At first, I wanted to keep this blog Star Wars-free. This blog is not about geekery, it’s not a fanboy site. But then, I realised I had already blogged about Star Wars back here.
Well, so much for manifestos.
And so, I decided to write about Star Wars once more, because of something I noticed happening right now, almost a month before Episode VII opens. There are theories and opinions being bandied about, on what The Force Awakens‘ storyline could possibly be. Fanboys are getting ahead of themselves, tripping over each other’s takes on what they think Jar Jar Abrams is going to do.
Just this morning, I watched this video of two fanboys with hipster beards (yes, what’s worse than fanboys are hipster fanboys) going on and on about how they pored over every frame of the new trailer and found clues that may point to what the story will be like. The experience of watching that video is akin to hearing fingernails being scraped on a blackboard. That’s why I won’t link it here.
The thing is, you will never know what Episode VII will be like until you see the film. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth … unless you have the Force, then you can see into the future (and perform MMA chokes on people you don’t like, without laying a finger on them).
Now, I don’t have the time nor the patience – nor the interest – to study every second of a damn trailer (for goodness’ sakes). All I see is a Ninja Turtle in the first shot, and that’s all I care to know.
But I do admit, it’s quite fun to see how fanboys try to make the pieces of the puzzle fit, theorising everything from the Dark Empire saga to some videogame plot.
(I, myself, was at one time, quite convinced that Kylo Gram … I mean, Kylo Ren is going to turn out to be Luke Skywalker, because he has his helmet on all the time except that fight scene with Finn, and Finn, with Luke’s lightsabre to boot, looks shocked to see his face.)
I have very little interest now in Star Wars. But like everyone else who grew up in the 70s and 80s, I have a heavy baggage of nostalgia to bear because of Star Wars‘ indelible link to my childhood. Like all the kids back then, I had posters and clips from newspapers and magazines (because I was too poor to afford the comicbooks or merchandise), and was very much obsessed with the franchise.
But I grew up and out of it, coming to realise in later adult years, the protofascist and theocratic fantasy Star Wars really is, with its idea of birthright and destiny, that you may be special and above others because of your genetic make-up. In this case, you are a member of the select few Jedi if you have mini-chlorines in your blood (maybe if you swim too much in the pool), or as the crazy Fat Bidin guys called it in their podcast, chlorophyl. (Before you jump at me, fanboy, I do know they’re called midichlorians.)
And I certainly don’t give a hoot about any movie Jar Jar Abrams’ makes. He screwed up Star Trek with his horrendous prequel that pays completely no attention, or any respect, to the kind of future that Gene Roddenberry envisioned, let alone any laws of physics.
But like I said, I have nostalgia tailing me, and it’s actually quite fun to see all the theories being thrown around.
So, now I will give you not what I think will happen in Episode VII, but what I think should happen. I’m taking it from a screenwriter/storyteller’s point of view of how things work, how to build excitement in a story.
Now, this is what the fanboys have been doing; they’ve been poring over the teasers, the trailers, what Jar Jar Abrams and the actors have said in interviews, videogame plots, comicbook and novel story threads … practically everything you can think of under the twin suns that is Star Wars-related.
I’m not doing that. I don’t care about the trailers, I certainly don’t care about what Abrams has said because he has outright lied in the past to cover up plots.
But I do care about one thing: Luke and Mark Hamill are nowhere in the trailers (only a glimpse of his robotic hand and his voiceover) or the posters. And with that, I can come up with one way the story should happen.
In this new storyverse that takes place 30 years after the events in the trilogy we experienced in the 70s and 80s, Luke Skywalker has become a larger-than-life legendary figure, like Robin Hood or King Arthur, someone who has become so mythical, his existence is even questioned. His story is told far and wide throughout the galaxy, and every kid in every star system knows it by heart.
But who or what is he? Man or god?
All the other people in his life are still around, but Luke has disappeared, gone off on his own, perhaps to “walk the Earth” like Sam Jackson in Pulp Fiction, or in this case, traverse the galaxy. After all, at the end of Return of the Jedi, he was pretty much on his own, and the only people he had any real connection with have all turned into ghosts. So no one knows where he is now, or whether he’s still alive.
Then, the whole shit begins with the First Order and Kylo Gram … I mean, Kylo Ren, and the new Darth Serkis or whatever. War begins, the Alliance gets attacked. As we can see from the trailer, things will get shittier and shittier, more and more things will get blown up, a lot of people will cry, a lot of carnage will happen. Like one of the characters in The Thin Red Line says, things will get worse before they get better.
And right in the middle of all these apocalyptic atrocities, who should suddenly turn up?
Yep, you got it. Luke “I almost committed incest” Skywalker. The Living Legend. The Real Deal. The Rocky Balboa of Tattooine.
He is alive! He is real! It’s real! All of it!
And Luke saves the day, knocking out cold the evil Siths with a combination one-two. The hero riding to the rescue at the very last minute, the cavalry storming the enemy camp when it seems all hope is lost.
Can you just imagine the feeling among the fanboys when this happens? Can you imagine the swell of emotions when they finally see Luke Sisterkisser once again, in full heroic glory? Can you imagine how many of them will cream their pants at this?
This is how I would have written the script. After all, Luke is Star Wars, and Star Wars is Luke. Without him, there would be no Star Wars. See, that is why the prequels failed. They had no one you could root for, only a whiny loser whom we all knew would become a heavy-breathing bad guy. After all, Star Wars was designed for schoolgoing kids, and kids always need a role model to look up to.
But like John Lydon once sang: I could be right, I could be wrong.