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March 09 2013

Joss Whedon on Star Wars - 'I wouldn't bring back original characters'. More footage from the Digital Spy interview, this time focussing on what Joss would like to see happen with the new Star Wars movies.

If he did bring them back, I feel like he'd kill them off in the first five minutes and be like "Psyche! New stories and characters, bitches."
I'm not much interested in seeing the original characters in Abrams' film; in fact, I was disappointed when I read Ford and Fisher were interested in returning. I'm much more keen on the young Han one-off project. Then, And now for something completely different. [/Monty Python]
"Some things may not be rebooted". Thank you Joss for those words. I'm so tired of all these reboots.
Everything is a reboot in one way or another - it's just a question of how aware you are of from whence project x sprung.

I'm not going to disagree with him entirely (since I'm sure he has a point about there being other things/places in that universe worth exploring) but I'm still very excited by the apparent decision to include the original characters since - not only do I genuinely like them all - I think they were at least 75% of the reason why the original trilogy was so entertaining.

ETA: Linkies.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2013-03-09 21:48 ]
Agreed on all points, brinderwalt.
And Joss is probably well aware Lucas has the future of the characters from Ep.s 2-5 already sketched out. Particpating in a licensed proeprty isn't like fic, you can't *just* do what moves you, which joss knows and respects. Ergo originals!
I'm glad that the original characters are coming back, but I'm hoping they'll be used as supporting players, like Obi Wan and Yoda were in the original trilogy. If they are the stars, then it'll be a misfire. If they keep with Lucas' style for the prequels that the trilogies should "rhyme", one or more of them should die by the end of the first installment.
I feel like with Star Wars, due to the expanded universe (EU), the original characters just have too big of a role in the mythos at large to ignore them entirely and make a new generation of fans even give a crap, honestly. You'd have to set the movies many, many years later for them to be irrelevant and just talk about them in the past tense otherwise.
It probably would sound absurd, but I think new "Dallas" would be a good model for how Han, Luke, and Leia should fit in. Patrick Duffy, Linda Grey, and the late great Hagman sort of have their own thing that plays above and behind the plots of the younger actors' characters.

Croig, in the rhyming paradigm, it would seem to be Luke that would surely die in Episode VII -- the major character deaths in I and IV were both the senior-most Jedi mentor character that was participating in the plot. That literally can't be anybody besides Luke in post-"Jedi" SW, EU or no EU.

The thing I'll miss most about the idea of Joss doing any Star Wars is the idea I miss most, period -- seeing the Zahn trilogy characters, particularly Mara Jade. I think Joss would have a way with the entire Wild Kardde crew, Mara included. Hell, that ship is Serenity in many ways, and Mara could be argued as a compound of equal bits Inara and River in terms of background and persona.

The burning question of the next trilogy is, to me, how much EU will get, er, Jossed (it's a verb even where he's not involved, IMO), or how much will be adopted by reference (i.e. as off-screen history of canonical events).
Mara Jade is my favorite Star Wars character, movies included and Zahn's Star Wars is my favorite Star Wars, movies included. So... yeah. I don't think much, if any, of the EU lore will make it on screen. I'm going to be very surprised if the EU's integrity happens to be a concern at all for the new production.

As much as I enjoyed Avengers (and I loved it) and as happy as I am for its success, a part of me really wish Josh had been free to accept the Star Wars gig (assuming it were available to him). I have no doubt that his Star Wars would have been amazing and just the kind of Star Wars I've been wishing for. Of course, I'm biased since I've never really liked anything by Abrams.
I'd echo the sentiment that it's OK to bring the old actors back as long as the story isn't about them.
Except for Disney, the EU represents marketable product. So IF they begin retconning EU, they are effectively destroying products they already own. My opinion is, Disney will do it if and only if the potential new revenue outstrips the potential new revenue of respecting it.

I think the "disregard continuity" idea is possible because people think "big bad company with a chance to make money." But Disney is a profit based company that has financial analysts who will crunch the numbers. They will probably say something to the effect of, "we sell more existing books and gain more royalties if we can create a new feature film that revitalizes the franchise and stimulates the sales of both old books, new books, and movies. Might they disregard a book or two? Certainly. But Mara Jade, the Thrawn Trilogy, and the kids? We need to build a business case why that is preferable. Especially when all that's really required is for some interns to go through the EU and build an accurate picture of the starting point of the world the writer is going to write in with some helpful references.

So Arendt who is writing and was selected partially by Lucas who has deemed the EU canon, will probably be working under those constraints in my opinion. He's not going to get the disinterested Paramount saying nuts to continuity because no one knows how to make Star Wars work anymore a la Trek.

We can say a lot of things about George Lucas, but he is one of the few creators who actually not only allowed creators play in his universe but respected it. Destroying it in some ways would be exceedingly sad.

[ edited by azzers on 2013-03-11 05:20 ]
OOo KoC - I actually have the counterarguement against

There's a major flaw in the Luke dying in Episode VII thought process. Luke has something neither Qui-Gon and Obi Wan (for the viewer who starts watching at IV) has: viewer significance. When Qui Gon dies, he's just one of many Jedi that the audience as just met. When Obi Wan dies, he's largely a forgotten relic of the past that the audience barely knows. Luke is a singular character the audience will know intimately. His death can't be played as something we experience through someone else like Kenobi through Luke.

It does keep with the rhyming idea, but like the death of Ginn which is dramatically neutered, it can't work because the effect is wrong. It has to change the surviving character in ways the audience can feel. But the audience in Luke's case has experienced IV, V, and VI unlike the new main character. So are they feeling the new character's loss or their own? You don't even want that to be a question, so killing any character we don't know but the character does is a superior choice.

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