“I’ve left pretty explicit instructions for there not to be any more features. There will definitely be no Episodes VII–IX. That’s because there isn’t any story. I mean, I never thought of anything. And now there have been novels about the events after Episode VI, which isn’t at all what I would have done with it. The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn’t come back to life, the Emperor doesn’t get cloned and Luke doesn’t get married…” – George Lucas, Total Film, May 2008.
As anyone who has tracked his statements about his plans for the Star Wars franchise knows, George Lucas liked to change his mind about the stories he wanted to tell in his blockbuster universe. But with the sale of the franchise and Lucasfilm to Disney and the all-but-confirmed appointment of J. J. Abrams as the director for at least the first installment of the new upcoming trilogy has us turning our minds as to our hopes for and what we would like to see in the new films.
RESPECT THE EXPANDED UNIVERSE: For decades, George Lucas and Lucasfilm told Star Wars fans that there would be no on screen continuation of Luke, Han and Leia’s stories. However, all was not lost because their universe lived on in hundreds of novels, comic book, video and role-playing games, cartoons and toys, most of which was in the official Star Wars canon (meaning Lucasfilm told fans that these auxiliary forms of Star Wars entertainment officially continued the story of the films).
Now, it would be impossible to fit in the multiple decades worth of expanded universe text into a two or three hour movie. But you have to honor it in the new films. Fans spent millions of dollars on this ephemera over the years on the promise that it was an official part of the Star Wars universe. To ignore it would be a slap in the face to every Star Wars fan who religiously bought the books and comics. What I’m essentially saying is, you don’t have to write Mara Jade into the new films, but don’t write anything that takes her out of the universe either. Don’t contradict the expanded universe, and you should be fine. – William Gatevackes
HAVE A STRONG FEMALE LEAD: Remember how badass Princess Leia was in the original Star Wars trilogy, making fun of Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin to their faces, taking charge of her own rescue, leading the charge to save Han in Cloud City, strangling Jabba the Hutt? Now compare that to how docile Amidala seemed in the prequel trilogy. Sure she ran around during some of the action sequences, but she never seemed as independent, smart, resourceful or just flat out as inspiring a character for girls as her offspring Leia was. (And by the way, since Anakin and she were forbidden from being a couple, how did she explain away her pregnancy to everyone around her?) Hopefully with this new trilogy we will see the return of a strong female lead character, up front with the boys. Fortunately, given the news that when Matthew Vaughn was in talks with Disney to direct he pitched the idea of Chloe Moretz as a possible lead in the films, it appears as if there is a strong possibility of this happening. – Rich Drees
BRING BACK MARK HAMILL, HARRISON FORD AND CARRIE FISHER, LEAVE DARTH VADER AND BOBA FETT TO REST IN PEACE: Ever since they announced that there would be new films following after Return of the Jedi, rumors have abounded about which cast members and characters from the original trilogy would be returning for a return appearance.Would Luke, Leia and Han return?
I certainly hope so. Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are all in relatively good health. Ignore Harrison’s pleas to be killed off and explore how these character’s changed over the years. Let’s see how Luke matured into a Jedi Master. How has Han and Leia’s relationship fared over the years? Keeping these characters in, even as just supporting characters, will allow the film to have a great deal of emotional resonance with the fans.
But do you know who I don’t want to see come back? Darth Vader and Boba Fett. Vader has had six movies to tell his story, and his story was completed at the end of Jedi. Darth Maul in the prequel trilogy showed us that you can create an interesting villain. So, create one and leave Vader to his death.
Speaking as a Star Wars fan, the popularity of Boba Fett always astounded me. He only appeared in maybe a half hour of the original trilogy and said at most two lines before meeting his end in the Sarlaac Pit. Fans love him but bringing him back would derail the narrative too much. Leave him in the sarlaac’s stomach. – WG
BRITISH ACTORS FOR VILLAINS: One of the great, subtle things in the original Star Wars trilogy was the casting of British actors as nearly all of the officers of the Empire’s Imperial Forces. Grand Moff Tarkin, General Veers, General Taggi, Admiral Piett, Admiral Ozzel, Captain Needa and Moff Jerjerrod all portrayed by British actors led by the great Peter Cushing. Their cultivated, precise speech adds a layer of almost banal sophistication to their villainy that would definitely be missed if Abrams and company just cast some Hollywood actor with a flat mid-Atlantic accent. Unfortunately, Abrams has already cast fan favorite Benedict Cumberbatch in his upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness so I doubt that the director would be eager to go to that particular well again so soon, but I am sure that there are plenty of other British thespians who would be up to the challenge. – RD
MAKE THE FILM FAMILY FRIENDLY, NOT KID FRIENDLY: Even though the original trilogy sold more toys that and film up to that time, it wasn’t created just to sell toys. It had action, thrills, scares and drama set in an outer space setting with lasers and lightsabers. The result was a film that both kids and adults could watch and enjoy.
The prequel trilogies got off to a bad start with that toyetic kid bait Jar-Jar Binks, but it didn’t get much better from there. Melodrama replaced real emotion, broad acting replace the more naturalistic acting of the original, and characters were designed less for their impact on the narrative than for how the would look on toy store shelves. The original trilogy was able to reach kids without trying. The prequels tried to reach kids, and lost a lot of adults in the process. Avoid that. – WG