How The New Star Wars Should Work

I haven’t read anything about the new Star Wars, nor do I really intend to; I’m going to be getting enough spoilers incidentally without seeking them out.  But I have a sneaking suspicion of how Star Wars is going to handle the introduction of Luke, Leia, and Han – which is to say, given JJ Abrams’ fondness for ancient gravitas and some of the teaser images from the trailer, I suspect we’ll have them hauled out of carbonite.

Not literal carbonite, of course, but script-carbonite – which is to say that after all their adventures, Han, Luke and Leia will have done precisely bupkiss since the films ended.  Some spunky younglings will have to haul their inert asses out of the ancient desert – just like Luke found Obi-Wan – where they’ll have curled up in isolation for years and have to be brought back out for one great adventure. Kinda like Spock in the Star Trek films.

That’ll be deeply disappointing.

For me, I want active old geezers – the kind of spunky folks who are smart enough to recruit a new generation when they realize they need fresh blood to handle to this challenge.  I don’t want hoary old guys being noble – I want Luke, Leia and Han as the cool uncles and aunts we all secretly wanted to have as a kid, the kind of people who grab us by the arm and go, “You’re more awesome than you think! Come on, let’s save the damn world!”

You know, like a squadron of lightsaber-wielding Doctor Whos.

And what I really want is the implication that Luke, Leia, and Han continued to have really cool adventures after the films.  The greatness of Star Wars is its implied backstory – remember when nobody knew what the Clone Wars were, but really wanted to? – making a movie seem like a snippet of some grand history.

So I think there should be plenty of conversations like this:

HAN, LUKE, AND NEW KIDS FACE DOWN UNTHINKABLE DANGER

HAN: This is just like when we had to wrangle Gundarks back on Ceta Tau!
NEW KID: What?
HAN: Long story.

And then, later, facing some other crazy Star Wars action sequence:

LEIA: Doesn’t this remind you of the starwheels of Apocrypha Seven?
NEW KID: The what?
LEIA (waving her hand): Old history. Not relevant.

And that becomes a running gag throughout the film, that Han and Luke and Leia have seen it all before but still need these new kids because these new kids are awesome, culminating in a scene where, I dunno, they have to swing across a chasm:

LUKE: Whoa, this is just like when we had to swing across that chasm in the Death Star!
NEW KID: Death Star?  Who the heck would name something as bombastic as “The Death Star”? Now I know you’re just making stuff up.
LUKE: You got me.

(NOTE: Yes, I know there will be like twenty novels documenting the adventures of Luke and company between the end of ROTJ and these new films.  If you’ve been paying attention at all, you know the films never give a rat’s ass about the novelizations, so no, those aren’t going to be referenced unless Abrams has really upped his game.)

 

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