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I'm terrified of a future that doesn't have George Lucas calling the shots for new Star Wars films. At the same time, I'm excited for a future that has J.J. Abrams getting Star Wars back on track.
When news hit that Star Wars: Episode VII was officially greenlit, my first thought was "I hope they make it like the original trilogy." I didn't think about what that meant at the time. It was more of a gut reaction of not wanting another Phantom Menace with a half-baked script and actors that looked lost.
The rumors of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford reprising their roles coupled with Abrams' desire to use more sets than green screens makes it look like Disney's battle plan is "original trilogy or bust." The recent development of Lawrence Kasden penning a new script or fixing Michael Arndt's reinforces this belief.
I like what I'm hearing about this film, and I like the team Disney has in place. If I were in the meetings with Abrams and his crew, here are a few ideas I would throw their way:
NO CHILDREN EVERI'm sure there are some talented child actors out there – I just don't want them in the next Star Wars film. I'm fine with children being tiny specs on city streets for vehicle flybys. They can also be in the background in heavily shadowed areas. Never once, however, should they speak or emote. This even goes for aliens. That young Greedo from Phantom Menace was terrible.
THE EMPIRE WOULDN'T MAKE A THIRD DEATH STARThe Death Star is a failed concept for the Empire. If I were calling the shots for this evil regime, I would have been the first person to say "Yes, we're devoting all of our resources to creating a flying planet that shoots lasers at everything." After that Death Star was destroyed in an embarrassing way, I probably would have said "Let's make the same damn thing, but shield the vents better this time." After that Death Star blew up a second time, the dream of having the coolest spaceship in the galaxy would have been crushed completely. No one would back the creation of a third one. Not even me. If the Empire is in Episode VII, find a new way to make them a viable threat.
NO C-3PO AND R2-D2Any person walking around with an astromech droid that is over 50 years old is going to get strange looks. You don't walk down the street with a Walkman and the first cell phone. Luke Skywalker wouldn't be seen with R2-D2, either. Give him the latest and greatest droid instead. Additionally, we've seen enough of these two. They are two of my favorite characters in cinema, but enough is enough. Move on.
MAKE IT DIRTYMost of the vehicles in the prequel movies look like they belong in dealership showrooms. Most of the vehicles in the original trilogy look like they are made from garbage. I prefer the garbage look. I'm guessing any form of space travel will remove the pristine shine from a vehicle. An X-Wing probably kills hundreds of bugs each time it lands.
AVOID TATOOINE LIKE THE RAKGHOUL PLAGUETatooine has a special place in the heart of every Star Wars fan (at least it should), but that doesn't mean it's a great place for people to travel to. If you really think about what this planet has to offer, no one in their right mind would go here unless they were looking for trouble. We've seen enough of this vast desert. Show us other locations, please.
HONOR THE EXPANDED UNIVERSEI've read plenty of Star Wars comics and novels over the years. I don't want these stories to end up being alternate universe versions of what could have happened. The Expanded Universe currently stretches 40 to 45 years after Return of the Jedi. Honor this stretch as canon. The years after it are a great place for Episode VII to start, perhaps following the grandchildren of the iconic original trilogy cast.
NO NEW STAR POWERFor new characters, I don't want to see a Samuel L. Jackson-caliber actor that everyone recognizes. I don't even want to see a Topher Grace, who no one knows anymore. Keep the familiar faces to a minimum. Give me fresh blood. Let these actors make the characters their own. It worked for the original trilogy.
LEAVE THE MYSTICISMDon't go out of your way to explain the Force. Leave it as a mystical power in the galaxy that isn't explained through science. See Midi-chlorians on Wookieepedia for what not to do.
LIMIT THE COMIC RELIEFFight the urge to create characters specifically for jokes and toys for children. Han Solo offered plenty of great comedic moments in the original trilogy, all while coming across as a believable and likable character.
ON SECOND THOUGHT...C-3PO should be in the film, but only for a brief cameo where we see that the rebel alliance stranded him on Endor as the Ewok god.
Now it's your turn. Let me know what your ideal Star Wars: Episode VII would be in the comments section below. Feel free to use Jake Lloyding and Jar Jaring as verbs.
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