So, the rumor mill is pretty heavy with the news that Harrison Ford will be returning to play Han Solo in Star Wars Episode VII. SOURCE
* sigh * I have a lot of whining in me on this topic, some if it has already come out HERE, but for now I want to address only two points.
First Point: Why?
Is it totally impossible for them to make a new series of films that don't involve the previous cast? Star Trek did it with The Next Generation, it was extremely successful, but they had competent writers who were in it for the story and not just as some kind of cynical cash grab.*
Have they seen Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? It wasn’t the worst movie ever made, it was certainly more skillfully executed than the Star Wars prequels, but it was still terrible. Nobody wants to see a 73 year old Han Solo shooting at storm troopers.
Now, this doesn’t spell doom. Honestly they could just be using him as an anchor like Leonard Nimoy was in Star Trek. If the intent is to write a Star Wars story that is about a group of smuggler/scoundrel types going around the galaxy and getting into adventures he’s the perfect anchor, but only if used appropriately. Use him sparingly, more as a mentor and less as an active protagonist.
If I was in the writer’s chair and told by Disney that Han Solo must be in it and he must do Han Solo type stuff my only action scene with him would serve as a bit of fanservice and a big f**k you to George Lucas.
The new characters are being held up along with Han Solo by some bounty hunters. They’re being accused and threatened. Han Solo has enough and quick draws his blaster and blows the lead guy away. The characters look at him shocked. He gives that Han Solo smile and goes “What? It’s not the first time I’ve had to do that.”
DONE! The audience gets to see a classic character do something cool and at the same time gets a chuckle at the fact that even Han knows he shot first.
Second Point: Zack Snyder is Doing What?
Zack Snyder is going to make a Seven Samurai-esque Star Wars movie with Jedi in it? They already made that movie... it was called The Seven Samurai. It is brilliant. It is one of the best motion pictures of all time, crafted by one of cinema’s greatest directors. No need to remake it with laser swords. The original will always be better and far more relevant than whatever piece of filth Snyder comes up with. Likely Snyder's version, much like the 50's American schlock remake, The Magnificent Seven, will lack the nuances of Kurosawa's film. Kurosawa was constantly challenging the audience with questions about morality and motivation. The Seven Samurai is, in my opinion, his greatest achievement in this respect. Any Star Wars remake would just be about the action and not the characters.
But if they're only interested in making inferior versions of already classic films, but this time with laser swords, don't stop at Kurosawa! I have some ideas.
What really happened to Uncle Owen? Why did the Imperials murder him? What was he doing before Luke showed up? Turns out he ran an Imperial munitions factory on Tatooine and saved a bunch of Jawas from Imperial persecution. Yoda served as his right hand man that cooked the books to hide what they’re doing. I get all teared up thinking about that little Jawa girl in the bright red dress.
How about a little back story for Chewbacca? It turns out he was given up as a child to live with an oppressive banker in the big city on Kashyyyk. There he became a good and honest man, starting his own paper, but eventually falling into the same traps of all corrupt men and became the very thing he set out to stop. Rooooorgggggh buuuuud!
Did you know that Lando originally ran a bar on Cloud City, called “Lando’s Place”? A movie to explore his past is in order. He has a tense relationship with the Cloud City authorities who have recently capitulated and handed the station over to Imperial rule. Then the love of his life comes back in, pursued by Imperial agents. She's seeking transport to Corellia for her and her husband, and only Lando can get her the right papers, but will he do it? Is he still in love with her? Lobot is his faithful piano player and confidant.
How much do we really know about Boba Fett? Well besides the fact that he was a clone and some other crap. Did you also know he ran a hotel next door to the house he lived in with his mother? You didn’t know that did you? Well his life gets turned upside down when a young woman comes to stay at the hotel and gets murdered in the shower--well, I’ll stop there. You won’t believe the shocking ending!
The prequels go into how R2D2 and C3PO met, in brief, but there was a lot more to it. C3PO was a bit of a partier. One night he gets brutally raped in a bar (on a pinball machine) by a group of IG series droids. C3PO wants justice, but the IG droids claim he was drunk and on drugs and his testimony isn’t worth while. He was asking for it! In this era of blaming the victim who will stand up for C3PO? Enter R2D2, an up and coming district attorney willing to stand up for protocol droids rights and push back against a system that has been keeping droids down for far too long.
Does anyone else have some ideas on how to update classic movie ideas to get them into the Star Wars universe?
*EDIT: I just realized that I made it sound like I thought the Star Trek: The Next Generation Films were brilliant. They were not. I was referring to the TV series being a platform for launching a new group of characters without relying on the old cast.