t feel in the prequels. I want that back. Like, the first trilogy has the vibe of a D&D group coming together — cleric, rogue, paladin, whatever. MORE OF THIS PLEASE.

• No Mara Jade. Actually, let’s ditch the Zahn prequels. I love them. I do. But, yeah, no.

• Fuck that green-screen. Okay, listen, I’m not an idiot: while I think the new Evil Dead film should be given big bloody high-fives for (apparently) filming without any CGI at all, I know in a film like Star Wars you’re can’t escape CGI. But what’s on film is nearly always more effective when the CGI compliments a real set with real objects and real people. No more “actor talking to a tennis ball on a stick that will eventually be replaced with some jabbering alien.”

• Plus, you’ve seen that “photos of impossible places” post, right? Pick three of these places, and film some awesome shit there. You don’t need to invent whole new places with CGI. The real world is full of alien landscapes. Tatooine = Tunisia, remember?

• Also, the style shouldn’t be all glitzy-shiny. Keep the trashed-junk motif of the first three. It felt more real. You can polish it up a little, but it’s been a generation — still okay to showcase a galaxy climbing out of the hole dug by an oppressive Empire.

• Minimal Jedi. The original trilogy highlights the power of the Jedi by minimizing their presence — hell, Anakin Skywalker really did “balance the Force,” because  he basically left the world with two light-side dudes and two dark-side dudes. Then the prequels come along and it’s like EEEE JEDIGASM but before too long it just looks like a bunch of cosplayers running around with glowy boners. Let’s not fast-forward to a time where suddenly it’s Jedi-palooza.

• Write it like a young adult story. Coming of age, whatever. Teens with teen problems.

• I don’t see how you can’t have the Sith as the enemy in some capacity — Sith and the Dark Side are inescapable. But what else? Is this about a resurgent Empire? I feel like we’ve been there, done that. They’re not going to be building a third goddamn Death Star, I mean, c’mon. So, who’s the enemy? What’s the conflict? Emperor’s dead. Vader’s dead. Death Star went kaflooey. The Empire felt pretty gone to me. But evil never dies. The Dark Side remains. So…

• To go back to the teens thing — value in a Jedi Academy story? In the Harry Potter mode? The drama of young Jedi soon compounded by a sinister conspiracy?

• If anyone in the film says “Midichlorians,” I’ll karate kick a theater usher. That poor guy.

• You need all the old actors and characters, but keep all but one to the sidelines. One of them can serve in an Obi-Wan like capacity — the old mentor, Gandalf coming into the world to help save it. The obvious choice is Luke, but damn if I don’t wanna see a cantankerous Han Solo fill that role, instead. But but but — if Luke is sidelined and this is about Leia’s kids then Luke can be the “crazy uncle,” ala Ben Kenobi. Hmm.

So, with all that said –

What would you want to see in the new films?

What would you do, if you were in charge?

53 comments

  • I’d do Thrawn. The whole original Timothy Zahn trilogy. *STARE*

    But, yeah, I’m getting outvoted by reality. So what I’d try to do is minimize Vader and the Skywalkers in favor of a story about, you know, War in the Stars. Come up with a conflict that’s bigger than any one person, and maybe use the kids (or let’s face it, grandkids) of the old main cast as viewpoint characters without making it all about them. No magical destiny to bring balance to the Force, no being awesome just because your parents were awesome. A story about people caught up in a war who can be heroes if they try REALLY HARD, but it’s not looking too likely.

    (Honestly I’ve spent more time thinking about how I’d do a Star Wars TV series targeted for prime time. Just for the WHAM episode mid-season where the spunky Jedi apprentice everyone’s fallen in love with turns out to be the big bad Sith Lord in disguise. And it’d be Felicia Day, because I think there’s a nice vein of evil under that sweet, awkward exterior. I should probably go to bed…)

  • I would do a threat from an alien race outside the New Galactic Republic (I know the Extended Universe has this to an extent but I haven’t kept up with all that so sue me.). It being an Abrams film, he’ll probably kill someone off in the opening minutes of the film, so I’d kill either Han and Chewie or Luke on an ambassador mission to set up the menace of this other civilization. They should go out heroes if thay happens, but still, this is how Abrams starts movies. i picture the Millenium Falcon blown out of the sky by a fleet of warships.

    We would have a Sith working secretly from inside the Republic to help the Aliens conquer. (I’d love it so much if the Sith played the “my point of view is oppressed by the government” card.) The story would focus on the young Skywalker. (Or even Skywalkers…if there are more than one I’d say make them cousins. Luke’s daughter and Leia’s daughter, though Hollywood would probably prefer a boy and a girl.) The movie would be about finding the Sith mole and preventing the alien threat from gaining a foothold in Republic territory. This would totally set the franchise up for sequels, as the threat of this alien civilization wouldn’t just go away with one decisive victory. And the aliens need to be as brutal as Darth Vadar was in the first Star Wars.

  • I’d like to see the story of Han and Leias kids come in. Jaina and Jancen Solo. Though David above also said another very good portion of the Star Wars EU; the Thrawn trilogies.

  • I would choose the deliberate genocide of the Jedi and Sith.

    What? That’s right. The Jedi and Sith must be exterminated.

    At least, that will be the position of the newly restored Republic. It was their faith in the Jedi that allowed their downfall. It was the rise of powerful Sith lords that crushed them. Without them, the Republic would have continued. Its politics might have been corrupt, but at least they had a political voice rather than the force choke of Palpatine and Vader. Wouldn’t they be better off with these mutants out of the picture?

    But doesn’t that make our heroes from the original trilogy (especially Luke and Leia) the bad guys? No, in a search for scapegoats and revenge, the Republic has become insane and evil. The Republic is now the enemy, casting out or heroes and hunting them down along with their children. Even if we throw midichlorians out the window, it is well known from the first films that the Force runs strong in Luke’s family. Throw in the children, siblings, and cousins of the old Jedi order, and you have a genetic pool of would-be Force-users who will be on the run.

    Thus, our heroes are thrown back into the role of the underdog. They are stripped of many of their allies. They have to survive, form their own resistance for mutual support, and train a new generation of Jedi in secret. Then, by the time the third film comes along, a new danger will threaten the Republic, and these Jedi, old and new, will have to step up and become the guardians of the Republic once again.

    It is a tale of revenge vs. redemption.

  • “They’re not going to be building a third goddamn Death Star, I mean, c’mon.” Isn’t the third time a charm? ;)

    I would hate to see Han sidelined. It was his character (or archetype) that I missed in the prequel. He was the grit and grizzle of series (along with Chewy). In a sense, he kept it real. Ben was the “what had been,” Luke was the “what could be,” Vader was the catalyst that made Luke what he became, but Han was the “everyman.” He was us, stuck in the middle of a big nasty war that he didn’t want anything to do with, at first. Then he realized he had to choose a side. We need that back. We need that everyman in there to show us that regardless of everything going on around us, we have a choice.

    Oh, and Billy Dee Williams. Gotta have him back. Gotta have Lando.

  • No Mara Jade?! Are you nuts?!

    I would like to see them take the whole Mara/Luke and Leia/Han with their kids and do something other than YV stuff with them.

    And for godsakes, write of Chewy and don’t replace him with another idiotic alien sidekick.

  • I’m a big fan of the expanded universe, I really am. That said, I don’t think the movies have to necessarily cater to those books and that world (though it would be good for them to do so.)

    I think I would like, like you, to have the focus on a new generation. Luke’s son Ben may be a bit too far out, but Han and Leia’s kids (Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin) could be a good fight. For simplicity’s sake let’s focus on Jacen and Jaina. Now we have someone for both the boys and the girls. Both are force sensitive but Jacen is a bit more philosophical and likes animals while Jaina takes a lot more from Han with the piloting and mechanics. It makes them a good team.

    Then we need a villain. The Imperial Remnant works here. Let’s have a movement for the Empire (now the rebellion) to take back the galaxy. The descendants of the previous generation’s heroes are now faced with the inverse situation their parents fought through. Luke, Leia, and Han are crippled by their new positions of power in the universe (Luke with a new Jedi Academy, Leia and Han with politics) which leaves the door open for the new generation to be the heroes. Steal something like the Shadow Academy from the Young Jedi Knights books and now the Empire has a source of force wielding people of their own for the requisite light saber fights.

    I agree we keep the Jedi small. They should be returning but still rare. Jacen, Jaina, Luke and maybe a few cameos should be all we get/need for the good guys. A few bad guys (maybe taking the reigns of the movement as they fall under the sway of the dark side. A few jedi for both sides, and then focus on the adventure and the heroics with a few cameos for the fan favorites that show case show they “still got it” but otherwise are passing the torch.

  • Initially I read this not because I’m interested in the Star Wars saga, but just to read a fun rant this morning (which it was). But the more I read, the more I found myself agreeing with what you were saying about the failings of the last trilogy. I was a kid when I saw the first trilogy and I thought they were great, but I couldn’t sit through the second set – they were, well… boring. Yeah, they had a few chase scenes, some shoot outs, and a fight between two jedi and a sith (which looks great until you watch it in slow-mo). Despite the obvious sore thumb of Jar Jar, I just figured that it was a kid POV vs. adult POV, but it wasn’t.

    Since they’ve established a following of the Anakin line, they should continue that – maybe not using the kids of Luke and Leia, but their grand-kids, so there’s more of a disconnect between the generations. For the love of (insert deity of your choice), no more over-the-top comedy relief. Make their world look lived in, like the original trilogy or, better yet, the Firefly world. Straight out of the factory backdrops don’t make a convincing setting. Drop the scientific explanation of the force, and make the jedi scarce – like the elite, legendary group they were supposed to be – not so populated that you couldn’t ride a bantha without running over one (which is what the last trilogy felt like). Maybe a plague….

  • For me, the old movies had that feeling of the Batman show from the 60s. They were campy, fun, eclectic and, above all, timeless. They were a bedtime story that took place in space.

    Now, the prequel tried to be serious. It tried to be modern, deep, packed with CGI and OMG it was so boring. It was campy alright (spoiler alert: Anakin’s mother is raped to death and so he turns to the dark side and kills a bunch of kids and so Natalie Portman dies of a broken heart) but just not the kind of campiness we all loved in the first ones.

    For me, it’s a really easy thing. The prequel films forgot they were a bedtime story that took place in space. I hope the ones to come don’t forget that.

    Sebastian Defeo
    http://www.facebook.com/SebastianDefeoPOP

  • I just want it to be this:

    “• Let’s make it about adventure. The original trilogy has a great sense of adventure to it — dire, suspenseful adventure, but adventure. The same kind of adventure you feel in the Indiana Jones movies. The kind you don’t feel in the prequels. I want that back. Like, the first trilogy has the vibe of a D&D group coming together — cleric, rogue, paladin, whatever. MORE OF THIS PLEASE.”

  • There was a cool piece on NPR the other day on how America was once the best rebel fighting force ever assembled to fight off the British but once we got into power we forgot how to fight like rebels and now we keep making the same stupid mistakes over and over while trying to fight these global insurgencies. Well in Star Wars, the rebels are now the power and the Empire is a fractured group of insurgencies. I think you can do a great adventure story with these kind of insurgent nutjobs as villains. I’d love to see a treasure quest type story almost like National Treasure.

  • OK I am gonna be the blasphemer. Fuck the Skywalkers/Solos. Set the film a few centuries in the future, get the church out of (overt) politics, maybe have some holocrystal recordings as a way of using with the orig cast. Have the Jedi/Sith be in a moment of actual unity against danger X ( the Hutts & related, trying to destroy/minimize the organizations in Politics because evolution is now making the Huttese vulnerable to the Force.)

  • The possibilities (as witness the expanded universe) are endless.

    Have children of Leia and Han (and maybe Luke and xxx) dealing with the remnants of the Galactic Empire and the Sith. There’s a lot of stuff lying around, and a lot of problems. You could even do a “War of 1812″ approach and have a splinter revanchist faction of the old Empire seeking to restore the old order. Space Battles. Adventures on strange planets! Lots of aliens! Romance!

  • I like the ‘next generation’ idea — because well, it’s BEEN a generation, and that way you can have at least one of the original cast around and they’ll look properly aged. We could even skip ahead more than one generation. Whatever is necessary to make the story work.

    But this kind of adventure story works best on the fringe of society — if there’s a bright center to the galaxy and the new Republic, let’s start this story on the planet it’s furthest from. (If Firefly proved nothing else, it showed where the best adventure and strongest stories could be found — on the frontier, among people with few resources but a lot of determination.)

  • Realistically (Ha!) the “villains” should be the Jedi, or at least perceived that way by the people at large.

    They’re at the point of “Gee thanks for saving our collective behinds, but you’re too powerful to be “really” good. What if you decide to turn on us like Palpatine did?”

    The next movie “should” feature Han and Leia’s kidlets, but they should be growing up in a world where those who can use the force are viewed with suspicion, maybe even incarcerated or eliminated.

  • I’d love to see the next film center around Jaina Solo. She’s an ace pilot and a Jedi. You get all the elements that you love about the series. You could get into the action while she’s flying some dicey training missions with Wedge Antilles and Rogue Squadron. Then you witness her perilous journey to avoid dark temptation under the tutelage of her Uncle Luke and Aunt Mara. The protaganist could be the Empirial Remnant…or even the Yuuzhan Vong. All while dealing and competing with her brilliant and brooding brother Jacen.

    While I would hate for them to break the EU canon and rip up the Young Jedi and X-Wing series…it would be a small price to pay to see an amazing film.

  • I like to see two of your ideas combined: a daughter of Leia and Han at a Jedi Academy that is attempting to stave off Sith influences. A Harry Potter vs Slitherin approach. There is a lot that could be done with Luke attempting to build a new Jedi academy, one that has few connections to the past – no continuity of traditions and few trained faculty. Go back and make the Jedi more Shaolin and less of an institution with massive resources and credibility.

    • I’m not going to win any friends with this, but I’d like to see something NEW. Forget the novels, forget the Skywalkers, write something wholly original. Sure, you’re going to have to tie it to the original films with some connection to the original heros who took down the empire. But…it’s a New Republic of literally thousands of worlds! Why should one family dominate the good parts? Aren’t there OTHER heros out there? What about focusing on the Antilles clan?

      I know the hardcore fans want the novel characters, but the rest of us won’t care one way or the other. Interpreting the huge amount of material covered in the books will make fans of the novels PO’d when anything gets cut or altered. I really would hate to have to listen to another decade if Star Wars fans griping about how Thrawn didn’t have the right color if costuming or how they fucked up the novels because Jaina didn’t take that messy space dump until AFTER the trip to the Taco planet. Start fresh.

      I also love the idea of keeping a minimal amount of the politics. It’s a time of new beginnings, but without at least broad brush politics, how could the menace if the empire or the plucky righteousness of the rebellion have any place in the story. Also, some political shenanigans let’s the insidious nature of the dark side shine! Sure, they’re saber-wielding, lightning-throwing bad asses, but without the sneaky, dishonorable infiltrators they become repetitive boss fights. The threat of one well-placed Sith is scarier than a drop ship full of them assaulting a location.

      • I’m one of those fanboys that loves the EU and all of the books..but doesn’t cry when things get changed. Saying that…I can definitely agree with you. I absolutely love the Antilles idea…but the X-Wing series was centered around Wedge and his wife, Iella (and later his daughters Syal and Myri). You’ll get fanboy rage for messing with that dynamic, too. You’re going to get rage no matter what area of the universe you mess with…so you might as well pick one and wait for the wall of flames.

  • Assuming you keep it in the relative time line of the original IV-V-VI movies, I say take a stab at setting VII say 15 to 20 years after the Battle of Endor. Luke is rebuilding and overseeing the new Jedi Academy. Leia and Han are overseeing the rebuilding of the Galactic Senate. So they are in the picture, but the story isn’t about them, and perhaps they are only involved in a peripheral sense to get the ball rolling and might not even have any screen time in VIII and IX. Definitely focus on kids, who in this case could be high school / college age, so fairly capable in their own right, but not overpowering and know everything. Definitely do not fall back on the “Oh no this is serious and over our heads, lets call dad and uncle Luke to get us out of it”. There could still be pockets of Imperials out there fighting against the Rebels, and that could be the starting point to get us back into the universe and the time, Jedi and Rebels tracking down and breaking up these cells of Imperials still fighting, which begin to lead to clues of a bigger alien threat to our good guys that seem to be supporting and supplying the Imperials, which could end Ep VII with a reveal of the threat. VIII and IX would be exploring and identifying who this big alien threat is, leading to a ramp up of the Republic military forces and repelling a galactic invasion.

  • Hmm…. Speculation, speculation!!! I think we have to figure out whether or not is going to try and follow the Expanded Universe… If it is, then I can think of three different EU series that I would enjoy: The Thrawn trilogy, The New Jedi Order, or Legacy of the Force. Each one offers quite a bit of storyline and a lot of space battles! The Thrawn Trilogy probably won’t go because it is still too soon after Return of the Jedi and I think putting the focus on younger Skywalker/Solo generations would be the smart way to go.

    Now, I could also see them going in a different direction and not basing the new movies of the Expanded Universe. This, I think, can be done with having Abrams onboard. If they do that, then definitely would be good for them to focus on later generations.. Especially if they have to fight off an invading alien race. You could definitely make three movies out of that. :)

    I think keeping the influences of The Force as at least a part of the storyline is important because it adds that level of “myth”… Which is something I love about Star Wars.

    And yes, having iconic presences like Han, Leia, Luke and Chewie would definitely be an added bonus.

    So that is my view(s). :)

    P.S.- I think they need to make a pre-prequel. Darth Bane FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Some of my students didn’t believe the Battle of Endor space combat wasn’t CG. I had to show them the making of documentary to get them to believe me. It *still* holds up.

    I’m pretty sure we’re not going to get the return of any of the principal actors, except perhaps in brief “pass the torch” cameos – Harrison Ford has openly and repeatedly discussed his lack of interest in ever being Han Solo again, while Mark Hamil and Carrie Fisher have remained very distant as well. With the amount of money Disney can throw around, I wouldn’t say it’s impossible to get a lot of the original cast back on board (even Ford), but in a starring capacity? Seems very unlikely.

    Which I think is a good thing. As you said, I’m done with those stories. Those characters have reached the end of their tale. It’s been discussed elsewhere in greater detail by brighter minds than mine, but one of the issues I have with the prequels – and some of the existing property in general – is that it clings so slavishly to the original series. Everything is viewed through that lens, and it seems like the creators feel that unless we can connect it back to the original films we’ll lose interest. When in actuality it takes the sprawling, endlessly inventive universe that was part of the appeal of the original series and makes it feel smaller and smaller.

    As much as I love me some Grand Admiral Thrawn … let’s see something new. Let’s not mine the extended universe to try and make a few purists happy. Give me a fun, exciting adventure.

  • I love these ideas! I’d particularly love to see a female lead, and the idea of Han Solo being thrust into the Ben Kenobi sort of role is too hilarious for words. Harrison Ford’s even old enough now that he’d still look the part ;)

    It’s interesting to note that there are actually nine books, and as a child I remember my dad telling me that Lucas originally wanted to create all nine. I’d love to find the books and do a comparison when the movies come out.

  • 30 years on…. the empire has pretty well crushed the rebellion…. the last jedi are holed up in caves on some desert planet with some sand people fighting an insurgent war against stormtroopers who are only sent to the planet in small numbers so the emperor can maintain the war footing and keep people afraid. Every so often some bobafett lookalike shoots up some locals for fun or because some Hutt has some commercial contract for local raw materials he wants better terms on… It ends with young skywalker being taken out by a commando squad of 6 aliens that look like seals – lead by the guy who plays sheldon from big bang theory. Bazzzzinga

  • I’ve never read any of tie-ins, so my comments ignore the cannon.

    Han & Leia kids – a daughter like her father a promising pilot but poor student, and a brilliant, but bookwormish son.

    Han & Leia – estranged, how else could it be. She is born for politics and leadership and he was born for bars and illegal activity. Only the danger of war brought them together. She is heavily involved in building a republic and he is on another planet under another name selling and modifying spaceship for smugglers w/ Chewy.

    Jedi/Sith – who would let these guys be around after all the warfare? They bear the brunt of the blame and become a small underground religeon, facing persecution everywhere.

    Luke – He is a natural Jedi, but not a teacher, and he is emotionally damaged. He spends his time trying to find surviving Jedi or rooting out and exterminating Sith. He is a scary, powerful avenging angel.

    Repblic passes anti Jedi laws just about the time Han & Leia’s kids exhibit their powers. They are to be put into a camp as a result. Leia swallows some pride and calls on Han get them to safety. Guest appearance by Luke, ending with the establishment of a secret Jedi colony. Daughter apprentices with Luke, while son unlocks Yoda’s secret archive and works to establish the religeon.

    Other things we learn:
    After wieghing the options, Coruscant decides to poison all the waters on the planet rather than live with the Gunguns. Nobody regrets this genocide.

    After Ewok pelts become a big business their poplation reaches extinction levels. They only exist at pets on the Wookie home world. The Wookie-minster Ewok show is not to be missed.

    Humans stop moisture-farming after realizing it’s just Hutt sponsored share cropping.

    An spaceship engineering student wonders aloud in class why space fighters have wings. He get re assigned to the moisture farming department.

    An R2 unit gets corrupted by a Sith. First words are “exterminate!”

  • What if some ewoks were to discover a Sith holocron, effectively turning them into lightsaber-toting grimlins who invade Coruscant and the Jedi Academy is charged with exterminating the teddy bears from hell?

  • No extended universe ideas at all. Nobody in the real world cares about the novels. SORRY BUT IT’S TRUE.

    Of course the film would be about Leia and Han’s child; the Star Wars films are, really, The Skywalker Saga. Said child is learning to be a Jedi. Said child is drawn to the Dark Side and travels to Tattooine or Dagobah or somewhere… Luke has been missing for years for some reason. Evil Sith reappear and OH NO IT’S DARTH VADER. How can that be??? “Join me!” Defeat the Sith for now with the help of… Luke! who suddenly reappears. Ciffhanger for the next movie when we see that “Vader” has survived.

  • Ewoks. We know they’re willing to eat other sapients because that’s what they were going to do with Luke, Han and Chewie before Luke convinced them 3P0 was a god. (And what was up with all those newly-empty stormtrooper helmets during the feast at the end of Jedi, and what were they eating at the celebration, hmmmm?) We know they have access to spaceships now, thanks to the Rebellion (poor fools) and we know they adapt rapidly to new technology (we see one master the piloting of a speeder bike in seconds of trial-and-error). We know they have to leave their homeworld because (as many of my fellow nerds have noted across the Internets) the explosion of a massive fusion-powered (that’s no) moon-sized object in low orbit around their world cannot possibly be good for the environment (indeed, their homeworld’s ecology is almost certainly roasted, toasted, and pounded to a pulp by irradiated debris raining down from the heavens).

    We’re not talking diaspora, we’re talking jihad; we’re talking the Dune sequels with teddy bears. Wicket’s name is a killing word.

    Sure, I’m being facetious. But, y’know, the prequels and Special Editions kinda killed me a little inside. The original Star Wars was my favorite movie of all time for several decades, and now I don’t even know anymore. And since I don’t get to vote for “no sequel, just let it rest”, I might as well vote for fanatical, killer Ewoks turning the galaxy red with the blood of their prey.

  • I think it would be interesting if they told the story of Luke and/or Leia’s children, while maybe paralleling it with another prequel. Theoretically they could just go one making back stories forever. But I am really interested to see how this will turn out.

  • Maybe if you write them, Chuck … Honestly, though, the hubs and I had this conversation right after our son was born. Stinky and Stinkarella will only get the original trilogy from us. If they want explore the rest of the universe on their own, they can do so to their hearts content, but in this house, it’s IV, V, VI, period, end of story.
    And yes, I am a hypocrite because I’m all over the Star TREK reboot. And I am totally fine with that.

  • The first place my brain went was the Thrawn trilogy, glad to see I wasn’t the only one. >_>

    Having said that, Skywalker kids seems to be the inevitable way to go (totally agree it should be a girl!), and I doubt they’ll dive heavily into EU, if at all. I do think that the Republic dealing with the splinters of the Empire is the way to go, though, and I’d love to see an intellectual-type military genius like Thrawn, or better yet, someone who isn’t a callous, world-destroying jerk like pretty much everyone we see in the Empire.

    What kind of setting they chose for this would also play a HUGE part of this – I can certainly see the ‘flaw’ of the prequels being that they’re smooth and modern, politicized, and full of Jedi, but at the same time I feel like it was a necessary flaw because that’s the way the backstory was established before the prequels were ever put to paper. You can’t tell the story of how the Senate collapsed and the Emperor rose to power without, well, the Senate and the Emperor. (I do recall someone a while back suggesting the prequel should have been restructured with Obi-Wan as the main character, with a possible love triangle between him and Padme and Anakin, working his side of the story instead, which I thought was a fabulous idea and would have possibly addressed some of those issues.)

    I would also cry with joy if Disney decided to do a spin-off TV series a la the Rogue Squadron books – part of what made those so good (the Wraith Squadron pair in particular, which are my favorite ones out of the entire EU) was that the characters WEREN’T Big Damn Heroes at the central conflict, but a piece of the puzzle that nonetheless did amazing things, all while dealing with ordinary issues on top of it. It would capture that Solo-ish ordinary guy vibe.

  • Personally I think part of the awesomeness of the originals was that they weren’t known. You have enough cannon out there now to choke a herd of horses. To recapture the nostalgia I agree with the no green screen comment but think that its got to be a whole new story with just tenious connections to the previous six. Maybe the academy would be best with only cameos by the old cast and glimpses of skywalker and solo children. This is being done by disney so that would fit their mould well I think. Although they probably wont sideline the main bloodline like that.

  • Does anyone recall the great line from Spaceballs? Lone Starr: I wonder, will we ever see each other again? Yogurt: Who knows? God willing, we’ll all meet again in Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money. For what it’s worth, I heard the ice clink in my rock glass when I read, “The drama of young Jedi soon compounded by a sinister conspiracy.” My vibe says go with that.

  • EWOKS! Duh.

    Actually Star Wars was a big deal for me as a kid and I just want my kids to experience something as cool for them as the original was for me. As much as Id Luke to see Han and Luke and Leia, my sense is their time is over. Keep C3PO and R2D2 and send them out in a new adventure.

  • Yes! Screw politics. Give us an ADVENTURE, dammit. Another strong female character. Do you know how *awesome* it was for me, a girl born in the 70s, to see a movie with a character like Leia? I wanted to be Leia when I grew up.

    Or Wonder Woman.

    And, I do miss the “trashed junk” motif as well. Bring that back!

    If Michael Arndt needs any Star Wars advice, I’ll be in my invisible jet.

  • New characters in a completely new story…that happens to be in the same universe during the time of the Star Wars and uses similar robots, clothes, spaceships, etc. as the original movie. I personally hate generational stories. Particularly if I love the original characters (as I do in this case). I don’t want to watch a Star Wars movie about The Children of the original cast getting it on or pretending to be heroes because they’re never going to outshine their parents saving the known bloody universe from Darth Vader and the Emperor! if you try to invent a larger threat it becomes ludicrous. In a vast war torn galaxy there must be innumerable characters having interesting-death defying adventures.

    They should reuse the various species inhabiting the original Star Wars galaxy and give us a new story. Preferably with minimal CGI. When I watch movies with a lot of CGI, I sit there thinking…and that’s all done on a computer…instead of being sucked into the show. We need some movie magic…a magical script that hasn’t had some know-it-all board-room bean-counting tyrant adding his crappy unoriginal ideas…magical settings which as you pointed out are abundant on earth…magical acting…done by casting people who can actually act (something Lucas failed to accomplish with his three vomitic pre-quels)…magical costumes…done by keeping them simple and preferably elegant. Those storm troopers outfits are sexy and scary! And last but not least, some magical directing of all technical aspects. I won’t hold my breath.

  • A little late to the party, but this is a question I’ve had on my mind for years…cause I’ve always wanted to create a new Star Wars film.

    I agree with a lot of what you said, Chuck. In fact, probably the only big change I would make in your list, but I know it’s probably a risk, would be to hell with the damn Skywalkers.

    I think that story is done. If it were in my hands, I’d set the movies like in either a parallel universe or in the distant future after VI.

    I would have it that there was a war going on and Sith had rebuilt itself, but its not as it used to be. It’s more just an army of thugs and corrupt Jedis. And there’s no Sith Master….at least not at first.

    I strongly agree on your points of a female protagonist, written more YA and make it more adventure-y.

    But I’d sort of have as much Jedi’s as the prequels, the Order having been rebuilt, but just use them better.

    I’d have three main characters, three Jedi Knights, two of them women (I was gonna make them all girls, but realized making at least one of them a boy without making him more important than the others was much better). And I’d make them insanely powerful. I’d focus more on the Jedi’s powers much, much more than the previous films have used.

    I’d keep the story personal. The three of them, growing up, at the academy, their issues with each other and the people around them, wanting freedom, etc. I’d put them on a journey, make them outcasts. And somehow, despite the fact they’re powerful, make it so it’s not an easy out, not when both the Jedi Order and the Sith are after them.

    I wouldn’t change the CGI…cause I kind of like it. I do think its better when its more rugged, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love the graphics. But I’d focus more on the story, on the characters, make them real, make us care about them.

    Also, I’d make key characters minorities. One of the three main characters be hispanic or indian, that sort of dark skin tone but not black. And then make a separate extremely important to the entire plot be a little black girl. …It makes more sense if I explained the entire plot. But I’m not gonna do that here.

    So there. That’s more or less what I’d do, if I could write a Star Wars sequel.

  • There is no New Republic. That’s extended universe stuff. Leave it in the dumpster. Run the storyline ahead a century or 150 years so that we’re dealing with the descendants of the characters from episodes 4 5 6 but far enough removed that they are all dead. After the death of the emperor and Vader the Empire started squabbling with itself to see who would rule it and the Rebellion fell apart without an enemy to unite against. The Galaxy devolved into thousands of pocket kingdoms, most run by whoever could hold a fleet together long enough to drop the hammer.

    The only thing everyone agrees on is that the empire and the mess the galaxy is in was caused by the Jedi. Light or Dark you’re wanted. Dead.

    The main character is a descendant of Han and Leia is trained in using the Force but doesn’t show it. She just wants to live her life quietly with her extended family and make a credit or two. And fly. She loves to fly.

    Everything’s great until some clan of someone the Skywalker’s and/or the Solo’s killed in the war finds them and kills everyone but our protagonist. Then we get a revenge quest. She can even dig the Falcon out of mothballs if she wants to. She can be light, dark, whatever. More like Han if he could use the force.

    But it starts small and winds its way up to grand, huge, epic battles and space dogfights and I’m happy.

  • I’m a weird one, I guess–I’ve never read any “expanded universe”, unless “Splinter in the Mind’s Eye” back in the early 80s counts.

    If the nine movies are connected in a long, looping rainbow of a story arc, then it gets weird. Let’s face it–Return of the Jedi is the denoument. Essentially, the end. The hero has returned to the real world, the villain has been redeemed, the story…ends.

    But. SO.

    That means the next trilogy is a new chapter altogether, or rather a new *story* altogether. If it’s to have the magic of the middle trilogy, then there’s got to be clear hero with a clear problem (not that “galactic politics” bullshit that scrolls up the screen in the newest trilogy). A Hero, a Problem. Some call to action (ahem, not a pod race).

    I’d like to see a quieter, inner story about a youngish hero/heroine becoming a Jedi. I don’t mean the double-fisted-two-ended-Wushu-flip-leaping bullshit of the newest trilogy, but a Samurai-like struggle to become a Jedi, see him or her take the Path. And dodge the planet-sized obstacles of Sith interference and lack of mentors.

    But if Luke was the last Jedi–then who else is there to teach the Path to future Jedi except him? There ain’t no books lying around. Oh wait–the Jedi Temple. Hmm.

    And please please please oh god please no Hayden Christiansen thank you very much.

  • Why don’t you have EPISODES VII to IX be some kind of remake of the first trilogy? Because that is what your suggestions are . . . a remake and nothing else. Talk about lack of originality.

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