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?