Nov 14 2012

Analyzing the Options for the New Star Wars Trilogy

Published by at 12:00 pm under Editorials,Movies

Though the news is two weeks old at this point, there’s still no dampening my excitement at the prospect of a new Star Wars movie. Well, movies actually, as after Episode VII, Disney has promised a new film from the universe every two to three years.

But presumably we’ll start with a new trilogy, and as it is Episode VII, that should indicate that finally, at long last, we’ll be free of the tiresome prequel universe.

I hated the prequels. Not just because they were shitty (they were), but because it was telling a story we ALREADY KNEW THE ENDING TO. It’s bad enough when they make a Texas Chainsaw prequel and you KNOW there’s literally zero chance of them offing the bad guy, but to make a whole prequel TRILOGY for Star Wars so we can see a story where we already know the important pieces? Inane.

But not so with this new trilogy. There are a large number of ways this could play out, and I’ll discuss them here.

1. A Reboot

Well, sort of. What I mean by reboot is not remaking the original films. That would be idiotic and would never happen. Well, I won’t say “never” in the current landscape of Hollywood, but at least for a while. Rather the reboot I’m talking about here would be along the lines of Star Trek. The same cast of characters with younger actors, and the old actors making cameos here and there in a story set only a few years after the original trilogy ends.

I’ll say up front that I think this is a bad idea. While it worked for Kirk and Spock, it’s a much tougher sell to fans to recast Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, icons where if anyone else played them, it would probably just look like bad cosplay. Disney’s primary goal is here going to not upset fans, and this definitely would.

2. Draw from the Expanded Universe

Ever since the original films, there have been a series of expanded universe stories written by a lot of authors who knew how much potential in the universe. Some of the books were okay, others were pretty great, and needless to say, the further adventures of Luke, Han and Leia have in fact been covered already. The framework is there, all they need is a movie around it.

I’m mixed about this. There are some very good stories here to be sure, but it would take a lot to make them screen ready. And again, if the stories WERE featuring the original characters, they’d either have to be much older, or recast like mentioned above, and that runs you into some problems.

3. Start Entirely From Scratch

Get a good writer and a good director together and have them invent an entirely original new story within the Star Wars universe that takes place at least 40 years after Return of the Jedi. The old actors could return as themselves if need be, but the focus would be on a new cast of characters entirely.

Obviously the strength of this idea depends on who’s in charge. Disney knows they have to recruit the absolute best talent in the world to work on this new movie, however, so I don’t think it will be a challenge to convince a Cameron, Whedon, Nolan and so on to take on the project. This is my favorite idea of them all, and I think creating entirely new content within the universe is exactly what fans want. Changing the cannon of the books may be offensive to some, but most other than the die-hards probably wouldn’t mind so long as the story was good. Why should the universe be locked into stories that were written decades ago?

2015 seems ages away. We’ll already be starting the next presidential campaign! But even hearing NEWS of the upcoming film will be exciting, and we’ll begin to see which of these three options they choose. Are there any more I’m not thinking of?





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13 responses so far

  • Caleb K

    Agreed. Start from scratch. Put it after the events of the other movies. I would also like to see the main character not be a Jedi for a change. Don’t get me wrong I like Jedi and wouldn’t mind seeing one as a supporting character, but I don’t need a refresher course on the force. I would just like a good old fashioned space adventure.

    I’m optimistic about this and don’t think Disney will farm it, but only time will tell.

  • Michael

    Kind of agree. As a whole, the books lacked a quality control element. And since most people have no idea about the books, if something can be created outside of them, then do it. That’s how Star Wars was created anyways, by taking elements from multiple sources, not from a single book, and definitely not from a book called Star Wars.

  • Blue Sun

    They’re going to do 3.
    Michael Arndt (who wrote Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine, etc.) wrote outlines for the three movies (after consulting with Lucas) and should write the episode 7 script after whatever he’s doing now.

    source: I spend too much time on the net + official confirmation from the star wars site and video of Kennedy and Lucas part 2

    Doubt Whedon is doing it because:
    a) he’s got all that Marvel stuff going on
    and
    b) I think he would prefer to tell stories from his own universes (I’m still waiting for Dr H 2, Wastelanders and you-know-what)

    Same for Cameron.

    I still hope they get someone great and let him/her do his/her thing.

  • jediguy

    I have to agree with the third option as the best plan of action. I think the story in line from Legacy of the Force books series would be the best to take from. Make the old characters come back as themselves and have the story revolve around their offspring. That way you get the best of both worlds.

  • Lima Zulu

    I suggest more prequels (in the sense that they came before, not in the sense that they have anything to do with the movies). Like following the very first Force sensitives.

  • Gil

    I would love to watch a film about the formation of the jedi and later split of the sith. Then again it also sounds better in my head when I’m not trying to describe how it should work. I think Paul is right about the problem with origin/prequel stories is that you already know where the film has to end. My vote is for original story, original characters, mostly original locations.

  • TheFili

    I know there is no way this could happen, but I just had this beautiful vision of Disney knocking on another top-director’s door every couple of years and saying: “This is Star Wars. Here you go, have some fun with it.”
    I would love to see a Whedon-Star-Wars and a Nolan-Star-Wars and a Blomkamp-Star-Wars… oh, the nerd wars we could have!

  • J. Morales

    I’d have to agree with option #3. I mean, maybe draw some inspiration from the books, but no need to be stuck to them. Especially as, sadly, I’m sure a lot of the public is blissfully unaware of the books.

    Overall, this is definitely pretty exciting. Could be a horrendous bomb, but it’d be hard to do worse then the prequels. So, I’m maintaining optimism.

  • frikkenkids

    I’d say do an animated series of the Trawn trilogy. It was a brilliant series but would have to be shortened too much to film live. That gets the main characters from the original trilogy, who could be voiced by the original actors, in an excellent story.

    For live action film, make a prequel set thousands of years ago – perhaps around the time of the Knights of the Old Republic video games or go even older.

    I think a movie detailing the development of the light saber as some kind of ultimate weapon for the jedi could work.

  • Nick

    Do a movie from scratch that covers Boba Fett’s earlier years. Make it not a pg movie. Include fight scene between him and vadar.

  • Shiki

    Hmmm, difficult to see the future is…
    I hope they do cartoons to cover the books, or a TV series or something because there are really some great stories. But for the movies, they should do something way in the past or way in the future, an entire new story line. I think Episode: VII would be pushing it.

  • Sastef

    What about taking the Clone Wars and making it live action instead of animation…the story behind the clones is pretty interesting…

    Also what about a spin off on Boba Fett / Bounty Hunter back story?

  • lolo

    Just give SW to Nolan. He would know what to do successfully.

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