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Episode VII speculation


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#1 Venthrac

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:13 AM

It's significant that Disney's new Star Wars movie is going to be "Episode VII", because that implies a continuation of the events in the six films that have already been released. But how much of a continuation will it be?

At this point, only a few people know what Lucas' detailed story treatment for a new trilogy contains, but we are fans and fans like to speculate, so let's speculate.

I think at least one safe assumption we can make is that the movie will be (at least somewhat) set in the future, beyond the events of Episode VI. How far into the future is anyone's guess, but let's assume that the story takes the ages of the actors into account to preserve a sense of continuity.

So, assuming that we are going to see Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker in at least cameo roles, they're probably going to be pretty old. In fact, if any of them had children, their children would be almost certainly be adults by the time of the new films. One avenue of speculation, then, would be that the new films might involve the offspring of some of these characters, or perhaps students if Luke brought the Jedi order back. My guess is, we'll see at least one child of Han and Leia as a character, and at least one Jedi trainee of Luke's. This kind of fits the theme of familial bonds that permeates Star Wars.

My hope (new hope? hurhur) is that the film focuses primarily on these younger characters, and does not try to shoehorn the older main characters of Episodes IV-VI into the roles of action heroes. I didn't think it worked very well in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but that's just my opinion.

So who will oppose this hypothetical new generation of characters? What is the enemy? I hope that the Force will play a large role in the story, and thus the Dark Side will manifest itself. Maybe one of Luke's new Jedi students will fall to the Dark Side. Maybe the Sith are reborn. With the Empire defeated, I don't think we'll see that again. Rather, the threat will be something nascent and hidden at first, like it was in Episode I, but will grow in power as the story unfolds.

I also wonder about whether John Williams will score Episode VII. He will turn 83 in 2015. It's nearly impossible to imagine a Star Wars movie without his bold, brassy orchestral scoring to back it up, but George Lucas might not be the only one passing the proverbial torch with this film.

The good news is, Episode VII means there's an opportunity for someone new to steer the Star Wars film franchise, and there are so many talented directors who are far more passionate about Star Wars than George Lucas seems to be today. I don't know who will get that chance, but I would love to see Joss Whedon, Brad Bird, Peter jackson, Guillermo Del Toro or some other gifted director take charge. Sure, most of those guys have commitments through that time frame, but commitments change all the time in Hollywood (just ask Matthew Vaughn, who walked away from X-Men: Days of Future Past yesterday), and who wouldn't be tempted by a once-in-a-geek's-lifetime opportunity like this?

Anyway, that's enough rambling from me. What do you think Episode VII will be? What story will it tell, and who will the main characters be? Who will their enemies be? How will it all connect back to the Skywalker saga?
 



#2 gribble

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:05 AM

I also really hope they manage to involve the older actors, but not feature them, and have the majority of the story be about the "next generation". I'd hate to see a bunch of older actors trying to be action heroes, and hate ven more to simply have a new bunch of actors play the same characters.

I aslo hope that the films can be done in a way that doesn't run roughshod over the existing EU stories. Sure, it's inevitable there will be some changes and canon modifications, like there were with the prequl trilogies and the clone wars cartoon series, but I'd prefer that the new stories at least make some attempt to fit with what has gone before rather than completely invalidate those stories.

I'd like to see the director (I think Dave Filoni?) and writers of the clone wars cartoon series work on the new trilogy. Sure, their series is primarily aimed at kids, and has some silly moments, but mostly it's been a really good story and has integrated existing canon and EU elements really well. 


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#3 Exalted5

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:44 AM

I think Kyle Katarn deserves a little love.  I want to see him on the big screen, running around on Cloud City stabbing Reborn in the face.  :)

Maybe a cameo or two by Mark Hamill?  I'm pretty sure Harrison Ford is never putting on a black disco vest again in his life… but one can hope.

Someone mentioned it in another thread, but it would be really cool to see them come up with a new story line set in the New Republic era.  Personally, I hate the entire "yuuzhan vong" plotline.  Like BLAHGHGH so Star Trekky and unoriginal… but that's just my own opinion.  Something new would be very cool… there is just so much material to pull from.

But I'd think they'd HAVE to do something in the new republic setting… that way they can keep pumping out episodes in order.  :)



#4 borithan

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 01:26 AM

As far asi I am aware Disney have said they want to use the original characters as the main characters, and as the actors are… well, a little past their prime, it aint going to be the original cast. Even if they had the characters as much older, Mark Hamill, gifted as he is as a voice actor (I didn't know he was the joker in Arkham city until I saw the credits roll, and was totally astonished), just wouldn't work as an aged Jedi Master, at least going by the last pictures I saw of him. Same goes for Carrie Fisher. The only one that could work would be Harrison Ford, and I doubt he will be going near the project.

We are going to get new actors, old characters. It is also probably going to ignore the EU (at least not have it limit them), but keep the prequels. I think someone at Disney has said that the demographic they will really be aiming at are those kids and teenagers who have grown up with the prequels and the Clone Wars cartoon. This doesn't mean it couldn't be a fun film, but it will probably mean at least if not more child focussed, and they certainly aren't going to do anything risky (and potentionally really interesting) with it.

Disney have also confirmed they want to to a cartoon series for their channel, so I am expecting one product of this will be a "Young Jedi" series, with one or more of the characters having a fluffy pet…



#5 Venthrac

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 03:48 AM

borithan said:

We are going to get new actors, old characters.

Hmm… I wouldn't put money on that, personally. I spent the evening reading all kinds of articles about this and a few things seem to be getting clearer, one of which is that these new films will be "an original story". Now, that's pretty broad, but if I were a betting man I'd put my money down that we will get new main characters with cameos by the old main characters. That way Disney can have it both ways.

 



#6 gribble

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:24 AM

Venthrac said:

 

borithan said:

 

We are going to get new actors, old characters.

 

 

Hmm… I wouldn't put money on that, personally. I spent the evening reading all kinds of articles about this and a few things seem to be getting clearer, one of which is that these new films will be "an original story". Now, that's pretty broad, but if I were a betting man I'd put my money down that we will get new main characters with cameos by the old main characters. That way Disney can have it both ways.

 

 

Yeah, maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, but I don't see how "new actors, old characters" could be a good move. Best case, they'd "satisfy" the old fans and get a bunch of new fans excited by the old characters which they've never really known (borithan made a good point that most of these "new fans" will have been weaned on the prequel trilogy and clone wars cartoon, so they won't necessarily be familiar with Luke, Han, Leia, etc anyway). Worst case, the new fans will prefer the more modern characters of the clone wars cartoon anyway, and the old fans will be pissed off by these new actors that don't fit right and don't do the characters justice. That's a pretty big gamble with a low return if it pays off.

Makes sense to me that they'd use the old actors to establish a "new generation" of villains and heroes that they can then use to tell their own stories. Then again, as we all know, Hollywood studios don't always do the sensible/obvious thing.


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#7 Sturn

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:37 AM

I too would be for new characters with possible cameo's from the old ones. Since it is "Episode VII", it has to have a connection to the previous movies. So, a child or children of Han and Leia is a no brainer. Master Luke at the new Jedi Academy is almost cliche now but wouldn't be for a non-EU audience. C3PO and R2D2 I could live with as return characters to keep them in every single movie. No worries about aging actors with them or Chewbacca.

But, please new characters and fast forward a generation. Cameos become cool for the old actors. I would expect a cameo by the Falcon also. "I suppose I can let you borrow the old girl for one last run".



#8 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:23 PM

Sturn said:

Cameos become cool for the old actors. I would expect a cameo by the Falcon also. "I suppose I can let you borrow the old girl for one last run".

"That old ship?  It belongs in a museum!"

Would be especially good if said to Harrison Ford given his other iconic film role…


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#9 Lord of Malice

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 08:37 PM

 All I want is for the movie not to stab the canon to death. As someone who has read Star Wars novels for the better part of my life I just could not bear to see it. The canon waters have already become overly murky from the prequels, clone wars, Force Unleashed, and SWTOR.

I hope they move forward with new characters and put it post the current novel line and pre-legacy. But I will try to be open minded as long as they try to give some respect to the existing lore.



#10 I. J. Thompson

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 06:08 AM

Venthrac said:

I also wonder about whether John Williams will score Episode VII. He will turn 83 in 2015. It's nearly impossible to imagine a Star Wars movie without his bold, brassy orchestral scoring to back it up, but George Lucas might not be the only one passing the proverbial torch with this film.

You're the only person I've seen mention this so far, and I'm pleased to see it, 'cause this question has been foremost on my mind since I heard the news. Simply, nobody today composes a 'narrative' score like ol' Johnny Williams. Even though I found the scores for Eps II & III a little lacklustre, they were still 'right'… and I'm not optimistic about one of the new generation of film composers being able to pull off something like that.

Beyond that, I actually hope that all involved don't pay too much attention to the internet and to what all of us 20, 30, 40 and 50+ nerds have to say. I might get attacked for this, but so many people seem to want Star Wars to be 'dark' and 'bad-ass'… and to those folks I say, "why not go and watch a dark, bad-ass movie for grown-ups?". Star wars needs to be Fun for All Ages, and yes, that means you need a healthy dose of cute robots and critters, and a light-hearted, optimistic spirit. Sue me. 



#11 borithan

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:16 AM

The thing is that  aside from the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi, the original Star Wars films were not that cute and cuddly. They were in many ways quite dark (hey, Han shooting first and all… that, the dead Lars family, luke getting his hand chopped off and the Rancor really cause me to wonder why the films were a U. Surely a PG?). However, what they were was traditional ripping adventure stories in a style that appealed quite easily to children (and many adults) so they became very popular, and are seen as "classic movies" in many ways, even if they do have dodgey scripts (some of the dialogue is just painfully clunky, but the fun means you can gloss over most of it, unlike with the prequels). Heck, the Ewoks were just about to cook and eat the heroes before Luke intervened (via C-3P0), so even they aren't that cuddly.

I will give you the light-hearted optomistic spirit, as that is an important feature of most of the original films… and sorely lacking in the prequels, in order any way to compensate for their cruddiness.

Thinking about it, I have just thought how dumb it was to make Anakin a kid, and to make the prequels aimed so squarely at kids (Revenge of the Sith Aside… murdering small children, even off screen, and a character being nearly burnt to death, don't strike me as kids' film fare). Firstly, younger children don't actually want to visualise themselves as someone the same age. They want to be like their older relatives/aquaintances. Remember your 6 year old cousin who followed you around all the time wanting to take part in what you were doing, constantly asking questions about it? It's why toy adverts almost always have children who are actually slightly too old playing with them. Therefore character who the younger audience is meant to identify with doesn't need to be really young, just have quite a young outlook (which I think Luke does quite well in the first Star Wars). Secondly, children actually often like quite dark things. Obviously not really scary, or just downright unsuitable, but a film doesn't have to have moronic Komedy characters to appeal to kids.

On my earlier statement, when I say that they will use the original characters as the main protaganists (with new actors), this isn't just me going on my hunch. Disney has pretty said as much, saying they want to continue the adventures of Han, Luke and Leia. That does not suggest they are only going to be making cameo appearances (or appearances as "mentor" figures). To me that means they will continue to be the main protaganists, and that will not work with the original actors, unless they pull the trick that that film that wanted to be an Indie film did (Hovel of the Broken Skull was it?) and have the age of the characters be an element of the plot. However, even then only Ford could really pull it off, and it just isn't Star Wars. Star Trek, yes, they did that quite well in the films, but not Star Wars.



#12 Venthrac

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 02:08 AM

It's funny how, over time, the meaning of rating shas changed. I know that when I was a kid growing up in the 80s, there were movies rated PG that I don't think would be rated that today. I suppose that's why PG-13 was invented.

In other news, rumors are swirling that Matthew Vaughn might be in talks to direct Episode VII. He has co-written every film he's worked on so he might take on that role as well. I think he'd be a great choice, personally. For those who don't know him, he directed Stardust, Layer Cake, Kick-Ass and X-Men First Class.



#13 IG-58

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 10:40 AM

A shrewd ananysis, Borithan. Well done.

I personally hope they don't recast the OT characters, since so many of us would find it near-impossible to relate to a Luke that isn't Mark, a Han that isn't Harrison and so on. You could argue they did it with Star Trek, but… I don't think that film was too famously successful. I'd much rather see the cameo/mentor arrangement you mentioned. Hey, a little good old-fashioned Hollywood fitness training would help; those regimens can work wonders! Wouldn't make them action heroes, mind, but at least believable as FORMER action heroes.



#14 I. J. Thompson

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:23 PM

borithan said:

The thing is that  aside from the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi, the original Star Wars films were not that cute and cuddly. They were in many ways quite dark (hey, Han shooting first and all… that, the dead Lars family, luke getting his hand chopped off and the Rancor really cause me to wonder why the films were a U. Surely a PG?). However, what they were was traditional ripping adventure stories in a style that appealed quite easily to children (and many adults) so they became very popular, and are seen as "classic movies" in many ways, even if they do have dodgey scripts (some of the dialogue is just painfully clunky, but the fun means you can gloss over most of it, unlike with the prequels). Heck, the Ewoks were just about to cook and eat the heroes before Luke intervened (via C-3P0), so even they aren't that cuddly.

I agree with most of what you said in your post, but to be fair, you forgot Artoo-Detoo, See-Threepio, the Jawas, the other droids, some of the cantina aliens, the mouse droid, Yoda, Salacious Crumb, and those goofy critters outside of Jabba's.

…aaaaaaand, I just geeked myself to death. 'Night, all! 



#15 Venthrac

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 02:56 AM

 Star Wars.com confirms Michael Arndt will write the screenplay. This is good news.



#16 That Blasted Samophlange

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:00 PM

Despite everything that has been said, I'd LOVE to see a story about a young imperial pilot (and maybe his fighter squad) that believe they're doing the right thing, but slowly change sides to the Rebellion after seeing what the Empire is up to.  Remember, Luke was going to the Imperial Academy.

A whole story about doing what you believe is the right thing, and dealing with the consequences - but with lots of space fighter action!  I'd love for this story to run parallel to the original trilogy, or set just slightly after.   To put that grey area in, showing that not every imperial is a bad person.  The bonus, all the cool looking imperial stuff will be featured.


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#17 Venthrac

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:33 AM

That Blasted Samophlange said:

Despite everything that has been said, I'd LOVE to see a story about a young imperial pilot (and maybe his fighter squad) that believe they're doing the right thing, but slowly change sides to the Rebellion after seeing what the Empire is up to.  Remember, Luke was going to the Imperial Academy.

A whole story about doing what you believe is the right thing, and dealing with the consequences - but with lots of space fighter action!  I'd love for this story to run parallel to the original trilogy, or set just slightly after.   To put that grey area in, showing that not every imperial is a bad person.  The bonus, all the cool looking imperial stuff will be featured.

you just described the backstory of one of my old SW d6 characters :-)






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