Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cinema Speculation: Han Solo and More Star Wars Film Ideas

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.


  1. First off, here's a link to the oficial casting call from Disney indicating that photography will begin this summer, and Harrison Ford is on board.


    Now, to the real point.

    I understand that studios will milk a popular brand dry, even going to the level of making movies off well-known board games like that buddy cop movie Chutes & Ladders. However, you have Star Wars in the title. You've got your brand, Disney. The theaters are going to be full. Why hamstring yourself by latching on to existing characters? The great thing about the Star Wars universe is that it is HUGE. There are a great many potential stories to tell, new characters to engage us, and whose fates are unknown.

    As for those stories? The Zach Snyder "Seven Jedi" concept is horrifying. The man has a keen visual eye but utterly lacks a sense of nuance, without which a "Seven Samurai" story would be the same kind of flat schlock the prequals were.

    But I suppose no one wants to take chances, so yeah, how about those Star Wars plots? Who's to say they have to be action films?

    A laugh-a-minute comedy about a boy who was born across the street from Annikin who bumbling Jedi are convinced is the One Who Will Bring Balance to the Force?

    How about the dramatic tale of a prosperous Imperial businesswoman on Coruscant who marries the sister of her lover's new wife out of spite. Her husband soon runs off to join the Imperial navy and is killed by Darth Vader. Then, she loses her home and business when the Rebels attack Coruscant and marries again out of necessity, all the while pining for a third man she is unable to admit loving until it is too late.

    An aging C3P0 takes a job as a chauffeur for an aging and stubborn woman. Together, they overcome their own differences, a culture of anti-droid bias, and discover the true meaning of friendship.

    1. What was the romance one? I couldn't place it.

      I think we need more action films though, but some that focus on the sadder side of war.

      Saving TK-932
      A group of Scout Troopers are assigned the unfortunate task of tracking down TK-932 deep in the jungles of Kashyyyk, after a telegram operator on Coruscant recognizes that his fellow clones TK-931 and TK-930 were killed in action. It would look bad for the war effort if three boys from the same tank are killed, and imagine the impact on the poor engineer who operates their tank? In the end Captain TK-746 and his Scouts must make the ultimate sacrifice to bring TK-932 back while at the same time doing their bit to put down the Rebel insurgence.

    2. The romance one was Gone With the Wind.

    3. ... and I just watched that the other day. Now I feel dense. Though reading your description again there's some lesbian romance involved. Quite modern, but is the Star Wars crowd ready for it?

    4. And you're right. We do need more action ones.

      How about this?

      A mercenary group of former Scout Troopers take on the unfortunate task of tracking down an imperial agent deep in the jungles of Endor after his Lambda-class shuttle crashed there. It appears that all on board were taken by a group of Ewoks, but when they find most of the crew hanging from trees, minus their skins, it begins to become clear that something far more sinister is going on, and the hunters are about to become the hunted.


      With the destruction of the 2nd Death Star and death of the Emperor and Darth Vader, a desperate Imperial admiral realizes that victory would have been assured if not for Luke Skywalker. Thus, he tracks down IG88 and sends him back in time to kill Queen Amidala before Luke is born.

      But hey, there've been a lot of big, sweeping stories told in the Star Wars universe. Why not something more contained?

      A middle-aged Han Solo (not played by Harrison Ford)goes to Courscant in an attempt to patch things up with Leia. However, when he goes to meet her at an office party, a group of heavily armed thieves lock down the building. The bumbling local police allow themselves to be toyed with, leaving Solo to take on the criminals, er... solo.

    5. Also, I just noticed my error in the "Gone with the Wind" story. "sister" should have been "brother." No wonder it was confusing.

    6. I think a lighthearted approach could be fun.

      Vader is down on his luck after being embarrassed yet again by the young Rebel upstarts and has resorted to a life of petty theft.

      After the victory over the second Death Star the Rebel team needs a vacation. R2 is forced to share a room with a visting droid with a bad motivator and decides to sleep in the closet. While doing the pre-leave head count, the group counts the garbage container as R2. Left on Tattooine by himself, hijinx ensue when he must use all of his beeps and boops to foil Vader and his lacky Bossk when they attempt to rob the Rebel house for lightsaber scrap parts.

    7. If I was an executive with the money to green light one of these films I'd be hard pressed not to make a move on Trey's idea for "Droid Alone".

      While we're keeping it light hearted...

      TK-378 and TK-409 have been trying for years to get ahead in the Imperial hierarchy, bumbling their way from one project to another. While assigned to the Death Star 2 project they realize there are some errors on the books and bring them to the Emperor, who himself has been scamming money on the side and is mixed up in all kinds of underworld activities. To cover things up the Emperor invites the troopers to his beach cabin where he intends to have them killed, but they arrive to find the Emperor dead! Now TK-378 and TK-409 have to pretend the Emperor is still alive to foil the Hutt assassins.

    8. Weekend at Palpatine's....I like it.

    9. Wait until you see the script for the sequel. Palpatine is resurrected using old Dark Side magic in order to help the bumbling troopers find the money he stole, but can only move when he hears Sy Snoodle's sing!