Seizing the chance to reimagine Star Wars
The king is dead. Long live the king.
George Lucas has finally handed over the rusty and somewhat tarnished Star Wars crown to the control of the Disney Company.
It’s been a hard run for the Star Wars juggernaut over the last decade. Lucas was pilloried by fans across the globe for an underwhelming script in the first prequel Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. His choice of ‘comic relief’ characters included an orange-skinned, long eared, mutant rabbit-humanoid with a freakishly annoying accent; and his choice of actor to play the tragic villain of Anakin Skywalker wouldn’t normally be afforded a gig on Home and Away.
Old George was also shown up by new-kid-on-the-blockbuster Peter Jackson with his epic depiction of the Lord of the Rings trilogy screened for fans a year apart. Star Wars fans had to wait at least two years for prequels two and three.
As a choice of production studio, Disney was a fairly safe choice and probably boasts the largest capital resources having delivered visual epics like Pirates of the Caribbean.
In the interests of fans Disney was also possibly the wisest choice as most of the directors they hire run to formula, rather than ‘experimenting with the genre’. Other studio/director combinations may have seen Star Wars episodes seven, eight and nine head off on completely unexpected tangents.
For example if James Cameron was given creative control, the new heroine character may have been screened standing upon the bridge of Admiral Akbar’s star ship screaming ‘I’m the king of the galaxy…’ while Céline Dion played in the background. Meanwhile the new male lead would discover a small sarcophagus in the Tatooine desert and claim it to be the final resting place of Jesus of Nazareth.
A Ridley Scott driven production would see the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia finally being raised to Jedi Knight when suddenly and alien bursts from his chest and proceeds to slaughter the entire Jedi Council.
Tarantino would likely cast Timothy Roth, Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi and Pam Greer as key members of the Jedi Council; Jedi Master Mr Blue, Jedi Master Mr Pink, Jedi Master Mr Orange and Jedi Master Jackie Brown. Samuel L Jackson would be cloned back to life as Master Windu and sent to hunt down new Sith Lords, quoting cool Bible verses before dispatching them violently.
Baz Luhrmann would set the final lightsaber duel atop a giant mountain in the desert that looks suspiciously like Uluru; the entire fight would be a musical number.
Oliver Stone’s evolving interpretation of the Star Wars legacy would follow the story of jaded Alliance troops based on the forest moon of Endor. Becoming complacent and restless following their victory over the Empire, they snap, torching an Ewok village; the scene ends with Tom Berenger screaming ‘You VC! You VC!’ at terrified Ewoks.
If Australia’s Stephen Elliot took ownership of the franchise, we could see Star Wars episode seven following the adventures of a troupe of cross-dressing sand people travelling across the Tatooine wastelands, rediscovering themselves as they perform ‘I will survive’ at outlying and remote alien cantinas.
If Mel Gibson were to oversee the production of the new movies, the story might feature a Jedi Knight experiencing a midlife crisis, refusing to engage with anyone other than through a small Ewok puppet on his right hand. In the opening scene he gets completely hammered at the Mos Eisley cantina and blames the entire Jawa nation for the death of Obiwan Kenobi.
If Peter Jackson took over the reins… well let’s face it; it would be incredible. Star Wars fans can only pray that the next three movies come close to the brilliance of Lord of the Rings.
Disney has a long way to go to restore faith in the Star Wars movie franchise. Perhaps they should start by asking fans what they DON’T want. I’d wager Hayden Christiansen and mutant rabbit-humanoid aliens would be at the top of the list.
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