It is so much scarier now. We have had three frankly terrible episodes from Lucas. And now they are continuing the saga with the same main stars as the originals, which make the prospect of Episode VII (and eight, and nine) even scarier. When the prequels were announced it was exciting because we would see how Vader became Vader and get into that juicy backstory hinted at in the original trilogy. When Lucas blatantly disregarded that backstory and just made up some crap on the fly that didn't make any sense (in all those six hours of film that is the prequel trilogy, almost nothing makes sense, it's quite incredible really - I should do a post on that, you know, for catharsis).
So Episode VII not only has to deliver as a better product than the prequels (which can't be that hard, but you never know), it also has to naturally gel with the original trilogy and stand up as a part of the saga. My oh my, as See- Threepio would've said.
Anyway, I have divided my expectations into three categories, and as more news of Star Wars arrives I'll put them in the list. Some entries may exist in two or three of the categories, like "The old cast is back!" which I find both Promising and Worrying, depending on how I think about it. When an entry turns out to be just a false rumor, I'll remove it.
- The old cast is back! May their roles be given substance and not be just about the wink wink nudge nudge look who's back factor.
- Abrams wishes to make the most of models and non-CGI special effects to keep the tone of the originals; also, he probably saw the backlash against the over-saturated prequels (and look how crappy the CGI in those films is already looking, a decade or so on).
- They are using a bunch of unknown actors
- The old cast is back! If Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Whatever is anything to go by, this could be a disaster.
- Return to Tatooine: We've seen the planet in five out of six movies. It's a desert. Yes, it is key in the fact the Skywalkers grew up here, but come on. Show some creativity (does sound like they are going to at least alter the landscape, what with the rumors of strewn military equipment and stuff).
- Return to Mos Eisley Cantina (I have a feeling we'll find Luke Skywalker there, drunk?!!); We already had the cantina, and its a classic, unforgettable scene. Going back equals diminishing returns. No matter how good use they make of the locale, chances are it
- Sounds like they are not daring to be fresh/inventive enough in the plot department; more Sith/Jedi stuff.
- Harrison Ford has apparently been given a juicier role. Are they serving the story, or are they serving Harrison Ford? Not that I have anything against Han Solo as a character - frankly he's my favorite in the original trilogy - but geriatric Han Solo is something else entirely.
MOST LIKELY CRAP:
- Nearly all the plot speculation and suggestions found on sites such as TheForce.net.
- Any "return" of a dead character in Episodes I-VI will be difficult to handle, whether it is Obi-Wan as a ghost (the actor is a ghost, so hard to get him to return for the role), Qui-Gon Jinn, any of the Darths (I fear that they look at Maul's popularity, and since The Clone Wars is canon, there is the actual in-setting opportunity to have him return...shudder - I just can't believe they would stoop that low, though)
- Rehashing the same themes. Yes, according to Lucas the Star Wars saga is structured like a symphony, with motifs and recurring themes and yadayadayada but that's precisely what made the prequels feel so lackluster and uninspired. Even if Qui-Gon died in The Phantom Menace, and Obi-Wan Kenobi died in A New Hope, doesn't mean you have to kill off a mentor-type character in Episode VII. That's sticking to the formula just because it's there, instead of working out a fantastic, thrilling story that stands on its own and most likely will be better if you don't force yourself into a rigid framework. Make it something new, make the audience sit on the edge of the seat because, hey, this is something different (but still cool).
WILL TURN MY BACK ON STAR WARS FOREVER (special category):
- Hayden Christensen has a role as Anakin the Friendly Ghost [rumor]