Tuesday, November 06, 2012

A Couple More Thoughts on Episode VII

I see a lot of people online talking about how the next Star Wars trilogy "needs" to be some adaptation of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy or some other Expanded Universe et cetera. Honestly, I think nothing else sounds more boring.

I don't exactly hate the Expanded Universe... I just don't give a shit. I stopped reading all of that stuff in the mid-nineties. With the exception of some of the stuff that really did try to explore other parts of the Star Wars universe (Rogue Squadron for example), it just became continuity porn about making sure every minor character half-glimpsed in the corner of a frame had had a run-in with Han Solo at some point, or assuaging people who apparently really, really, really couldn't live without knowing whether or not Walrus Man and Hammerhead had real names. I don't consider that stuff necessary, and it's wonderfully easy to ignore.

Do the films have to follow the continuity of the Expanded Universe? I know The Clone Wars hasn't been, which is apparently pissing off a lot of fans of Mandalorians. I don't know that Heir to the Empire has to be an official part of the films just because George Lucas liked the name Coruscant and used it in The Phantom Menace.

I don't know, when it comes down to it, I just don't think the Thrawn Trilogy is all that good. I know a lot of people love it, but I think a lot of that comes from their primacy; they were first, and they made everyone excited about Star Wars again around the time that everyone had moved on and let those movies be part of the past. But the story itself is only okay. And here's the thing about making those into movies now: you either have to have a Han Solo who's 70 years old, or you have to watch someone like Gerard Butler or Bradley Cooper playing Han Solo, and who the fuck honestly wants either of those things to happen? It's kind of super-irritating watching the same fanboys who complained that Harrison Ford was too old in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls clamoring to see him play Han Solo again, like they really think this is the time they're not going to complain.

The Star Wars saga is really the story of the Skywalker family. Let's just let it be the next generation. A new Jedi Order, a new Republic. Frankly, the only characters I think should really, really come back are Luke Skywalker (because it's the Skywalker family and I think Mark Hamill would be there on day 1 to play an older, wiser Jedi Master Luke), See Threepio and Artoo Detoo, and maybe Chewbacca because Wookies live so long. The first trilogy was the fall of the Republic. The second trilogy was its restoration. The third? Redemption, maybe? I think Luke redeeming the Jedi Order is what that's about; an Order redeemed of the hubris that made the fall possible in the first place, and a Republic redeemed of the political corruption that tore it apart and made the Empire possible.

It makes sense. Let's not rehash books we've already read. Let's go into an unknown future and see what's there. That's where I want to go.


Kal said...

I like your thinking and if I can add a comment....after seeing this weeks episode of the Clone Wars with the Younglings and the Gathering I am hoping for a new group of Jedi that we can see develop and grow and struggle over the next three films or 12 films or whatever. Whenever I think about how I hate something about the prequels I am reminded about how you always say the films were made for 8 year olds and always have been. There is a formula that will serve them well going forward.

Neil Sarver said...

First of all, I think making a big follow-up sequel trilogy is a bad idea. You have the Rise of the Empire and the Fall of the Empire as trilogies. I can't imagine they will create a trilogy that won't just restate that and restate it in a way that undercuts the spine of the existing movies.

Frankly I think a bunch more things in the style of "The Clone Wars" or The Expanded Universe would be much more interesting. I'd love to see more TV shows, live action or animated. I'd love to see a one-off movie that followed a one piece or another.

But, yes, the Thrawn trilogy would be weak tea as a sequel trilogy. I was more vague in my personal assessment of the books when I mentioned it, but, yeah, they aren't really as good as people remember them being. Not to mention, after watching the Rise of the Empire and the Fall of the Empire, there's no way to stage that as anything other than "the last vestiges of the Empire are kind of swept away".

Kelly Sedinger said...

I think the books are really good, but after years of listening to Prequel-bashers insist that the Prequels were a bad idea from the start because "We know how it's gonna end!", I'd like to know why filming the Thrawn Trilogy IS a good idea, even though "We know how it's gonna end!"

eiderglast said...


very interesting points, I was a fan of the Thrawn trilogy, but maybe the new trilogy should be under George Lucas' decision as to what it will become next. Perhaps, we can still see Admiral Thrawn in other ways.

Jason said...

I really like the Thrawn books, but I agree with your thinking, Frog... the great failing of the EU books has been the stubborn insistence on sticking with the familiar... how many of these books have taken us back to Tatooine? Give us something new, the next generation of Jedi (whether Skywalker kin or not is irrelevant in my mind), with Luke as the mentor and the droids providing the connective tissue to the earlier saga. Han and Chewie are my all-time favorite SW characters, but honestly, I don't need to see them again...