Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Five Wishes for Star Wars VII

Disney purchased Lucasfilm today and announced Star Wars Episode VII.

If you're reading this, you probably grew up on Star Wars.  You probably loved the original trilogy.  You probably hated the prequels.  You're not alone.

I don't know anyone at Disney or Lucasfilm, but like the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons, I have a blog and I like to vent.  So here are my "five commandments" for Star Wars VII.  If I'm lucky, somebody at Disney will find this blog and obey.

Star Wars VII should feature:

1) Real characters, whom we care about, struggling through tough situations

The original Star Wars worked so well because we cared about the characters.  We identified with Luke Skywalker.  We admired Princess Leia.  We wanted to be Han Solo.  They talked and acted like real people; they were like fictional friends.  When they struggled through tough times, we felt for them.  The prequels failed because nobody cared about Qui-Gon or Amidala (I had to Google just to remember their names).  For Star Wars VII, please:  Give us real characters we can root for... and put them through hell.

2) No (or virtually no) CGI

Star Wars always worked best without fancy CGI.  The dusty Tatooine of 1977's A New Hope seemed like a real place; the remastered version, with CGI reptiles tossed in, felt fake.  The original dance in Jabba's lair was dusty, shadowy, and creepy; the remastered version was cartoonish--something out of a Pixar movie.  One reason The Lord of the Rings movies worked so well is because they used CGI sparingly; they mainly employed miniatures, make up, and real locations.  Disney, please don't use too much CGI in Star Wars Episode VII!

3) Good vs. Evil

The original Star Wars trilogy was the ultimate good vs. evil story.  That's what audiences connected with.  We don't care about trade disputes or political debates in a galactic senate.  Please, Star Wars VII should feature heroic underdogs fighting powerful evil.

4) Grime and grit

The Jawa traders and their captive robots.  The seedy space port.  The hunk-of-junk Millennium Falcon.  The original Star Wars was grimy, rusty, and beaten up.  It felt real and worked in.  Please, Star Wars VII should not look clean and futuristic.  It should look just as dirty and beaten up as Jabba's slave pit.

5) A sense of wonder

The original trilogy had an epic scope.  It was a grand, mythological adventure.  It felt big--a timeless story.  When Yoda appeared, the story felt downright mystical.  By comparison, the prequels felt so small and dry.  Please, Star Wars VII should emit that sense of wonder--the sense that we're witnessing a majestic legend.