EDITORIAL: Making A Successful STAR WARS Movie
Continuing on from last week’s editorial and on the back of the confirmation that Episode VII will begin production early next year, let’s again take some time to look at what would make a successful Star Wars film. Find out more and share your thoughts after the jump!
Although not necessarily required, you might want to check out the first editorial on this very topic here.
Watch the embedded video above for a comprehensive look at making a not terrible Star Wars film or conversely read the transcribed article beneath. The video's better though. Probably.
Focus On A New Cast
The Star Trek reboot worked for a number of reasons, one of which being it made a conscious shift towards using a younger cast. It still however tied itself in with the original crew and paid respect to the characters themselves by being mostly true to who they were. Star Wars could learn something from this. I’m not talking about making it a younger, sexier more edgy cast, that would be a horrible mistake, I’m talking about creating some new and interesting characters worthy of taking on the mantel from the original team. Unfortunately these actors are getting older which means they are incapable of doing the things they used to and it would be unrealistic to fabricate scenario’s which demonstrates them being as spry as they were in their 20’s and 30’s. Even Luke, a Jedi, would slow down with time as seen in Obi Wan and Yoda. But not Dooku for some reason, even though Fred Flinstone brought his car second hand from Christopher Lee.
Bring Back The Original Cast
This isn’t to say the original cast shouldn’t be included, they absolutely should be, it would be a tragedy if they weren’t but they should take on more secondary roles. Luke and Leia could be Jedi council members and Han could be a senator or something. That’s a terrible idea I know but I like the idea of a seventy year old Han Solo heckling parliament like one of those old guys from The Muppets. Additionally just because someone’s alive or that character appeared in the other movies doesn’t mean they have to come back. But you know who they should definitely bring back? Admiral Akbar, get him on board. I love everything about him, I love his wierdy fish head, I love his catch phrase and I love the way he says magnitude. Bring him back.
Be Smart About Bringing Characters Back
Contradictory to that you CAN bring back anyone if it makes sense in the context of the story. There was a rumour floating around earlier this year that Darth Vader would make reappearance in some form in the new trilogy. Upon initial thought that sounds utterly ridiculous, makes no sense. Not only is he dead, his body turned to ash on the forest moon of Endor but he also became a decent human being in the end. Even if it was to save his own seriously outmatched son.
Bringing him back is nonsensical, but with some tight writing anyone could conceivably return. For example there could be a man that appears who has adopted the Darth Vader mantle, claiming to the same Vader who struck fear across the galaxy decades ago. Luke would obviously say that it’s impossible, but maybe not everyone would believe him. After all he was the only one that saw him die and there are those who man say Vader came back from the brink of death once, perhaps it could again be him. And who’s to say people wouldn’t think Luke and Leia have been protecting this man everyone now knows is their father all these years?
Yes, again, that is a poorly thought idea off the top of my head but the point is anyone can be brought back if done the right way. Except for saying someone’s a clone. If the movie was just like, hey remember Yoda, well here’s a clone of Yoda, Yoda’s back, everyone say hello to new Yoda. Oh we made him blue also because why not, we can, everything’s possible with cloning you’re welcome. If you just keep bringing people back then death has no consequences in this universe, dampening any potential threats and removing tension. Which brings us to…
As most people are probably aware Harrison Ford was a somewhat reluctant participant in the Star Wars franchise. He was unsure if he was going to return after Empire Strikes Back, hence the frozen in carbonite scene. Plus he wanted his character dead by the end of Return of the Jedi to give that movie more weight, which admittedly, it definitely would have. To give the new trilogy some weight of its own it would be ideal if a major character was killed off from the Original Trilogy. This was attempted in Episode I where Qui Gon, a character of apparent significance was skewered for being boring and wrong, however I’d argue that his death was made null and void by vengeance being taken about thirty seconds later.
Specifically Kill Han Solo
When making this character death, why not make it just make it Han Solo. Realistically Harrison Ford would be taking a backseat to a new cast so why not give the audience a reason to hate whomever the new antagonist is by having him kill off one of the most beloved movie characters of all time. The expanded universe is notoriously protective of the Original Trilogy characters, to the detriment of the stories. Luke, Han and Leia continue to adventure well into their sixties and seventies, whilst second tier characters drop dead all around them. The closest the EU has come to killing someone major off is Chewbacca, a character of so apparent little importance he didn’t even get a medal after he helped Luke blow up the Death Star. So for God sake Disney, kill someone. But not Akbar.
Fill The Story With Real Relatable People
The Original Trilogy is great because it’s filled with what feels like real, relatable people, where-as conversely all the Prequel Trilogy characters are weird asexual monks and politicians. Which is fine, they both cover vastly different eras in the Star Wars universe. BUT, Star Wars works best when it strikes that balance between the real worldy people and the fantastical type characters. What you really need is a Han Solo type guy, so when someone starts banging on about the will of the force they can go That is bullshit. You need to cynicism to balance out the talk of justice and magic and prophecies. This person doesn’t even need to be a smuggler, or a pirate or whatever, you could create a Jedi character with a more realistic view of the universe.
Simplify The Narrative
Another obvious one this but a simplified story would be just phenomenal. The original story makes sense, there’s a whole lot of bad guys, led by the two badest guys. They want to ruin everyone’s fun by exploding planets, shooting lightening and just being dicks. So they need to be stopped, cue Luke, Leia and Han. Everyone gets that, what’s not to get? The prequels are something like, ok there’s these Trade Federation guys and they’re bad guys. Sort of. And they want to stop trade happening on this one planet. But they’re working for this other cloaked guy who wants to be the head of the floating circle senate room and he has this rotating team of evil apprentices working for him and they secretly create some clones to fight the robot’s but he also created the robots but at the same time the evil clocked guy who’s also the head of the Government wants Anakin Skywalker to work for him and it’s just...it’s just…WHAT IS HAPPENING?!? All I’m saying is the simpler the story and the clearer motivations, the better.
At this end of the day though it’s about looking at what works in Star Wars and what doesn’t. The prequels are not entirely without merit just the same as the originals aren’t flawless. It’s really about looking at what people love about these movies, at their core and building on from that. And you know what, at the same time it mightn’t hurt take some chances, try something different. Nothing good can come from pandering to your fans or playing it safe (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull anyone?). The universally loved and best sequels take chances as opposed to just being re-treads and quite frankly I’d rather see something different that doesn’t work than the same thing over again and again.
Everything said here though is obviously one irrelevant person’s opinion, everyone has their own ideas on what would make a good Star Wars movie. So why don’t you share your thoughts. Comment below to let us know what you would like to see in any and all of the upcoming films. And if you disagree with some or all of this, fantastic, differing opinions and healthy debate are what it's all about. Thanks everyone, take care.
Oh and next week, Justice League.
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