So, big news day… what with Jimmy Fallon having to open his show without a customary laugh-track. Oh, and the news that George Lucas has, for a sumly amount, handed over the keys to his magic kingdom to Disney. I don’t think even the voluptuous blonde Arquette sister saw that one coming.
But it’s the news within that Lucasfilm/Disney deal, that the House of Mouse is pushing forward with plans to make the “No, there will never be an Episode 7, 8 or 9” series, that has Force Fans everywhere playing the pinch me game across the globe.
It shouldn’t surprise, that Lucasfilm are returning to give the chafed teats on the cash-cow a couple more tugs, but it’s still comes as an exhilarating albeit precautious shocker.
So what do we know?
Mon Monthma backwards-cowgirl scene with Akbar. Confirmed.
R2-D2 comes out… but Luke simply tightens the lid so he doesn’t fall again.
The next time Han Solo speaks cheekily into a base microphone he’ll utter the words ‘Fuck That’. Wait.. that happened earlier today. On Skype with Lucas.
The ‘Yoda Juniors’ are going to look super cute… hanging by their sticky-ends from the passenger side window.
Luke Skywalker will have a three-side lightsaber. Lordy, cue the medical droid… he’s gonna need to keep stitching the guy’s sith back onto the guy.
Disney plan to spend the next 18 months on the Pixar cartoon that will precede the new “Star Wars” movie, then six more months on the film itself.
OK, like Han and Leia emerged in a bit of Ewok-village scrub, surprised by a nosy furry fuck, I’m pulling back now…
SO WHAT DO WE REALLY KNOW?!
So, we know that Lucas has written the treatments for Episodes 7, 8 and 9 – a new trilogy to take place after the events of “Return of the Jedi”.
We know that the first of those films is released in 2015 – not very, far, far away at all. In fact, one ponders how they can get something so ostensibly ambitious and epic done in time.
Nobody is really talking, if only because they haven’t even got a scriptwriter on the films yet, but with “Star Wars Episode 7” only a couple of years away… most are wondering : Will it be live-action or the Disney-staple CGI? Will it include the characters from “Return of the Jedi” (being that it takes place after it) – namely Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia? Will it be based on the series of post-“ROTJ” books that have been written?
Again, everybody is all Maggie Simpson on the topic.
Here’s what we know : Yes, according to various sources, the new films will be live-action (and not, as some anticipated, animated); the films will take place after “Jedi” – and will likely include some of the characters from the original trilogy (can’t see Harrison Ford answering calls from Lucasfilm though); but no, it’s doubtful – what with Lucas having mapped out the three films himself – that the films will be based on any of the books out there. Nor the porn spin-off’s.
If the films ARE based on the many “Star Wars” books out there, then we’d likely see the story of a new Republic being formed , with Luke Skywalker at the charge, and taking on the revamped Empire – now led by such evildoers as Ysanne Isard and a cloned version of Emperor Palpatine (who is also successful in turning Skywalker.) Han Solo and Princess Leia, as well as their children, factor heavily in the ‘Wars’ literary world, so they too would be involved.
But again, no guarantee Lucas has even looked into any of these books. It’s likely he has his own ideas about what he sees happening after Skywalker defeated daddy Darth at the end of “Return of the Jedi”.
Most fans, no doubt, would like to see the new film feature older incarnations of the characters played by Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams and but, at this stage, I’d say the only sure things – since they’ve been staples of every incarnation of the ‘Wars’ – is the inclusion of Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker’s C3P0 and R2-D2, and Peter Mayhew’s Chewbacca. Yoda, the character voiced by Frank Oz, wouldn’t likely be back – because his character died in “Jedi” – as did the ‘big bad’ of the trilogy, Darth Vader (Dave Prowse). All evidence, however, suggests that Lucas has always been very interested in having Luke Skywalker return – should the trilogy happen.
Hamill himself, in an interview about seven years back, said he recalls having a conversation with Lucas in which the filmmaker suggested he’d require his services again if they ever did do an Episode 7-9.
“He talked about doing a VII, VIII, IX,” Hamill said. “You know when I first did this, it was four trilogies. 12 movies! And out on the desert, any time between setups… lots of free time. And George was talking about this whole thing. I said, ‘Why are you starting with IV, V and VI? It’s crazy.’ [Imitating Lucas grumble,] ‘It’s the most commercial section of the movie.’ He said the first trilogy’s darker, more serious. And the impression I got, he said, ‘Um, how’d you like to be in Episode IX?’ This is 1976. ‘When is that going to be?’ ‘2011.’ I defy anyone to add 36 years to their lives and not be stunned. Even an eight year old is like, ‘No, I’ll never be 47.’ So I did the math and figured out how old I’d be. I said, ‘Well, what do you want me to do?’ He said, ‘You’ll just be like a cameo. You’ll be like Obi Wan handing the lightsaber down to the next new hope.’ And I’m thinking, ‘I love the guy. If he wanted me to do light yard work at his house, I’d be out clipping the hedges.’ So I went, ‘Sure.’ But I thought he just realized that he’s going to be doing it the rest of his life and he’d rather not do that.”
Episode 7 Probabilities
• Lucas had previously said – ‘Duh’ moment – that each trilogy is separated by about 20 years. So, if Luke Skywalker is in the next film, he’d be in his, say, fifties.
• He had also said that every “Star Wars” movie would be seen through the eyes of the droids – and they’d be the only required characters due for a reprise in each trilogy (didn’t happen that way). And yes, despite the lack of a marquee-friendly name (who needs one when you’re in “Star Wars” though, right?), Lucas always planned to have Hamill come back as Luke Skywalker for the ‘sequel’ trilogy, should the actor be ‘old’ enough at the time to pull it off. His role would be somewhat similar to Alec Guinness’s in the original. And Hamill is likely raring to go.
“I really don’t have any notion other than, ‘Gee, it would be interesting to do Luke Skywalker later on.’ It wouldn’t be part of the main story, but a sequel to this thing.”
• Lucas said in 1983, “If the first trilogy is social and political and talks about how society evolves..Star Wars is more about personal growth and self realization, and the third deals with moral and philosophical problems… The sequel is about Jedi knighthood, justice, confrontation, and passing on what you have learned.”
• The new films would be about the forming of the republic, some sources said. The senate would make a return.
• An original outline for Episode 7 centred on Skywalker going on to become a premier Jedi Knight and his confrontation with the Emperor (who was instead killed off in “Jedi”). It’s possible that the new film will still fix on Skywalker’s journey to being the all mighty Jedi, and maybe they’ll pit him against a new Emperor-like villain. Might Thrawn, a popular villain from a series of “Star Wars” book that take place 5-25 years after “ROTJ”, be introduced into the cinematic world of the ‘Wars?
IF Lucas did decide to follow the events of the various “Star Wars” books and comics that followed his “Return of the Jedi”, we might expect to see events unfold such as :
• Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is promoted to a general. He is a big constituent in the forming of the New Republic. A new threat comes in the form of Ysanne Isard, among others, who tries to topple the Republic and form a new Empire. Ysanne even goes so far as to poison the non-humans of Coruscant, ultimately causing a rift between humans and no-humans.
• Wedge gets the dog-fighting heroes known as ‘Rogue Squadron’ back in the air. He helps wipe out the plague spearheaded by Ysanne.
• Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) are married. Later, they become the proud parents of twins Jacen and Jaina Solo, and also Anakin Solo.
• Grand Admiral Thawn attempts to destroy the new Republic.
• With the Empire’s presence and power increasing, The New Republic are forced into hiding at a new [Hoth-like] base.
• Emperor Palpatine is cloned. The Empire is again under Sith rule. His clone enlists Skywalker to be his second in charge – but strong Skywalker is; defy his master he will.
• Luke Skywalker, ultimately opening up somewhat of a Jedi camp (where Han and Leia’s twins become students) marries Mara Jade.
• Chewbacca dies. Sniff
You get the point… there’s a lot of good story-lines Lucas – or his replacement Kathleen Kennedy – could borrow for the basis of the next three “Star Wars” movies, should they decide to. Guess we’ll find out in the next couple of years just how ‘canon’ those books are considered to be…
Of course, this could also just be complete bullshit that Lucas has, for monetary donation, gone along with as a favour to the marketing team in charge of a cunning pre-AFM PR campaign to see Kyle Newman pre-sells the rights to “Fanboys 2” in Santa Monica this week. In which case, congrats Kyle!