Remember… “Star Wars: Episode VII” won’t be in theaters for three years. Now look at how much energy has been spent writing about it all over the Internet in the two weeks since the Disney/Lucasfilm deal was announced.
That’s gonna be one looooooong three years.
In some ways, the wait for the real “new face” of “Star Wars” is going to take even longer. It’s only after this next trilogy of films, after they’ve squeezed that last bit of juice out of the story of the Skywalkers, that they’ll be able to start doing anything they want. They will continue to produce “The Clone Wars” animated show and they may start making the “Star Wars: Underworld” series, or whatever it will finally be called, but they probably won’t start exploring the weirder corners of the Universe until later.
If you’re talking about making movies with younger versions of characters, like a pre-“A New Hope” Han Solo, then you’re also probably talking about recasting the characters. That’s inevitable at this point, and I am positive that in my lifetime, I’ll see new actors playing Solo, Luke Skywalker, and every other familiar face from the saga.
So what sorts of films will they make? How adventurous do you think they’ll be about it? We’ve read before about Joe Johnston’s desire to make a Boba Fett movie, and I think it would only be polite for Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm and Disney to let him do it at some point. After all, he designed the look of the character in the first place. They’ve made giant bags full of money, Scrooge McDuck vaults full of cash, off of the image of Boba Fett. Why not let Johnston have some fun?
That’s all any of this is, after all… fun. I may love “Star Wars,” but I’m not overly reverent about it. I think it is a great big toybox, detailed by dozens and dozens of different artists at this point, and it all provides opportunities for storytelling. What kinds of stories is a question that hopefully has no finite answer. I’d hate to think we’ll just see the same thing over and over from “Star Wars.” I look at the work they’ve done on the “Clone Wars” series, and it gives me real hope. That show is huge with young fans, and it constantly experiments with the types of stories it tells. As all “Star Wars” fans know, Akira Kurosawa was a major influence on George Lucas, and I loved the nod the series made to “Stray Dog,” one of his lesser-known movies. That episode doesn’t feel like any other in the series, and the same is true of their great “Zillo Beast” episode or the way they revealed the backstory of General Grievous or the way they handled the return of Darth Maul and built up to it… they’ve pushed the shape of “Star Wars” in all sorts of directions, and so far, it always bends in fascinating ways.
We had fun thinking about what kinds of films we’d like to see with already existing characters, eventually narrowing it down to these ten, and I’m sure all of you have favorites you’d love to see highlighted in some specific way. Share them with us here, as well as thoughts about what else you might want from the future of the series.
“Star Wars: Episode VII” is due sometime in 2015.