Saturday, March 31, 2018

What Can They Possibly Do With Star Wars IX?

NOTE: This started as reply comment on the last post and then I got lost in Rantville.

Rian Johnson has left J.J. Abrams not just a mess but a complete mess.

When The Empire Strikes Back ended, there was an excellent setup for the next movie.  Why it No, actually.  Now that I think about it, the end of Empire created a major plot restriction for the film that was to follow it.

Harrison Ford famously wanted Han to die at the end of Empire and he was probably right, (actually given everything that happened with Han afterward, he was definitely right).  Han reached the end of his story arc in Empire, Much as we love the guy he really had nowhere else to go as a character and that was where he went, nowhere.

Regardless, with Han live captured, the next movie had no choice but to rescue him and that is a major problem for the plot structure of Return of the Jedi.  The Rescue of Han Solo is a twenty plus minute mini-movie within the movie.  The main plot can't begin until that huge subplot is out of the way.   After that, everything feels compacted and a bit rushed.  "Master, I've come back to complete my training and oh shit, you're dead!"

Alec Guiness was another problem.  He was tired and crabby and wanted nothing more to do with this franchise.  He wanted to be remembered as Colonel Nicholson from Bridge on the River Kwai.  By Return of the Jedi, he now knew that he'd only be remembered for being some kind of samurai-space warlock in a kid's movie.  When Obiwan's Force Ghost sat down on a log. Sir Alec all but said, I'm done acting here, just accept it.

This is all kind of a mental diversion for me because I am trying to avoid answering my own question.  I really can't think of anything I could do with the current setup as left by that TV hack Rian Johnson.

The good characters are gone.  Or rather Han and Luke are gone.  Carrie Fisher (hand over heart) has left us. It says something of their desperation that they are floating the idea of replacing her with...buckle up for this one...Meryl Streep.*

If true, it leaves them nowhere. Princess Leia is more MacGuffin than heroine.  Although I can see Kathleen Kennedy making Our Princess yet another addition to her endless stream of feminist Mary-Sues.   I'm hoping they will write her out with as much dignity as possible given how badly Rian Johnson muffed his own opportunity to do so.

We all know what I'm talking about here.  When we saw Leia get blown out of the bridge, everybody in the theater probably thought the same thing I did.  Well that's very sad but they had to do it.  Carrie Fisher is gone, so Leia has to be written out. I guess Johnson picked the best possible and did it. Heck there was even quite bit of tension build up during the advertising campaign.  Would Kylo kill his mother as well as his father.  It kind of worked.  Killing off Leia at that point would have been ballsy.  Of course Johnson recoiled away from it.   I don't believe for a second Johnson believed in his own narrative so much he couldn't bring himself to change it.  He was just too scared to take a real chance.

Everything he did was gutless.  Johnson clearly jumped, every-time KK murmured, "frog."   SJW Star Wars wasn't "new, brave and daring," this was just Gamma creativity. In action  He crafted two, feminist Mary-Sues for her majesty's amusement.  He focused pretty much all of his available energy on the stupid casino planet. He blew all of his budget on making sure ALL of the sets were live builds instead green screen because film school types bitched about that in prequels.  Which I suspect is why Snoke's throne room looks like shit, Johnson ran out of money.  Although you will be happy to know that the Hentai-Boob-Testicle-Sea Monster that Luke milked...yeah that actually exists somewhere (*shudder*).

Okay, I'm trying to circle back to my original question. Again.

Maybe I should try breaking the big problems into smaller ones.  First and foremost; The Enemy.

Snoke is dead.  Killing the Dark One is usually reserved for the end of a trilogy and thanks to Johnson's incompetence it wasn't.** And Kylo Ren is way too fucking emo to be the new Dark One.  Even General Hux wasn't buying that one.  Okay, soooo.  Snoke was and is Darth Plagueis “The Wise”.  He is in the lore as being able to defeat death itself.  So self resurrection (while disturbingly blasphemous for a Christian) is possible.  This also makes him exceptionally difficult to defeat.

Force Ghost Luke warns his nephew.

Kylo Ren has to make a run for it and the only place he can go is the #RESISTANCE.  Rey...and only Rey is willing to take him in.  The rest of the #RESISTANCE is uncool about this but thanks to Johnson there are only twenty of them at this point and they can't turn down any help that is freely offered.

Kylo reveals the First Order is constructing a new Death Star but if they hurry they can destroy it before...

Look guys, sorry about the Deathstar thing.

Truly, I am.

But at this point I am kind of trapped by the laws of the Lucasverse.  There are only three things in it.  Laser swords. WWII Starfighters. And Deathstars.  That's it.  I didn't make those rules if you want a version of Star Wars that is better than that read Galaxy's Edge.

*A Rep for Streep says this is untrue.  IE the fan reaction was intensely negative.

** I was honestly expecting Snoke to look down at the light sabre sticking through his middle, smile and then purr malevolently at Kylo, "Did you think it would be that easy, boy?"  If you are Gamma Male hack director, it is.


Mr. Bee said...

...(while disturbingly blasphemous for a Christian)...

Oh, like that's going to stop them. I think you are correct that Kylo and Rey get together and take out whatever evil thing they come up with for the next movie mainly because it would titillate Disney's core audience, tween girls. Introducing yet another Death Star seems ... nevermind.

Cataline Sergius said...

Introducing yet another Death Star seems ... nevermind.

Tell me with a straight face you think they won't.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about that. You can't not have a Death Star, can you? You can't have a trilogy cap off with a weaker climax than the first film had.

There has to be some kind of big moment. Kylo being beaten doesn't work for that since he's a lame villain and she did it in the first movie anyway. It's hard to see how you would do something that would take out the entire Imperial fleet all at once in a climactic way, I mean it's a huge space fleet and there's not much of an opportunity for the leftover rebels to get them all in one place anyway.

So a big fight with Rey vs. Kylo juxtaposed against the destruction of the mega-ultra-Death Star is really the only thing you can do, right?

Emmett Fitz-Hume said...

It won’t be a Death Star. It will be a Death Galaxy!11!!!11 MMMOAR STARS! Moar DEATH STARS!

That’s the way this is headed.

Cataline Sergius said...

In truth that would have been my MacGuffin for Return of the Jedi.

Forget a new Deathstar. Palpatine was building something that would destroy the universe and make him a god in the process. Vader would get to come along for the ride but of course be junior god forever and that didn't sit well with him.

Sadly, Lucas became a creative spent force the day he turned thirty-five. Retreads were the only thing he could from then on.

Chris Lutz said...

I don't think JJ can do a movie without a Death Star. He's simply not inventive. So it will be another type of Death Star, Rey defeats Kylo again, Finn spirals into obscurity, and nothing original at all.

I don't think it can be saved. One major flaw is the bad guys aren't credible. In the original trilogy, the Empire was competent. The rebels never could face them in a straight-up fight and hope to win. The First Order is nothing but incompetence. You can't build tension that way.

Emmett Fitz-Hume said...

" One major flaw is the bad guys aren't credible. In the original trilogy, the Empire was competent. The rebels never could face them in a straight-up fight and hope to win. The First Order is nothing but incompetence. You can't build tension that way."

Well, except for Storm Trooper marksmanship...

Chris Lutz said...

Well, except for Storm Trooper marksmanship...

That's only for the heroes who receive the Hero Battle Death Exemption (TM Ken Begg).

Pirran said...

Why not a Death Condo? Just as lethal, but harder to spot.

This would play right into Disney's comfort zone. You could have the wise but surly janitor (played by any race imaginable), the large sassy woman (likewise), the babooshka on the fifth floor, everyone complaining about the plumbing.

Disney can't do any more to destroy the original, just start the new trilogy with "Star Wars: Honey I'm Home...."

Emmett Fitz-Hume said...


I like that! How about "Honey, I Shrunk the Death Star!"?

owlish said...

Instead of another Death Star, defeat The Dark Side. Everyone throws down their weapons, peace and harmony flourish. Free health care for all!

Cataline Sergius said...

I suppose there is always time travel?

Send the protagonists back to the days just after the fall of the Empire and start over?

Traveling back in time cuts off Rey from her Force Magic and she now has to survive on her own talents and abilities.

Which turn out to be non-existent so she finally faces harsh reality and just marries some nerf-herder.

She ends up having eight kids and dies happy with twenty grandchildren at the age of eighty, having completely rejected lies of feminism.

The remnants of the Empire could do with a Sith. Kylo offers himself for the job...and then Grand Admiral Thrawn gets tired of Darth Emo act and spaces him.

Unlike his mom he can't fly back into an air lock and dies in the cold hard vacuum of space unloved and uncared for.

Having heard about the future from Kylo Ren, Admiral Thrawn forwards a copy of this testimony to the Rebels. Leia immediately breaks up with Han and marries Wedge thus ensuring Kylo will never be born.

(*Paradoxes are overrated in my opinion. Can you prove that one has ever existed? Yeah, I thought so.*)

Han and Chewie go back to being awesome and Luke is able to defeat Snoke when he arrives with the backing of his fully revived Jedi order.

And the horror of the last two movies are swept from the canon, much as Kathleen Kennedy will be swept out of her job when Solo is released.

Starboard said...

We broke down and watched this on demand. It wasn't good. The only way to frame Star Wars going forward is as a romance, not as a space opera.

Wasn't there some discussion of the feminist salvation of the force? It looked like they were setting Rey and Ren up for some sort of creepy love story. Leia already approves of the match, and if anyone can tame that "beast" it is the "beauty" Rey. Finn is safely friend-zoned with his new girlfriend. The only love triangle competitor is Poe. Are the writers channeling Twilight?

The casino side trip was useless. The only reason was to be able to show that slavery is bad, and that there is another young slave boy with the force. The circle of the force continues.... yawn.

It is ironic that they killed off Han and Luke, whose actors are still alive, but kept Leia. Ren killing both of his parents would have been dramatic. That he could not fire himself but that one of his wingmen did, was even better. Super-princess flying back into the ship? Ridiculous.

I did like that when Luke faced Ren, it was as a projection. I also didn't mind Luke disappearing like Yoda. That was more respect for the character than expected.