Last week we covered potential characters that could appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For this weeks list, I'm sure many of you were expecting a DC equivalent, but no. Not yet. This week I'm going to do a different kind of "fantasy booking" as it were. What Disney should and should not do with Star Wars episodes 8 and 9.
Do: Explore Finn's background, but....
For me, Finn was my favourite character from The Force Awakens. He was relatable, in that he didn't want to jump into the fight, he wanted to get as far away from it as possible as quickly as possible. But then he turns around and leads the heroes in the attack against The First Order and has a bloody good lightsabre battle against Kylo Ren, despite not being force sensitive. He's also got no backstory apart from being a former Stormtrooper, seeing as he was taken from his family as an infant (kinda like how the Jedi did with their inducties before the empire, but I digress). So finding out more about him would be interesting and could provide the movie with some interesting moments. However...
Don't: Make Him Lando Calrissian's Son.
Ok, so, there's speculation that the big reveal of who Finn's father is will be that he's Lando Calrissian's son. Personally, I'd prefer it if they just kept the characters from the original series down to just Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, 3PO and R2. They were the core of the original trilogy (alongside Vadar, who isn't making a personal appearance due to not being alive anymore), and they are the only characters who have a proper reason for coming back. Not that I'd be averse to seeing Bill Dee Williams dashing scoundrel again, but certainly not as Finn's dad. It just seems oh too convenient, out of the three black guys they have in Star Wars, two of them are related. Yeah. They need to let the characters stand on their own two feet a bit. Finn can be a great character without being related to an already established fan-favourite. Remember how bad the reveal of Boba Fett's origin was in the prequels. You remember why that was so bad. Because it was unnecessarily adding on to a character from the original trilogy in a way that didn't add to the story. Shoehorning Lando in as Finn's father would be exactly the same. Only no-one will notice because they're too busy fanboying over his return.
Do: Make Rey's Jedi Training Something Different
So, Rey is too old to go through the sort of Jedi training we see in the prequels. Plus she's going to be learning from someone who went through Jedi training after the Jedi order was destroyed and who didn't ever actually complete their training. So how is she going to be taught? Well if they want to be lazy, they just copy-paste Luke's training from Empire, like they copy-pasted all of A New Hope (oh, we'll get to that), but why not do something different. Yes, Luke is likely to teach Rey in the same way he was taught, but why not add a new spin to it? Obviously, she didn't crash on the planet Luke exiled himself on, so there's not going to be a bit with her trying (well, there is no try) to lift a spaceship from a swamp. So how is Luke going to teach her to control the force otherwise?
Don't: Have Han Solo Come Back As A Force Ghost
It makes no sense, but I can oh so easily see them doing it just to milk the popularity of the charming scoundrel nerf herder. Han Solo is dead, that is an undeniable fact. His death was justified in that it provided the villain with a definition of who they are and what their purpose is, and for the heros it was a galvanising moment, a moment where they truly realised that they needed to fight and take the fight to the bad guys, like Ben Kenobi's death in A New Hope. However, unlike Ben, whose wisdom and knowledge of the force made him oh so perfect for exposition, Han doesn't have a use in the series narrative anymore other than being dead. He doesn't need to come back and offer Rey sage words of advise, he was a smuggler not a Jedi. So just let him rest in peace, and it also saves you having to pay Harrison Ford his exorbitant fees.
Do: Have Kylo Ren kill Snoke
So, Supreme Leader Snoke of the First Order. The biggest enigma of the new triology. Who is he? How did he take over the remains of the Empire? What is his connection to the Sith? How did he tempt Ben Solo to the dark side? All of these questions have to be answered, but more importantly, Snoke must die and it must be at the hands of Kylo Ren. I'm not saying this should happen immediately, it's probably something best kept for the final film, but it shouldn't happen at the climax. No, if it were to happen early on to about half way through the final film that would be perfect. And why? Kylo Ren, as a character, is very interesting. He's torn between the light and the dark sides of the force. He's already killed his father and he should kill another character that we'll get to later, but his final killing should be his other mentor, the man who turned him to the dark side. This will finish his character arc, make him surpass Vader. He will not only have removed the figure head of the rebellion but have placed himself at the peak of the empire, completing his transition from Ben Solo, Jedi padawan, to Kylo Ren, Lord of the Sith. He would do well to avoid throwing Snoke down any large holes though, leaders of the Galactic Empire have a tendancy to electrocute people who do that.
Do Not: Have Kylo Ren's Story End Weakly
At the end of it all, there's 3 options for how this can all end for Ben Solo. 1. He's redeemed and lives to help Rey restart the Jedi Order. 2. He dies without redemption. 3. He is redeemed and dies. Now out of those options, number 1 would be a bit odd for me to pick given how I want his character arc to go, but he could end up there with what has happened so far. However, this ending is weak, it's basically "and they all lived happily ever after". Number 2 is more plausible, but only works if they really commit to making him a true Sith Lord by the end of it, remorseless and ruthless. Whilst I can see it, I don't think that's the way they're going to go. The final option seems the most plausible, but they cannot make his redemption like that of Darth Vader's, he is mortally wounded and is redeemed on his death bed. No. Kylo Ren has to earn his redemption some how, possibly by destroying the whole of the First Order, and sacrificing himself to do so. Or a mixture of options 1 and 3 could work. But either way, he has to die at the end, considering what he has done.
Do: Have Rey and Ren duel again (but this time Ren wins)
Ok, Kylo Ren, trained as a Jedi since childhood under Luke Skywalker, son of one of the most prodigal Jedi of all time and trained by the greatest Jedi of all time, got beaten in a dual by a novice, a girl who'd never picked up a lightsabre before. That's got to be humiliating. Ren should want revenge and this time he should be prepared. The fight should be short and brutal, with Rey barely withstanding the furious onslaught of the rogue Jedi. Finally, Ren forces Rey back and goes to make the killing blow. To be continued in Do number 1.
Don't: Make Rey Luke's daughter
"Rey, I am your father."
Sorry, had to. But anyway, they honestly can't do this. Well, they can and they probably will, but they shouldn't. Not for the reasons I said for Finn not being Lando's son, but because it will be a big surprise reveal and absolutely no-one is going to be surprised. Come on, everyone is expecting this aren't they? It'll be a genuine swerve if they don't do it. They've basically telegraphed their intentions from the minute Rey showed up. It was a massive surprise when Vader dropped the greatest reveal in cinema history, because nothing beforehand pointed towards it (mainly because, unlike what George Lucas would have you believe, it was a late addition to the script). If you want to do this huge, ground-breaking reveal, you can't a) have already done it and b) make it so obvious that you are going to do it.
Do: Kill Luke Skywalker
(sorry, couldn't find a good quality screenshot of him from episode 7.)
Ok, so, Rey and Ren have just had this amazing lightsabre dual which Ren has won and he is about to finish off Rey. However, who should show up but Ren's old master, Luke. The two engage in what needs to be the best lightsabre dual of the franchise thus far (only surpassed by the one Rey and Ren have at the climax of the last film) and Luke sacrifices himself, a la Ben Kenobi, so Rey can escape. By this point Luke will have taught her as much as he can and can come back as a force ghost (being the only person who really needs to) to dispense more wisdom throughout the remained of the film and the next film. Why should this happen? Because Kylo Ren needs it. He's killed his father, now he kills his mentor. He does what Darth Vader couldn't and that pushes him along towards his eventual murder of Supreme Leader Snoke and his seizing control of the First Order. Also, the emotional impact this scene will have, especially if R2 is there. I swear, if R2 were to see Luke's death, nobody would be able to hold back the tears.
DO NOT: Remake Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi
I'm just going to leave this picture of the Death Star and the Starkiller Base up here for no particular reason.
Ok, I'm probably going to get a lot of hate for this, but I didn't really enjoy The Force Awakens. It just felt like they hadn't really tried. The only original bits were the beginning up until Finn meets Rey (even then, hero on a desert planet, orphaned, finds a droid with secret, vital data on it) and the bit where they meet Han and Chewie on the space ship. Other than that, everything is A New Hope rehashed, with bits of Empire thrown in.
So we have:
-Kid on desert planet finds droid with vital data stored on it.
-Evil guy with dark mask and red lightsabre leading a band of Storm Troopers
-Escape from desert planet via Millennium Falcon
-Trip to "retched hive of scum and villainy" aka an alien bar to get help delivering this vital info.
-Rebel base of a serene forest planet.
-Bad guys have a giant moon/ planet sized death weapon.
-Giant death weapon is used to blow up an important planet as a show of force.
-Rebels need giant death weapon taken out so they destroy it using x-wings
-The force fields need to be dropped, which a small team does with little resistance.
-Mentor figure is murdered by bad guy in a black helmet.
-Kid from desert planet turns out to be a Jedi, despite actually being fairly boring.
-Oh and big evil bad guy only appears via gigantic hologram.
That's all A New Hope, just in a slightly different order.
Hell, at least Phantom Menace had an original story.
What is wrong with a bit of originality. Star Wars has such a rich (now non-canon) expanded universe, any of the ideas in there would have worked fine. If I want to watch A New Hope, I'll watch A New Hope, not The Force Awakens. And if I want to watch The Force Awakens, well, I'll have to watch A New Hope, because that is essentially what The Force Awakens is. Sorry guys, someone has to say it.