Monday, January 9, 2012

Top 5 - Dream Star Wars Projects

It’s good to be a Star Wars fan.
Think about it - there’s a Star Wars version of everything. Enjoy reading? There are piles of Star Wars novels in every bookstore. Play World of Warcraft? Why not try The Old Republic? What do you want for breakfast? Have a Darth Vader shaped waffle. I bet if you looked hard enough, you’d be able to find Jabba the Hutt toilet paper.
So while there’s no stone left unbranded by Lucasfilm, I would argue that there’s a lot left in the hopper when it comes to future Star Wars projects. Luckily for them, I’ve come up with a list of the top 5 dream Star Wars projects that I’d love to see come to fruition before I become one with the Force.
1. The Adventures of Han & Chewie Ongoing Comic Book Series
For better or for worse, Han wasn’t included in any of the prequels. I for one am firmly in the “better” camp. Despite the inclusion of Chewie in Revenge of the Sith, I think it would have been a stretch to have another character from the original trilogy featured in the prequel trilogy. Not only that, but part of Han’s charm is that we really don’t know that much about him.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, wouldn’t a series that fills in the gaps in continuity with Han and Chewie remove the aforementioned mystery? I’d argue that by its very nature, the expanded universe of the books and the comics allow for a certain degree of separation from strict Star Wars continuity. Simply speaking, fans can choose to accept it all as canon or ignore it, counting only feature films as the official story.
And really, just think of the fun we could have! If Dark Horse Comics were to pair a top-tier writer and artist for “The Adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca,” I think that most of us would be adding a new title to our pull lists. I’ve gotta believe there are big name writers and artists that would jump at the opportunity.  I mean, Brian Michael Bendis is writing Halo for Christ’s sake! Get Mr. Lucas on the horn and make it happen Dark Horse.

2. A Star Wars Motion Detection Video Game That Doesn’t Suck
Ever since motion detection-based video game systems were introduced, I’ve only wanted one thing: a friggin’ lightsaber. I want to swing that little Wii remote, slicing and dicing to my heart’s content. Unfortunately, no one has been able to deliver, despite a few attempts. The Wii’s just never quite gotten it right.
Early reports of Star Wars Kinect don’t sound promising either. It’s been reported that fans that demoed the Kinect game were dismayed to find that the controls were lacking, even frustrating. The gameplay doesn’t sound much better. One of the missions that has been revealed requires the player to become a rancor and stomp around Tatooine. No, thanks. Keep that one. Thankfully, this game’s release was delayed, presumably to work out the bugs, and hopefully, to fine tune some lightsaber swingin’ action. C’mon old buddy, don’t let me down.

3. A Rebellion-Era Live-Action TV Show
As it stands now, if budgetary concerns can be overcome, we will see a live-action Star Wars series set between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope” called "Star Wars: Underworld." It's been announced that 50 episodes have been written. The show would not focus on any of the main characters from the films. Rather, the "scum and villany" of the Star Wars universe will take center stage. According to Mr. Lucas, it'll be more adult and action-heavy, and can be described as “Deadwood” meets “The Sopranos." Producer Rick McCallum has even said that the series could have as many as 400 episodes.
If all of this information is accurate, then this dream project might be the one that’s closest to becoming a reality, but even if it does, I’ll still have one quibble: it’s going to be set just a little too early. I want to see a series that intertwines with the major events of “A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” Instead it sounds like we’ll be getting more stories from the less popular and inferior prequel era. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not entirely a bad thing. Just look at the bang-up job they’re doing with Clone Wars. That said, I’ll always prefer my Star Wars Gungan-free. Rebellion-era all the way.

4. The Thrawn Trilogy – Clone Wars-Style
Timothy Zahn’s original sequel trilogy is still the best example of the expanded universe. Using our all of our favorite characters from the original trilogy, Zahn spun a tale so thematically similar to the films that my memories of reading the books are not unlike having watched them as feature-length movies. So why not make that a reality? Bring in the animators and artists from the Clone Wars and make this into three new animated movies or even a TV miniseries.
Besides Sir Alec Guinness, we still have all of the original actors to provide the voices. Heck, Mark Hamill has even made another career out of voice acting, most notably as the Joker in many animated Batman projects. Realistically, we know that we’re probably not going to get Harrison Ford to return to the Star Wars universe, so I suppose I’d be willing to see the project move forward without him. That said, my dream version of this includes Ford deciding that he’s so grateful to Lucas and Star Wars for launching his career that he’ll return to the role that made him famous one last time. I’d even forgive him for climbing into that fridge for Spielberg.

If you haven't seen it already, the following fan-made video, "Tales of the New Republic" is one of the inspirations for this particular dream.

5. New Movies
I’ll bet you saw this one coming.
Despite the fact that the prequels came up short in many, many regards, I’d still love to see more Star Wars in theaters. What would they be about? To be honest, I truly don’t know. What I do know is that there are tremendously talented writers and directors out there today that love the Star Wars universe and could easily be brought in to carry on the series. The trick is to get George Lucas to pass the torch.
Could you imagine a new trilogy or even a remake of the original three (*gasp*) in the hands of someone like Brad Bird, Brian K. Vaughan, J.J. Abrams, Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, Damon Lindelof, Jon Favreau, Frank Darabont or Joss Whedon? Let Spielberg and Lucas produce and give the reigns to a younger talent who has love and respect for the original trilogy.

Admittedly, there might be a few “childhoods raped” in the process, but we can’t be so attached to the property that we aren’t willing to see someone take a risk with the material. New stories using sharp storytelling and special effects, or the classic original three remade with a fresh, updated perspective could absolutely blow us away.

So there you have it – my top 5 dream Star Wars projects. Feel free to steal these ideas, Mr. Lucas. To actually see them happen would be payment enough.
Well … you know … that and a percentage of the merchandising.

1 comment:

  1. So funny to see how far we've come since I wrote this a year ago!