It’s been awhile since I blogged about Star Wars, and with the many rumors surfacing for Episode VII, most of which have been proved false, I figured hey, why not share my wish list of things I hope to see done in the movie. Is it a little early for this? Probably. But I don’t really care. It’s still two-years until the movie’s out, and I have to pass the time somehow, right?
So, without further ado, here are the top five things I hope to see in Star Wars Episode VII, and it’s subsequent sequels, when it releases in 2015.
5) Don’t Entirely Ignore the Expanded Universe
Before you hate on me, let me explain. I’m not asking that Kathleen Kennedy force the writers to shoehorn in plots already seen in the many books, comics, video-games, and TV shows, but rather to implement some of their ideas and characters into the new movie.
Since Episode VII almost has to take place a substantial amount of time after Return of the Jedi, I assume we’ll be seeing the offspring from either Luke Skywalker or Han and Leia. Maybe both. And I say, why not use the already established characters that the Expanded Universe has spent so much time creating.
Once again, I do not want Episode VII to be a direct adaptation of anything from the EU, but to rather take some of the ideas and important characters and add them into the plot. This will make sure that all the hard work that went into the EU is not devalued while also adding in a sense of continuity to the Universe.
4) Mixture of Both CGI and Practical Effects
I don’t think many people are going to disagree with me on this one. While the Prequel Trilogy gets a lot of hate (some of it warranted) for its abundance of green-screen special effects, for the most part the CGI is impressive and exciting. But a compromise is needed.
One of the reasons the Original Trilogy stills holds up as well as it does today is because there are just as many practical effects as there are computer effects, maybe more. Rather than animate an alien’s body and face, George Lucas used elaborate costumes, and even for some of the more advance action shots he used cardboard cut-outs and complicated plastic models.
To please both old and new fans, I think J.J. Abrams needs to discover the harmony that can exist between practical and special effects. Sure, throw in some flashy explosions and set pieces, but balance them out by actual costumes, sets, props and the like to ensure that the CGI never feels like the focus of the film, but rather a tool used in enhancing it.
3) Storyline That Appeals to the Young and Old
This may be one of the hardest things J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy have to do with Episode VII, but I feel like it’s also one of the most important. The Prequel Trilogy did a great job in introducing new, younger fans to the franchise, but by changing some of the lore and perhaps putting too much emphasis on attracting new fans, some of the people who grew up with the Original Trilogy were left disappointed.
Now, it’s obviously impossible to please everyone out there, but I think that Episode VII can please most people by bringing in characters and themes from the Original Trilogy while also introducing new faces and ideas that fit in with the current generation of movies.
To accomplish this, I think Episode VII needs to let what happened in Episode IV-VI act as backstory, so newcomers don’t feel like they’re missing any major plot points, but it also has to be given the proper weight and attention it deserves. How can they do this? Well, that brings me to my next point.
2) Bring Back the Original Cast
Yes, they’re old, and a little crazy, but I’d by lying if I don’t want to see Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill back on the big screen as Luke and Han. Even Carrie Fisher could come back, but I can imagine that would be a bit trickier to pull off. Ford is obviously still fit and able to handle the role, and Hamill could play an aweosme Ben Kenobi-esque mentor for the inevitably younger protagonist(s).
And while you’re at it, bring back Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca and Anthony Daniels as C3PO. While neither of them have to be incredibly important, you can’t have Han without Chewie, and you can’t have R2-D2 with C3Po, and it’s pretty much a surefire thing that Artoo’s coming back.
I don’t, however, think the original cast need to be the stars. I fully assume the protagonists will be brand new, probably younger, characters that will make their debut either in the movie or in the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels television show. With that said, I do think that the original actors need to be in the movie, even if it’s for something as simple as a cameo.
1) Make it Feel Like Star Wars
This is, to me, the most important thing the upcoming movies have to do. While you’d think this would be a silly thing to put in my top-spot, it really isn’t. J.J. Abrams has done a great job making Star Trek relevant again, but neither of his movies really feel like Star Trek films. Instead, they feel like action sci-fi flicks starring a similar-yet-different cast of characters, and I don’t think this is a route Abrams should take with Star Wars.
For Episode VII, and it’s sequels and spin-offs, to truly succeed, it has to feel like Star Wars. Bring back John Williams to do the score, make sure the movie opens up with the classic scrolling text, and on behalf of every Star Wars fan out there, keep the wonder of the series intact. These are just a few of the way that the spirit of Star Wars is kept alive.
Remember the first time you saw the Millennium Falcon make the jump to hyperspace? Amazing, right? Or, for you younger fans, the first time you saw Naboo in The Phantom Menace, or even the underwater Gungan homes? Those beautiful, awe-inspiring scenes, for me, define Star Wars.
Sure, there’s action and betrayal and romance and heroism galore, but I think the reason Star Wars still lives today is because it gives people the chance to explore a universe that’s always revealing new sides to itself. Even The Clone Wars television show did this, and continually brought me back to that place of childhood awe with the new planets, creatures, and set-pieces they created.
This is what the upcoming Sequel Trilogy must do, above all else. If they get this one thing right, and I mean really get it right, then I can say with confidence that I will enjoy it. And while I still definitely have my apprehensions about the upcoming movies, I am just immensely excited that I’m going to get to see more of Star Wars.
So Even if the movie doesn’t do any of the five things I’ve listed above (which I sincerely hope they do), I am nothing but excited to know that Star Wars is far from dead, because that’s a thought that just makes me happy.