A few weeks ago Joss Whedon had an interview with Collider for his new Shakespeare adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, and of course the topic turned to Star Wars and Episode VII. When Collider asked him about what he thought of the original trinity making their return for Episode VII here’s what Whedon had to say:
“You know, I wouldn’t go back, I’d go forward. I would want to create characters that would resonate the way that they did. I mean not that I don’t want to see [the new movies], I would be excited to, but I also feel like I would want to explore a very different part of that universe.”
Now I can’t help but feel a bit torn about his comments on Hamill, Fisher and Ford making their returns to a galaxy far, far away. On one hand I could see where he’s coming from with wanting to present a fresh new take on Star Wars instead of feeling like the new movies would be rehashing old characters and themes. Plus who wouldn’t want to come up with a fresh new story to put their own stamp on the Star Wars Universe, and actually have fans love it. You would pretty much be a god of Star Wars, second only to Lucas himself.
On the other hand, how would you make a movie set in a time period where Luke, Leia and Han exist, and yet not have them in it? It would seem this would create a strange disconnect from the main Star Wars Universe. One of my biggest problems with the prequels, cheesy love scenes and Jar Jar aside, is that it never felt like I was watching a Star Wars movie. Sure we got small glimpses that connected them to the original trilogy, the holographic plans for the Death Star at the end of Attack of the Clones (my favorite part of that movie), Luke and Leia being born at the end of Revenge of the Sith, but overall I never really got that feeling that left me so satisfied after watching any of the original trilogy movies. I always felt a little empty inside after each prequel movie, though I did enjoy Revenge of the Sith. If you don’t bring back Luke, Leia and Han, would it actually FEEL like Star Wars by the time all was said and done?
My biggest problem with not having the main three back though is that, if it IS set in a time period where they are still alive, why would you NOT bring them back? I don’t think I could be fully satisfied knowing that they are out there somewhere, but the director’s ego and need to make something fresh and new stood in the way of seeing what these characters are like post Return of the Jedi. One of the biggest sticking points for me is how would you even be able to have Jedi in a new movie without Luke being present in some shape or form? In the Expanded Universe, after the restoration of the Republic, Luke goes about the task of building a new Jedi Order. This would make him the Yoda of the new generation. In the prequels, while Yoda was not the main focus of the movie, he was still present. If Luke is not present then even just having a meeting of the Jedi Council, which would almost be a must, wouldn’t make sense without it’s Grand Master present. We would be forced to accept that there is a new Jedi Order, or Jedi at least, but the person who built it was nowhere to be found. That right there would instantly throw me for a loop and would have me starting to question every little plot point from then on. Hell, if you’ve ever read Dark Horse comics series Legacy, which is set about 130 after the Battle of Yavin, then you know that Luke still pops up from time to time to pester his descendents as a Force Ghost.
As much as I respect Whedon’s standing in the nerd community, though I have never been a fan of most of his work until Avengers (I liked Serenity, but that’s about it.), I have to cry foul on the notion of not bringing back the original cast. If you want a movie that feels like Star Wars, has elements present that could only be explained by the actions the characters of the original trilogy have taken post Episode VI and is set in a time when they are still live, then it’s almost a given that they take part in some way, shape or form.
You can follow Christopher on Twitter @AUDone44 and The Nerd @nerdfollowing. Also be sure to check out the new Star Wars podcast, The Empire Talks Back (@EmpireTalkBack), where we run down all the latest news and rumors in the galaxy with host Marc Savage and co-host Bash.