So, I am playing at making Star Wars: Episode VII. I'll make a short list here of things that I want to consider/have decided with regards to this ever so nerdy just-for-fun project. The fun in it lies partially in seeing how different my eventual concepts will be from the actual movie. And yes, it would have been a dream come true to actually be a consultant or some such for the film, a dream I share with millions of others. Alas, the closest I've come to actual Star Wars is that I have touched the actual costume used for Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back and that I don't live that far away from Hoth. Anyway.
- The title of "my" episode is The Dark Legacy. I like it because it has three words, thus following the pattern of the first episodes of the two previous trilogies (The Phantom Menace and A New Hope). The title also links to a potential plot point, that Luke Skywalker is haunted by the fact that his father was a Dark Lord of the Sith, and that he carries this indeed 'dark legacy' with him; I also plan to link this to Yoda's line to Luke in Return of the Jedi, when he said "Pass on what you have learned": due to this dark legacy (Vader, the Emperor almost killing him, and the fact that he almost went over to the Dark Side of the Force) he has not dared to actually pass on what he has learned, but once the new story gets into swing, he is forced to consider taking up the Jedi mantle again, so to speak. I like this, because it gives Luke a dark edge without having to resort to silly ideas like resurrecting the Emperor. Finally, the title can also suggest that the Jedi Order no longer is remembered as a force for good, and thus Luke Skywalker must convince the galaxy that the Jedi are needed. Since the fall of the Republic, people have become suspicious of the Jedi and their religion.
- The story takes place about thirty years after Return of the Jedi, in fact matching the chronology of the actual movies' release years (and thus Mark Hamill won't need any aging makeup).
- I wish to explore, to some extent, the concept of ghosts in the Force, and the story should give adequate answers as to how and why Obi-Wan, Yoda and young Anakin became ghostly (and Qui-Gon Jinn a disembodied voice); this is not a must. It is obvious from early drafts of Jedi that Yoda and Obi-Wan were supposed to play larger roles, helping Luke in his fight against the Emperor. The drafts also explain that they had the ability to stay for a while between the real world and the "netherworld" before moving on. As drafts were rewritten, their roles were gradually decreased in size and the scene with the three ghosts watching the celebration on Endor is a remnant of Lucas' initial ideas. I could just pretend it didn't happen and have a wholly ghost-less Episode VII - but leaving it all unexplained is not satisfying either, so we'll see. I don't wish to see Hayden Christensen as Ghost Anakin, just to be clear on the matter. An elderly Anakin Skywalker (as he was portrayed by the late Sebastian Shaw) would have been a better solution, I believe.
- This also ties in to two or three other concepts left vague or unexplained in the existing six films: the midichlorians, the balance of the Force, and the prophecy of the chosen one. The midichlorians are easily dispatched - it was just Qui-Gon's point of view; the balance of the Force is trickier and could be explored more fully in episodes VII-IX - what exactly is the balance? An equal number of Sith and Jedi? In that case, the Force is not balanced with only Luke left as a Jedi and no Sith Lords. Is the Force unbalanced when Sith exist? Then he solved the problem and it is not needed in the sequel trilogy. Was Luke supposed to only kill Vader, so that there was one Jedi (Luke) and one Sith (Palpatine) in the galaxy - this could explain why Obi-Wan and Yoda are adamant about Luke having to face Vader and almost never say anything about trying to destroy the Emperor. Finally, related to the whole balance thing, is the prophecy of the chosen one which was horribly handled in the prequels in my opinion. "A prophecy that misread could have been". Right. A few lines of stilted dialogue about a prophecy we never really hear or see anything about. I should say it seems obvious that the prophecy was about Anakin Skywalker, and that he fulfilled that destiny by flushing down the Emperor - but did his sacrifice to save Luke then unbalance the Force again?
- At the beginning of The Dark Legacy, the galaxy is not united under a central government. In the prequels we had the Republic, in the originals we had the Empire, and now we have...anarchy? I'm thinking that the Rebel Alliance haven't been able to reunite the galaxy, and that we instead have independent star systems all over, which can lead to all kinds of interesting conflicts. One idea is to have Princess Leia (not that I need her specifically, but let's use her as an example of a leader from the rebellion era) trying to gather star systems into a new government but she is constantly foiled by warlords (former Imperial admirals, for example) and other factions (the criminal underworld for example) and needs Luke's help but he's become a hermit, unwilling to use the Force after all that happened in Jedi. Or maybe there are several loose alliances of star systems fighting each other over resources/planets/what-have-you, and the remains of the rebel alliance is one of many such factions.
- Characters from the existing movies will be Luke Skywalker, Artoo-Detoo, and See-Threepio. Possible additional characters (I'll make up my mind when I have more ideas about what the actual story is going to be): Chewbacca, Leia, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian.
- New characters: A new main cast of young people is what the Internet thinks these movies will be about and I agree that the sequels should feature the next generation. I also happen to like the idea of a female lead with a lightsaber. I think we're done with the Sith; if I have read my George Lucas interviews correctly, his main idea for the sequel trilogy is the theme of rebuilding, so enemies do not have to be all-powerful Dark Side users. I wouldn't mind a story that goes in new directions when it comes to themes. Luke dealing with the shadows of the past is more than enough for me as a thematic link to the previous trilogies. When he finally decides that the only option is to actually pass on what he has learned after all, we'll have different kinds of conflict - between master and student, inside Luke's mind, as well as the various factions fighting throughout the galaxy.
- I intend to make use of material from early drafts and screenplays written by Lucas - material that didn't make it to later re-writes.
- I want a Star Wars sequel trilogy without Gungans and Ewoks (although the idea of seeing the Ewoks having built giant temples on Endor with statues of a golden god surrounded by his angels - that is, Luke, Leia, Chewie, Artoo et al) is tempting ^^ I want a Star Wars sequel trilogy that takes chances, and finds new avenues of storytelling; as an example, the Star Wars films have taken a few concepts and turned them into space fantasy: the samurai (Jedi), westerns (Tatooine), detective work (Obi-Wan's investigations in Attack of the Clones), gladiators (again, Attack of the Clones), chases, races, Tolkienesque fantasy (Obi-Wan the wizard, Luke the farm boy turned hero), war (duh), duelling (lightsaber fights), pirates (Jabba's skiffs) - a lot of concepts from other kinds of movies and books have been Star Wars-ized; what else is there to use? Romantic comedy? Well, it's kind of in there too, with Han and Leia. I'd love to see new inspiration seeping into Star Wars instead of more of the same, basically.