We don’t know if Abrams will do to Star Wars what he did to Star Trek, but there are a lot of ways he could misstep with this fan-favorite. These are some of them.
Since J.J. Abrams took command of the first of Disney’s likely endless parade of upcoming Star Wars movies, one thing has been clear: this is his dadgum movie, dadgummit. J.J. started off the project by reading Michael Arndt’s script… and then he tossed it into the metal wastebasket next to his desk, lit up a cigar and tossed the burning match into the can while cackling maniacally. (Probably.)
Because this is a J.J. movie, we’re probably not going to know anything about the plot or story before the metaphoric film (RIP) begins to metaphorically roll into theaters around the world… And in the meantime, there have been rumors about what the galaxy will look like some 30 years after Return of the Jedi and who our new heroes will be and what they’ll be doing. And I think those rumors sound pretty good, which makes me instantly distrust them. I mean did you guys even see Star Trek Into Darkness?
So while it’s entirely possible that J.J. Abrams could end up producing the best Star Wars yet, I’m going to err on the side of
common sense negativity and assume the other thing. And I’ve come up with some entirely possible — though perhaps extremely unlikely — ways J.J. might grant us another sad and depressing night watching a new Star Wars movie that we’ll try really hard to convince ourselves is good. Just like when we were kids!
So without further ado, here’s how J.J. might be planning on ruining the next Star Wars.
1. Ripping Off Knights of the Old Republic
The internet consensus says that BioWare’s Knights of the Old Republic game is the best Star Wars game and one of the best products of the Expanded Universe, period. It follows then that J.J., notorious exploiter of things you really liked a while back (I mean, he’s even making a Star Wars movie), would want to jump on that gravy train. Plus, fans of the newly-painted-over Expanded Universe will love it. (Just like they loved his Wrath of Khan remake!)
How would such a thing even work? KotOR is set nearly 4,000 years before the movies, including the one we’re talking about now, and so J.J. would have to take some liberties by bringing back a famous and beloved movie character who we thought was dead. I’ll come back to that in a minute.
In case you’re a bad fan who’s forgotten what happened in KotOR, I’ll give you a quick recap. (Please don’t get mad at me for spoiling a ten-year-old game, because I’m about to do that.). So in KotOR, ~4,000 years before the movies, the Star War at the time is being fought between the Galactic Republic and a Sith Empire that was founded by a pair of famous Jedi named Revan and Malak who turned to the dark side of the Force after the previous Star War between the Republic and the Mandalorians (aka the ancient Boba Fetts). In the middle of the present war, Revan gets ambushed by some Jedi while Malak is trying to blow up his ship because he’s a jerk.
It’s there that the game begins, featuring you as an anonymous soldier — and when you learn you can use the Force, you become a Jedi and save the galaxy from Malak’s irrational jerkface empire, which is powered by a huge space factory that can produce endless amounts of war materiel. But there’s a twist: you were Revan the whole time! And nobody knew it because Revan always wore a menacing helmet, and your character does not. I think you can see where this is going.
In Star Wars Episode VII, the protagonist will be Darth Vader, presumed dead but actually alive and robbed of all his memories. Nobody knows it’s Vader because Vader always wore that suit and helmet of his, and also because he’s being played by John Boyega! The audience could never guess that our awesome young black hero is actually an old dead white guy.
2. Retcon the Previous Movies into Being the Machinations of a Galactic Illuminati
J.J. always enjoyed social commentary as do most filmmakers, but Star Trek Into Darkness — also known as the Truther movie to end all Truther movies — gave him the taste for films that exist solely as political screeds. Considering everybody’s favorite Star Wars movie quote is “Only a Sith deals in absolutes,” J.J. is right in thinking that a new Star Wars movie is the perfect project for totally obvious, overbearing and irritating commentary on the state of the world as J.J. sees it.
Working with noted conspiracy theorist Robert Orci for a long time has worn off on J.J., and even though Orci isn’t involved in Star Wars, his influence probably still is. Which is why Episode VII could be J.J.’s opportunity to completely deconstruct the Star Wars saga by retconning the events of all the movies as the orchestrations of a galactic Illuminati.
This Illuminati maneuvered Palpatine into power from behind the scenes in the prequel trilogy, but he got too big for his britches (as they say where I come from). Obi-Wan was always in on this and actually recruited Anakin to help with this secret movement, and later on the Rebel Alliance was started by the Illuminati as a way to bring Palpatine down. The Emperor knew of the conspiracy’s machinations, but he didn’t realize his most trusted servant, Darth Vader, was also working against him at the behest of the Illuminati.
So Episode VII would be the Star Wars equivalent of Saw V, where half the movie is flashbacks that retcon old stuff to set up whatever is happening in the present day. And it will really be an allegory about how 9/11 was an inside job.
3. Make No References to Jedi or Sith or the Force
Those prequels were pretty rough, and J.J. doesn’t want to remind us of them any more than he has to (he totally would change the franchise name if Disney would let him). And so Episode VII will completely drop that whole Jedi vs. Sith thing that was so prominent in the last few movies.
No more Darths, no more talk of light and dark sides, no more hokey religions and ancient weapons, and no explanation for why that stuff is gone. It would be a bold move by J.J., but can you really blame him? The scars left by the prequels are deep and very visible, and you don’t want this revival of the franchise to reopen those old wounds. Better to be safe and eliminate all the stuff unique to Star Wars than make a two-hour movie full of things that will remind the audience that Attack of the Clones exists.
4. Have the Whole Movie be About Midichlorians
Or maybe J.J. was pretty bummed that the Great God Lucas was no longer officially involved in Star Wars after selling off LucasFilm, and maybe he wanted to make up for it by taking a very, ah, Lucasian approach to Episode VII. And so upon consulting clandestinely with George, decided that the new film would really dig into the science of the Force.
You weren’t really into that whole midichlorians thing? Tough luck, bruh, because that’s literally what all of Episode VII is about. The good guys are folks who can’t use the Force and are frustrated about it, and so they start running midichlorian experiments to find out what the deal is with them. The main conflict in the film comes from the new Jedi Order, which is opposed to efforts to learn about the midichlorians. This will probably come off as a faith vs. science thing to some viewers, but that’s shortsighted.
What J.J. learned from the audience response to Lost is that people really do want to know every detail about everything that could possibly be construed as a mystery, and so Episode VII is a jab at those hypocrites who act like the “mysterious nature of the Force” is important to them. No, you actually want to know everything, and by golly J.J. is going to give everything to you, all while defending the honor of Our Dear Lord Lucas.
5. Introduce the Shit Weasels from Dreamcatcher to the Franchise
I said at the top that this is J.J.’s movie, and that’s probably true. But he did bring in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan for, at least, the sake of credibility. It sounds good, right? Well, no, because Kasdan has sucked pretty hard for a while now. Remember Dreamcatcher?
Dreamcatcher is Kasdan’s awful adaptation of Stephen King’s bad novel, and it’s memorable for one thing: the shit weasels. Shit weasels are like the chestburster from Alien, except they burst out of your butthole instead of your chest. It’s really gross, and Kasdan just knows you’ll come to appreciate them if he can find the right context for them.
So if Kasdan actually did work on the new Star Wars instead of just taking a screenplay credit for marketing purposes, he probably sees this as his redemption play, both for him and the shit weasels. They’ve got the visual effects budget to make them look real nice, after all, and the kiddies are sure to love this sort of, ahem, toilet humor. So yeah, there’s going to be shit weasels in Star Wars Episode VII.
Is any of this going to happen? I hope not. But knowing J.J., anything is possible…