Welcome to Breaking Geek, a weekly column where uber-geek Nick Doll offers commentary and reactions to the most interesting news of the week, using his expansive knowledge of all things geek!
I was going to write a follow-up this week to last week’s Breaking Geek, as it was perhaps poorly worded and the premise was not sound, and I offended a large chunk of fanboys I did not intend to attack. In response, I was going to write a follow-up, with a more distinct line between what makes a somebody a fanboy versus what makes someone a troll. But, even there I’ve been taught a lesson (George Bluth Sr. style) and have already had the conversation I wished to have in the comment of several articles this week, making enemies at first, but hopefully, eventually, making friends as I myself learn about my own errors as a fanboy.
So, this week I look to offend you all in a brand new way, by offering my take on what I, personally, would like to see happen in the Star Wars universe next.
Not in an “I want to see Lando in Episode IX” way – though that would be awesome, even just a cameo – but in a more general way of what types of films I would like to see and what kinds I wouldn’t, and preferences about the frequency of films and type of stories.
I hope I joke by saying offend, rather, I mostly expect you to disagree with me. In fact, please do! So, we can have a constructive and intellectual conversation about what YOU want to see as well! Because we all have our own vision for the franchise, whether broad or precise, and it’s fun to compare how we all see one of our favorite franchises going.
Mine will be… unique. I am not the “average” Star Wars fan any longer, apparently, as I loved The Last Jedi and considered it my fourth favorite film behind the original trilogy… that was until Solo: A Star Wars Story came out and dropped it a spot. Also, this list is what I want to see, not what would necessarily make Disney money or make the average fan happy. And I’m gonna’ be honest, I want to blow apart the conventions in a more extreme way than Rian Johnson did, so be warned!
Without further excuse, here is what I would like to see in future Star Wars films going forward.
Let The Past Die – Throw Away The Force, The Rebellion, The Empire, The Jedi, Etc.
Did I already lose everyone? We got one guy? Cool.
Look, I know Star Wars has always been about the Force and the Jedi, from Lucas’ original inception to the most recent trilogy film, that had “Jedi” in the title for the second time in the franchise. And though it was called “Last Jedi,” and even if Kylo Ren denies it to himself in that film, we are still moving into Episode IX with an under-trained Jedi leading a new rebellion and the grandson of Darth Vader running the First Order.
I say throw it out completely. Is the Force a key piece of Star Wars DNA? Absolutely. But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t evolve past it.
Nor do we need to move past it completely, as you will see, I want a more varied set of films that aren’t obsessed with the “Star Wars Story” or Trilogy formats.
But, simply put, it’s a large galaxy, folks. Not everyone is Force-sensitive, or even living in the part of the galaxy, or time period, where Jedi exist. That’s one of the reasons Solo was a breath of fresh air, even though it was a prequel, and dealt with many events we had heard about before. No Jedi! No Kyber Crystals! No great mythology of fathers and sons, no prophecies, just one man trying to make it in Star Wars’ underworld.
The Empire was there, but not the villain. There really isn’t a rebellion worth mentioning in the bigger picture. Solo felt free of what now seem like Star Wars clichés we’ve seen them so often. You know, lightsabers, throne rooms, any form of Death Star tech, etc.
Star Wars is classic for more than the invention of the Jedi. It is one of the first films/franchises that felt real enough that there always seemed like there was another alien right off camera. Every planet referred to felt real, even if we never saw them. It’s a living, breathing universe in a way that even the Marvel Cinematic Universe can’t touch.
Star Wars should be a giant playground going forward, not the continuing stories of religious space knights. Not always at least.
A Star Wars Story – More Films Like Solo, Less Like Rogue One
As far as Star Wars Stories go, I have a plan to move past them as well, but while we still do have them, this is the direction they should take.
First, in the tradition my last request, I don’t want them tied too close to other films! Solo worked way better for me than Rogue One, as even in setting up a sequel or another film set within the same time period, it’s set a good enough distance away from both trilogies that events aren’t referenced too closely. Meanwhile, if Rogue One were a comic it would be “A New Hope: Issue #0,” some fun back-story, yes, but far too dependent on direct links and references to too many characters from A New Hope. It just doesn’t stand on my own, in my opinion, whereas Solo would be a great jumping on point for a complete newbie who is too “good” for “old films.”
Even though I said dump the Jedi, I would totally watch an Obi-Wan Kenobi film or Boba Fett film set within a year of Solo, right between the first and second trilogy. Are those characters my first choice? No, but they could be worse.
Ideally, eventually, the Star Wars Story will evolve into completely standalone adventures with new characters and even new time periods. Again, we have an entire galaxy to explore, as well as a timeline much larger than the discovery of young little orphan Annie through whatever happens in Episode IX. Maybe these films don’t connect to characters, events, or locations we know at all, just telling us a great new Star Wars story without too much of the old.
You can have your cake and eat it too. Do one about a Jedi if you want. Maybe it’s just pre-Phantom Menace when the Jedi are still badass. Maybe it’s set at the beginning of the Old Republic. There are so many options; it feels like making a movie about a character who always looked badass but got killed by a blind man could be spent better on something we haven’t seen.
Don’t Tie Yourself to Trilogies
Why are we obsessed with trilogies? Why not a two-part film? Less connective sequels? Let’s try something new!
I get it, trilogies are all the rage, Star Wars started as a trilogy, and sometimes it is to your advantage to use a trilogy to tell a story in three acts. But, especially after Last Jedi, do we need three movies to tell every story? Not all these trilogies have felt like they need three acts. You could have done the prequels in two films and lost nothing important.
Obviously, trilogies not a requirement anymore, as now we have Star Wars Stories. But why stick to the trilogy film one year, Star Wars Story the off-year model? Do what you want! Do a two-story over two years, perhaps shot back-to-back. Try quadrilogies when needed. Do more one-offs!
Don’t stick to a precise formula, because after only four films under Disney, it’s already getting old.
Arbitrary rules like “everything must be a trilogy or a standalone film” that ties into characters or events from a trilogy have to stop, if we ever want Star Wars to feel fresh again. Luckily, when the Game of Thrones creators were announced to be creating Star Wars films, it was sold to us as a “Star Wars film series,” with no number of films specified, so perhaps Lucasfilm is already headed in that direction.
New Look And Genres Needed
Star Wars needs to be a bit more like Marvel, and Solo was a great step in that direction. Solo was a heist film, through and through, like Ant-Man in the MCU before it. Let’s play more with genres in the Star Wars universe, they don’t always need to be epic “Space Operas,” sometimes you just want to see another aspect of such a large galaxy.
I’m saying we eventually get so far from what we’re seeing now, that we have Star Wars films without Stormtroopers, X-Wings, Tie Fighters, etc. All the ships and costumes we see again and again.
Be like The Phantom Menace again, only better. Show us new planets, new ships, new species. Show us the opposite side of the galaxy. Let directors play around with the visuals as well, because forty years later all the trailers look identical, and the Star Wars aesthetic is no longer anticipated with excitement, but accepted just to get a new story.
What’s The Frequency, Kennedy?
Slow your role, Lucasfilm. We should never see two Star Wars movies within six months of each other. Even one a year is getting old, and eroding how special the franchise once was.
On the other hand, if my advice is taken and we get whole new looks and genres from within Star Wars, maybe the market could handle multiple a year like Marvel Studios films. But we are a loooong way from that being a viable scenario.
If things don’t change, I say we take off a decade from Star Wars films altogether after Episode IX, because I want to look forward to Star Wars, not be handed one every 12 months.
What direction would you like to see Star Wars take after Episode IX? I’m sure it varies GREATLY from my vision, so let’s discuss in the comment section below!