Thursday, 16 January 2014

Star Wars Episode VII - what to keep, what to drop?

Today io9 asked what would you keep in and leave out of the new Star Wars sequel.

These are my thoughts:

Main characters - Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie. R2D2 & C3PO are still in service but falling to bits.

Opening scene: in space. Big ship fighting little ship, a nod to ANH.

The Empire are still around. Only minor changes to uniforms and equipment –they hate individuality and change!

New TIE fighters have no shields! Show them as they are – fast and numerous, like a swarm of flies around the slower, tougher fighters.

Ignore EVERYTHING from the TIE Fighter games!

I loved the game, but to make solo play possible they did some weird things.

A power vacuum after Palpatine’s death allowed the New Republic to gain a foothold, but soon they were fighting a defensive battle against the re-formed Empire.

At first the Imperial forces split into factions, then someone rose to power. He is the film’s main villain. Not Thrawn. Not a Force-user. More like Tarkin.

This may be Hugo Weaving's role.

New management and reduced numbers means the Empire could relaxthe non-human rule and allow near-human personnel. An opportunity to please fans a little by showing some blue-skinned Imperials.

Include women Imperials! All ranks, including stormtroopers.

Women front-line soldiers on both sides.

Control of the galaxy is up for grabs and the good guys are currentlylosing. The heavily populated worlds are committed to sides so the battles are foughton frontier worlds.

Not Tatooine again!! Some other backwater planet with a simple climate.

No world-destroying super-weapons!

Force-users are incredibly rare!

Leia is the boss Jedi. Yes, Leia! Luke is out looking for Force-sensitives. What he finds worries him (tricky issue here. We need one or more Dark Jedi and there HAS to be a good, simple reason they exist).

Or Leia is the new Dark Jedi and Empress of the Galaxy. She's going to have a harder time forgiving Darth Vader than Luke. She saw none of his good side and plenty of his bad. She might despise the Jedi for letting Anakin down and despise the Sith for corrupting him. In her anger she could attempt to purge the galaxy of all traces of both and in doing so slip to the Dark Side herself while trying to do something for the greater good.

The New Jedi Order is radically different. Wiser, trains young adults, allows emotions but teaches control.

Luke’s padawan is his niece, Leia’s daughter. Leia’s padawan is Luke’s son. Only at the end of Episode VII do they become Jedi Knights, in a ceremony (a nod to ANH) and a set-up for the next film where they become the main characters.

No one under 40 is allowed to be a Jedi Master!

Introduce various rogues and shady characters – smugglers,bounty hunters, assassins. Most people on the frontier worlds are either rogues, villains or trying to ignore the war. Show how the war comes to them and they have to choose a side.

Boba Fett is still alive. He shot his way out of the Sarlacc when everyone had gone. Kill him off in a climactic showdown with Han.

Han shoots first!

After an epic fight, intercut with Luke and niece in a lightsaber fight against a villain that will somehow lead to the plot of the next film (Dark Jedi?), Fett dies but mortally wounds Han. He dies in Leia’s arms. Put in a clever bit of dialogue about their love that ends with Han’s last words – “I know.” Not a dry eye in the house.

Link the Boba Fett fight and the lightsaber fight with a crushing defeat of the main villain’s plans. Victory for the good guys, butonly just. The Empire is beaten this time, bad guys in disarray, but will return in the next films.

Drop the politics.

Nothing about taxes.

Shady characters show their true colours and either becomegood guys or bad guys. White hats and black hats – no one wears a grey hat forlong.

Battle scenes are not CGI showcases. Keep them simple. Less is more!
References to previous films are subtle. Enough to establish the pedigree. Keep it natural. If it feels forced drop it.

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