With all the claptrap and hoohah with Lucasfilm and Star Wars and Disney and whatever else going on, I thought that I would do what I do best: help out even though no one asked me to in the first place. Hey, no need to thank me! Just think of me as a Good Samaritan wandering out in the deserts of Jakkooine or whatever run of the mill desert planet is out there in the galaxy.
Don’t worry, I shall try to accommodate the current social and political leanings of the creative forces at Lucasfilm as best as I can with these forthcoming suggestions. Granted this is tough, as I am apparently not the demographic they are aiming their virtue signaling blasters at right now. This is odd as prior to the Disney ownership, the demographic focus of Star Wars consisted of going after any and all people that could fog a mirror. But now there’s a new group that they’d rather pursue. Hopefully, when Lucasfilm figures out how the endless droning warriors can take time off from their obviously needed social justicing to pay for Star Wars blu-rays, action figures, theater tickets, and Disney+ streaming subscriptions, they’ll have their new demographic down cold.
Looking from the outside at Star Wars is a new experience for me. I used to be on the inside looking out at the people who don’t watch Star Wars. Now the only things on the inside looking out at the people who aren’t watching Star Wars are the thousands of full racks of unsold toys and Lucasfilm staffers with unrestricted Twitter guidelines.
It truly takes a landslide of ill will to make me appreciate the prequels in glowing terms I never thought I would before. To think that I now regard Jar Jar as a valued family member is something that my 1999 self would never have believed. My current self is incredulous as well but those earlier CGI-fests are really worming their way into my heart! I had a similar reaction when it took the 4th Indiana Jones movie to make me realize that Temple of Doom is incredibly underrated in comparison. (I can almost stand Kate Capshaw in that flick. Almost! And that is quite the leap for me.)
How did we get here? After a drought of Star Wars films since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, starting in 2015 there were suddenly five movies in as many years. There was more merchandise than you can shake a stick at and so many toys, one would have thought that the world is running low on plastic. There was an embarrassment of riches and there should have been no better time to be a fan.
And yet…the toy shelf stock didn’t move. Since there really wasn’t a pandemic to blame at the time, the theater ticket revenues went down when each film released. Even China gave Lucasfilm millions of fingers. Blu-ray sales were low. No one really cared about the theme park, the comic book series are just wasting paper, and the mention of dozens of new streaming series, outside of The Mandalorian, are met with indifference. There’s also the incredible fact that the once-powerful fandom is split and fractured and broken. Wow. This is a real fustercluck, isn’t it?
The backstage dramas haven’t helped either as they show just too much behind the scenes tinkering and enormous cost overruns. The Rogue One reshoots. Firing Solo’s original directors at a time when they had almost completed the movie, hiring Ron Howard, and having him reshoot practically everything from scratch. Episode IX’s director left/was fired/was released due to Episode VIII’s director’s storyline meddling. Mark Hamill reluctantly grinning and bearing it due to how Episode VIII portrayed Luke. (That reminds me: did anyone deserve a big sundae and a hug more than Hamill at that point?)
Incredibly, the resistance to any kind of criticism and the barrage of tweeting from Lucasfilm staffers that followed was truly astonishing. They resorted to namecalling when all else failed, lumping in parts of the fanbase with racists, sexists, and hatemongers of all description only because the “unwoke” and “unevolved” fans didn’t like a plotline or character. (FAN: “I think Vice Admiral Holdo is a useless character with no real development.” LUCASFILM: “You are a chauvinist pig!” FAN: “Well, thanks for thinking this through before replying.”)
What other studio does things this way or at least shows their dirty laundry as much as this? It is a pioneering effort indeed. Well, pioneering in the sense of how much revenue they are willing to lose over such mishandling of the franchise. I think you’d have to go back to Sony’s “management” of both Ghostbusters and Spider-Man in recent years to find something comparable. Even then, Sony was willing to acknowledge their prior missteps by deciding to at least do the most recent live-action Spider-Man films in partnership with Marvel Studios. So Marvel had creative control and Sony just sat in the corner enjoying a refreshing and expensive juice box.
Speaking of Marvel Studios, you certainly didn’t see Lucasfilm’s standard operating procedures going on with their next door neighbors at Disney. Marvel noted the criticism of early missteps with Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World, realized the damage that could be done to the brand, course corrected, and everything they touched through Endgame resulted in figurative and literal gold, the hiccup of Captain Marvel notwithstanding. The only thing that held back the Marvel merchandise on the shelves was the trillion Rose Tico action figures you had to navigate through first in order to get to a Black Panther.
With all the past being prologue to this moment right now, I will stop there and offer some suggestions on how to right the ship. Hopefully, these can help Lucasfilm and the House of Mouse make incredible amounts of eff-you money going forward. They’re a smidge reluctant to listen despite my bottomless and insistent demands for a meeting, but unless their policy is to continue to have future free screenings for rows of empty theater seats due to absent fans that are outside not buying their merchandise, I would heed my unfettered brilliance. You see, I own a Star Wars Monopoly game, so yes, I know a few things.
Oh and I’ll share some wonderful anthology movie/streaming series ideas too. If Lucasfilm is going forward with making them. I heard they weren’t. Then they were. Eh, I don’t care at this point, but I’ll still offer a few.
Absolutely Amazing Star Wars Suggestion #1:
Remember Dallas? Remember that episode where the show runners rectified the fact that they mistakenly killed off Bobby Ewing? They went through the following season mourning Bobby and then the finale discovered him…alive…taking a shower…like nothing happened?! It was all a dream! Okay I know, that’s a really cheesy cliché at this point, but thankfully the Dallas precedent took the edge off somewhat. And that show still continued on for five more seasons, two TV movies, and a reboot series in a pear tree!
Soooo…where would this hackneyed plot device figure in then? Remember the beginning of The Last Jedi? (It is okay if you don’t, as it only goes downhill from there. Even I barely remember it, due to incredible naps I had after indulging in the copious amounts of decadent food I had from the theater’s bistro!) If you recall, Finn is still unconscious due to injuries sustained by trying to carry all the merchandise from The Force Awakens by himself. So…what if…through some Force-speak gobbledygook…The Last Jedi ended up being…Finn’s dream?
No, wait! Hear me out! Finn did go up against Kylo Ren in a dramatic lightsaber scuffle when he sustained the injuries that ultimately took him out of the game. Maybe by his handling of Luke’s lightsaber there was some Force transference that led Finn to vividly imagine the events of VIII whilst in his Alien-sleep pod/recuperation tube? It would certainly explain how his unfamiliarity with the Jedi and the Force led to his subconscious taking such bizarre and incongruous leaps with the history, storyline, and mythology…
Dreams are also more visual rather than sensical. So that would explain why VIII looked really good, but fell short on well-constructed and believable plot at the same time. C’mon…the dream thing sounds better and better, right? Still not convinced? This dream angle also means you have an easier way to write out the late Carrie Fisher while still having Luke Skywalker up and around and alive. Yes, not a Force ghost, but really and truly alive. Snoke’s still around too if you’d like…no Las Canto Vegas Bight cul-de-sac…no Rise of Skywalker… C’mon… Even cast Patrick Duffy as one of the Resistance doctors in a cameo role just to bring it around full circle with a knowing nod!
Absolutely Amazing Star Wars Suggestion #2:
Okay this one’s more of a George Lucas-y Special Edition/rejiggering suggestion, but hear me out. One of the points that Lucasfilm nowadays likes to push is the just the wonderful diversity of the diversity diversity. Diversity along with diversity, are crucial diversity for diversity and the future of diversity’s diversity. Yeah, after a while it all becomes white noise. I mean, a noise of color, as all noise colors are unique and one shouldn’t be singled out over another. Oh, did I mention diversity?
So the casts of the new Star Wars films were breathtakingly diverse. Well, except for not having any new alien races in their main ranks, because screw them, am I right? There was great emphasis in making sure that the character of Rey would be female and she’s a she that is a female woman with her femininity and breasts and periods and such. How wonderful! But…
Star Wars already was diverse and had a strong female lead in Princess Leia. And another one in Padme. Hmmm… So Rey was ultimately not all that innovative diversely-speaking. I am sad. Then again, what haven’t the Star Wars movies truly had yet? Hm? A powerful female villain. Think about it. Aside from some random possibly evil dancers at Jabba’s palace and the chance that the wampa in Empire Strikes Back was a girl, there have been no true female heavies. Oh, I can hear some quickly responding with horrendous spelling that I will spare you from right now, “You mean no true female baddies until The Force Awakens, right?! Because…”
Let me stop you there: Phasma is a nothing and was treated horribly over two movies. She’s a non-starter. Even in Last Jedi, she’s a glorified cameo and is thrown away after her underwhelming debut in the previous episode. But this isn’t about her and her chromed lameness. I’m talking about doing a “sticking CGI Jabba into A New Hope” maneuver with The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi: recast Kylo Ren…as a…woman.
Wouldn’t it have been pretty cool story-wise to have Kylo be the daughter of Han and Leia? What an incredible reveal that would have been the first time that Kylo Ren took off the helmet! Think of the drama if Kylo felt slighted because Rey seemed to be the new daughter in Han’s life. It would add incredible layers when Kylo killed Han too. That same plot element would certainly work with Rey being trained by Luke, just as he tried to train Jen Solo. (I’m not married to that name, I just picked something that rhymed with Ben.)
We have not seen a strong female baddie in any of these movies and Lucasfilm had a huge moment for glorious and enchanting diversity…and they whizzed it down their leg. But why not go back to the sequel films, sprinkle a little CGI pixie dust, and rectify a huge misstep here? Not that Adam Driver was awful in the role, but ultimately he has male bits, so he has to go.
You wouldn’t even need to reshoot moments where Kylo has the helmet on, just ADR a different voice. Only when a maskless Kylo shares the screen with Han, First Order lackeys, and General Hux would you have to do somewhat major tinkering. (Oooh, can you just see the complex character layers forming in scenes with Hux and Lady Kylo now? Is Hux a sexist pig that resents this Sith-y usurper? Oh, you know he is!) Other than that, motion capture and green screen her right into the story. Now how’s that for woke!
And by the way, if you just go with my first awesome “Finn’s Badly Written Nightmare” idea, you wouldn’t have to change all that much at the end of the day. Just some new shots for Force Awakens would be needed since you’d be refilming Episode VIII and Episode IX from the ground up anyway… Just saying…
Some Random Star Wars Anthology Movie/Streaming Series Suggestions:
Okay, I think my two ideas solve everything in the sequel Star Wars mess. The easiest solutions are the easiest, aren’t they? So if Lucasfilm finally decided whether or not they are making standalone stories and/or making dozens of streaming series, then the most I can do is offer ways to go about it. Keep in mind, these ideas are all just frameworks. Feel free to build on them as much as you’d like while keeping just a nugget of the idea throughout the final script. Deal? Great! Well, here we go! (Oh, and they are all subtitled “A Star Wars Story”, okay? I don’t feel like typing that every damn time.)
Yeah, I know. How can there possibly be enough stories from a whole planet? Yet this is the story of how Corcuscant came to be and how it became the center of the universe. Most impressive of all, we will discover that this planet was originally constructed by the most innovative builders the galaxy ever saw. However, seeing that the fruits of their labor were perverted by the ever-increasing industrial machine, these architects suddenly eschewed technology and fatefully decided to retreat to a more simple life. So they went back to nature, back to…Endor! Yep, that’s right. The Ewoks provided the original constructs and cornerstones that the Coruscantian life is based on.
That’s why the Empire chose Endor for their base for Death Star II assembly operations. The Empire thought the Ewoks would pose no threat given their stance on returning to the forest. And yet, we all know that the Empire ultimately paid the price for their arrogance in what became knows as the Great Galactic Teddy Bear War.
Dramatically ripped from a few lines of the text crawl of The Phantom Menace, we finally get to see the backstory and history and inner workings of the mighty Trade Federation! Think of the business conferences and discussions on interplanetary trade law that we’ll be able to witness! Oh, boy! What about all hearings that the Galactic Senate gets to hold regarding the Federation? Is there C-SPAN footage of these events? This would be riveting! I can’t wait to find out why the trade officials have such offensive accents.
Or better yet: we can finally find out what exactly there is to trade in this universe! Oh, the chamber of commerce meetings and logistics conflicts and transportation solutions we’ll be able to see! Imagine the heated rate of exchange determinations! Get your tickets now!
All this Boba Fett attention and we can’t show Zuckuss any love whatsoever? Hm, I don’t remember ever seeing Zuckuss falling into a sarlacc pit. Wait, let me go back. No. No, I didn’t. Could it be that the little cloney kid from the prequels just…isn’t that great of a bounty hunter? (And I don’t care what level of Mandalorian character rehabbing is going on with Fett either. He’s a punk. No, he is. No. He is.)
Why not move along to others in that line-up? Perhaps have a Bounty Hunters anthology movie/series. Maybe showcasing what they were doing like a week or two before they answered the Empire’s call to go get the Falcon. It would be great seeing Dengar or IG-88 chasing after a bail jumper! There goes Zuckuss to repo that dude’s T-16 skyhopper! Oh wow, is that 4-LOM serving a subpoena?! They could even work for the same agency; the universe is a big place after all.
Could we have the cantina portrayed along the lines of the bar in Cheers? There could be the same patrons, quipping along through life, holding a beer in whatever passes for their species hands, becoming like a family of colorful and beloved characters in the process. Maybe even have John Williams orchestrate a Star Wars-y version of “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” to play over the opening credits just to set the atmosphere.
Granted, the last moments of the show could consist of the droid-hating bartender in A New Hope buying the bar and kicking all those loveable customers out. But he kept the band because he loves jizz! (No, really, that’s the style of music they play in the Star Wars universe. It is. Look it up. Lucas just switched out vowels from jazz. He just didn’t call it jozz, because that would have been…ridiculous.)
We just know so little about this guy. Could we finally find out where he came from? Who trained him? What makes him turn to the dark side? Was he ever in love? Why does he wear that suit? Does he have any opinions about sand? You could even say something crazy like he built C-3PO or something, but c’mon, this story is begging to be told. Such a mystery! Then again, if you over explain it, it might ruin the character, so be careful!
So on that note, it was my pleasure to save Star Wars and ensure that it has a healthy future going forward. Along the way, we’ve learned quite a bit about ourselves and we are now awokened to evolve more in our diverse diversnitude. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get my diverse Star Wars toy merchandise at drastically reduced prices. Because once my ideas are integrated, this stuff is going to go like hotcakes!
Well, except for the Rose Tico figures. Hey, I can’t solve everything.