Rebooting Star Wars: Introduction
A few months back I started to draft up a possibly radical idea. The title of blog post should cue you in on what that radical idea is.
Why is it radical?
Well, I’d say that arguably the Star Wars franchise is one of the most popular and polarizing icons of our mass media culture. The franchise as a whole has had profound impacts on science fiction, movies, merchandising, and all-around franchise building. It has had profound impacts on multiple generations, generated absurd amounts of revenues, and led to a whole wide range of opinions on the quality or necessity of all the variations of stories set within the expanded universe.
As such, proposing a reboot is apt to make some people raise eyebrows or offer their (possible fierce) disagreement.
I do not aim to please all the masses with my proposals. These are just ideas I am having as somebody who is 1). a Star Wars fan, 2). loves rethinking stories with a goal of improvement or just differentiating from the source, 3). feel like I will enjoy writing this. So bear with me and feel free offer your ideas in the comments, I’d love to hear what others are thinking.
Here are some rules I am applying to my reboot:
- I am sticking the chronology of the films. I would like basically to examine each of the six existing films and build on their general plots and characters. I think that even with the critiques of episodes I, II, and III there is a lot of salvageable material. Additionally, I want to propose at least one (but possibly more) films that would occur in between episodes III and IV but I will offer more on that when I get there.
- Wherever possible I want to salvage what works (I said this above, I know, but I want to reiterate it). Looking at both the original series and the prequels I think it is reasonable to say that there is a lot that could be done better. But overall, I actually think that the movies, including the prequels, develop a pretty good outline for an epic. Furthermore, I think that almost every character can be saved from the current movies (yes even Jar Jar Binks, Padmé, and ewoks). However, some characters are going to require a bit more polishing and reformatting than others (see the above three as good examples).
- Change the audience from children to adult. One of the biggest problems I think that the prequels experienced is that they were movies made for a young audience from an established franchise that had a strong adult fan base. But look, the original movies (IV, V, and VI) were also, within reason, intended more for a younger audience. With the exception of, perhaps, The Empire Strikes Back the original series was pretty tame and simple. Sure adults could enjoy it, but within reason, the target audience was younger folks who could really get into the whole action adventure times of this amazing universe. All that being said, I actually think that the stories would work better if they were made for an adult audience. Why? Well, because I think that if you look at the rough outlines of what is going on, there is a lot of adult material there, and that is the stuff that is interesting. Expanding imperial control, slavery, government oppression, rebellion, frustrated relationships, etc. These are all things that create a sense of dread and doom in this universe. Sure it is a colorful place with all the different alien species and technology, but it is also a place riddled with instability, corruption, and just general hardship. Utilized correctly this could make for some really interesting story telling that could strongly appeal to a more mature audience.
- Anything else I haven’t thought of here I might mention in the later posts.
For those who are interested webcomic artist/writer Aaron Diaz did a pretty spectacular proposal for a reboot of the prequels some months back. It is real fun to read his ideas and see his design elements. he went in a pretty different direction than I intend to (by scrapping pretty much everything from the prequels), but it is still fun.
So, next post I will jump into Episode I, and then progress from there. Stay tuned.