So the news broke at the end of October that George Lucas had sold LucasFilm to the Disney Corporation. There was a disturbance felt in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
One of those voices was mine.
Then after flying through all 7 stages of grief and a few good friends talking me round, I got to thinking, it can’t be all that bad. After all Disney had done a fine job with my much loved Marvel films. Heck they did The Avengers better than most people ever dreamed it would be right?
So why not pass the Star Wars universe on to the ‘next generation’?
I believe that this could be a good thing for my most beloved franchise. A fresh pair of eyes on a universe that for as long as I can remember has had me reaching into my wallet to shell out for the original, remade, re-mastered, blu ray and 3D cinema releases, could be just what the doctor ordered.
The announcement that came with the Disney buyout came in the shape of Episode VII, the next full length feature film in the Star Wars Saga and not only that, the first in a new Trilogy!
This announcement has left many Star Wars fans attempting to guess just what the new trilogy could all be about. Will it be based on the highly thought of Thrawn trilogy, written by Timothy Zahn, set five years after Return of The Jedi and heavily featuring everybody’s favourites, Han, Luke, Leia and Chewy?
Early reports suggest not.
Or could it be a totally new look on The Star Wars universe, new planets, systems and characters?
I for one, think it would be silly of the filmmakers not to at least heavily reference the other films.
I would hope the fact that they have employed Toy Story 3 writer, Michael Arndt, will mean that the true essence of the original trilogy’s simple, good against evil, storyline could be harnessed again with the skill that Arndt clearly has for evoking true emotions from characters such as a large furry teddy bear and a cocky spaceman.
Well then. What could or should we expect to see in the next Episode of the biggest movie franchise in history? Lets speculate…
To start with I don’t think the new films will follow a totally new story arc. I believe old favourites such as Luke and Leia will make appearances in one form or another. The most likely of these is probably Mark Hamill reprising his role as Luke Skywalker, (I don’t think Harrison Ford will be coming back to play Han, unfortunately).
I would assume that the films will be set long after Return of The Jedi. This gives the writer, shall we say, more artistic licencing (all the Jedis are old now!). Expect to see Hamill appear in ‘Force form’, possibly as a mentor to a new Jedi, a Jedi that could have come from the new Jedi Order that Luke himself set up after the collapse of the Empire...
The real mouth-watering possibility for me is to see the Empire on its toes. Without their leader Emperor Palpatine, what happened to all these Admirals, Generals and Tie fighter pilots?
It would be very similar to Episodes I, II , III if all they did was another rise of the Empire to take on the Jedi angle I’ll give you that. But could they do this in a more sophisticated and less ‘Trade Federationary’ way?
An underground resurgence in an extreme political belief, which was crushed years ago by The Rebellion. A belief that over the years has become more attractive to the masses who hear hand me down stories from ex Star Destroyer workers who are sick of seeing the Jedi live comfortably on Coruscant, protecting the galaxy, when things closer to home on the lower levels of Coruscant are nothing short of inhumane.
Members and other dignitaries of the Empire who were banished by a new Republic, sent to the outer rim to fend for themselves.
It’s here, in these areas, where a new threat to galactic peace could lurk...
I find it hard to see any Star Wars film be brought to the big screen without Yoda. Hell if he can show up in a bar or on a train to flog a mobile phone then he must be able to show up in the new flicks. In fact the more I come to think of it cameos in ‘Force form’ form Hayden Christensen (Anikin), Ewan McGregor (Obi Wan), Yoda and Mark Hammill (Luke) are all probably very likely and I for one would welcome them.
Some fan fiction does point towards possible new characters in the next episodes, the offspring of Han and Leia being the most intriguing, in my opinion. The twins Jaina and Jacen and the youngest born, Anakin Solo! These guys could be our new band of merry men to get behind.
There are of course plenty of worlds that could be revisited now. I would expect to see Tatoonie and Naboo (don’t mention Jar Jar). However these movies give us the chance to explore new planets and systems that have only been mentioned in passing in the other movies. Places like Dantooine and Bespin. These places have a meaning to hard core fans but little enough is known about them to mean that the new filmmakers could have a bit of slack to play with.
There is a vast universe out there for the filmmakers to play with, I just hope they do the Star Wars name justice. I know people scoffed at the prequels, but they were George’s prequels and to us fans that meant something. Handing it over to a new generation needs to be done with care and attention to detail. I don’t want a Michael Bay, Transformers style movie just because it’s what makes money at the box office. To so many of its fans Star Wars is more than a brand and no matter how silly people think it sounds, I'm afraid its true.
May the force be with you! (I’ve always wanted to say that)
Oh, and if Anthony Daniels isn't in the new films as C3P0 I’ll eat my hat!