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– by Kyle Malone

Welcome to The Cantina where we definitely serve your kind. I’m your bartender Kyle Malone and I’m serving up tall glasses of nothing but Star Wars.  By now you know I am the dedicated, well versed in the EU, experienced gamer, and open-minded fan this world needs. I see the flaws in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, but also the great moments too. I know the importance of The Empire Strikes Back but see how strong Return of the Jedi is. I see that the prequels… well… we’ll get there… maybe. There’s nothing more satisfying than a great Star Wars story, and I want more! 

RECENT NEWS

It’s been a mostly slow week in rumors and news from the galaxy far, far away. However, there are some morsels that can give us some insight into what to expect a little over a year from now. Luke doesn’t know what he’s going to be doing, more changes from The Last Jedi, and super geek Kevin Smith cried on set… that last one is no surprise.

Mark Hamill recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly and described the secrecy around the script for Episode IX:

“Nowadays it’s like working for some secret deep state government organization, like being in the CIA. They’re going to send rewrites over to Prague on this dark red paper that gives you a headache to read.”

This is apparently in contrast to The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi where he had access to the entire script. Secrecy is nothing new for Disney and LucasFilm, nor is it unheard of with J.J. Abrams, but why can’t Hamill read the entire script? He isn’t known for spoiling things like Spider-Man: Far From Home star Tom Holland is. One likely scenario is that there’s a big reveal in the movie and they want a more realistic reaction from him on screen. This would be similar to the reveal of Luke’s father in The Empire Strikes Back where David Prowse, the man in the Darth Vader suit, said a different line on set than was delivered by James Earl Jones who played Vader’s voice.

This scenario gives worries me a bit. I have mentioned before how I am worried that Episode IX will be spent “fixing” the things people hated about The Last Jedi. One of these is Rey’s lineage and this is the reveal I fear. When I think about who could be Rey’s parents, the top three names I don’t want it to be are Kenobi, Palpatine, or Skywalker, and that is exactly what I think the reveal will be… one of those names as papa Rey. “Why does that bother you” you ask? Because it doesn’t matter who her parents are. Throughout the history of the Jedi there have been anomalies, and in the EU there are even instances of people having Jedi parents but not inheriting the talent for Force use. There’s no mention of Palpatine’s parents being major Force users and he was so powerful that he was clouding the Jedi Council’s ability to use the Force. That’s canon, it was in The Phantom Menace.

I would like some explanation as to why she is so powerful, but I’d rather it be the Force speaking to her or even a Force ghost that’s guiding her. I think my primary reason for this is that Kylo Ren is the Skywalker of this trilogy and giving Rey some big name will take the focus off of that. Additionally, I would really like to see Kylo NOT be redeemed. I think that’d be a great story.

This may come as an upset to you all, but according to leaks acquired by Making Star Wars your favorite traitor from The Last Jedi, Benicio Del Toro’s DJ, is likely a no-show. There’s been no mention of Del Toro or his character in any leaks or on set. Why does this matter? Again, it’s messing with what was set up in the last movie. I think Rian Johnson, TLJ director, had intended for him to be used in a redemption scenario in Episode IX, but Disney has shown they had no plans for the trilogy as a whole. This means he was a waste of time and effort. The one thing I did like about his character is he understood the politics of the Galaxy. His character provided an opportunity to show how the regular people of the Galaxy were affected by the rise of the First Order and the Republic’s refusal to fight them. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he should have been a major player in the next film, but I think it really cements that there was never an overarching story plan and that IX will undo VIII. Oh yeah, and there has been no sighting of any Porgs… although they weren’t as bad as they could have been.

Let me set this straight though, before we carry on. There are a lot of things I did not like about TLJ. There are plenty of things I wish Disney was doing differently with some of these story elements. However, I really want this next film to feel connected to the previous one and continue the story instead of spending two hours undoing what came before. I would rather there be a cohesive ending than another stand alone.

Kevin Smith is great. I really enjoy the majority of his movies (Check out LRM Ranks the View Askewniverse here) and appreciate his fandom. That being said, the dude is known for becoming emotionally overwhelmed and crying. this is not a bad thing. I’ll tell you an embarrassing story: I went to my first San Diego Comic-Con in 2008 and was part of preview night that Wednesday. When my wife, best friend, and I got to the exhibit floor I was so overwhelmed that my body and mind didn’t know what to do. Everything I have ever loved, including my life, was pretty much in one building and in a single room. I cried… not like sobbing, but tears came down because I couldn’t process that much emotion any other way.

Anyways, back to Smith… The dude is known for crying! He was on Good Morning America this week to talk about his upcoming Silent, but Deadly standup performance coming to home video when he was asked about his set visit to Episode IX. Kevin stated:

“It’s a year away, but man it looks fantastic. I wept on set because I saw somebody give a career-best performance, somebody I’ve seen in these movies before. I rolled a tear, it was so darn powerful.”

So, does this give anything away? Maybe… It’s possible he is talking about Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker. I can see this movie being a career-defining moment for Hamill, especially if the rumor’s of him coming back to life turn out to be true. Then again he could be talking about Finn, Poe, Rey, or Kylo. I would also hope he’s talking about Kylo Ren. I actually appreciate Kylo and his arch. He has the temperament I think George Lucas was trying to portray in the Prequel Trilogy. Kylo is fighting draw from his grandfather’s history, his uncle’s legacy, his mother’s politics, and his father’s name. This explains why he is so… torn.

Well, that’s it for the rumors and news. I hope you all see where I am coming from. I do have issues with the Sequel Trilogy, but I have hope that we can salvage it without spending the majority of Episode IX explaining why Rian Johnson did what he did in Episode VIII.

LAST CALL: Pitches

We all know about The Mandalorian. We also know about the Disney+ show based on Cassian Andor, but I have a better idea…

ROGUE SQUADRON! That’s right, I want a show based on the best book series from the Expanded Universe!

I have explained my love of Wedge Antilles and his band of merry men and women before. I think the book series is the best of the best in the EU and remains untouched by the new canon. If Disney were to do a show based on the famous X-Wing squadron, they’d have a guaranteed hit!

The story would start the month after Return of the Jedi and would begin similar to the first book in the X-Wing saga. Wedge Antilles would be creating a new Rogue Squadron to take the fight to the Empire and establish the New Republic. The first, and possibly the only season, would focus on the squadron’s training and the liberation of Coruscant. Because of the time difference in Episode VI and Episode VII there is plenty of time to establish Rogue Squadron characters and not need them to be in the Sequel Trilogy.

I would use some EU characters such as Corran Horn, Erisi Dlarit, and Ooryl Qrygg but leave room to create new characters or ones with connections to the Sequel Trilogy. The focus would be on the relationships between the pilots and the fact that the war against the empire depends upon more than Luke, Han, and Leia. I would want a 10 episode season with 4 episodes dedicated to formation and training, three dedicated to the movement to take Coruscant, and three dealing with the taking of the Imperial Center.

I would look to the reimagining of Battlestar Galactica for influence. That show did a great job of showing the “ground” level of combat and the fact that soldiers and pilots are lead by politicians with agendas and a lack of understanding of the horrors of war. If you use this approach, I think you can really grab the attention of EU fans and new fans alike.

Well, that’s it for today folks. What do you think about this week’s news? How would you like a Rogue Squadron show? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, May The Force Be With You!

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SOURCES: EW, MSW, GMA

Kyle is a business school graduate who loves movies, comics, and video games. He shares his passions with his wife and is raising a next generation geek.