Star Wars: Episode VII is one step closer to completion. In an interview with The Wrap, director J.J. Abrams said that the script is complete and that casting and other prep are under way.
"We're working really hard and we've got our script and we're in deep prep," Abrams said. "Full steam ahead, y'know."
Very little (almost nothing in fact) has been revealed about the movie so far, but Abrams did say that Episode VII will be shot on film and not in IMAX, as some had speculated. But on the rest of the rumors, Abrams kept his lips sealed, saying only:
"There've been so many [rumors] ... it is an incredible thing to see how many crazy things get thrown out that people often then write commentaries about. How happy they are, how disappointed they are about something that is completely false. It's a lot of noise, frankly."
Well, what good would the Internet be if we didn't have a few ideas of our own. Although we don't want to speculate what will be in Episode VII, here's a list of things we hope make it into the film, as well as a few we never want to see again.
Help me J.J. Abrams, you're my only hope.
As Harrison Ford once said, "George [Lucas], you can type this shit, but you sure as hell can't say it." Setting aside for a moment the encyclopedia of made-up science terms, a lot of Star Wars's dialogue was clunky and weak. This was especially true in the prequel trilogy, where the dialogue ranged from cringe-worthy ("You are in my very soul, tormenting me ...") to down-right awful ("Yousa thinking yousa people ganna die?"). Hopefully with Abrams behind the script, we can hope for something a bit better.
It's a plot twist that's popular in the Extended Universe and the center of the Dark Empire series: Luke Skywalker following in his father's footsteps and turning to the Dark Side. While this might sound like a fun twist, there are two problems. First, it would mean continued emphasis on Skywalker. Although he's a cool character, I think most of us are ready to move on from him and see what else is happening in the galaxy. Focusing on this would take away from a plethora of other potential storylines.
And second, it would mean that the entire original trilogy was really depressing, in retrospect. Even though Skywalker was tempted by Vader and Palpatine, we saw him overcome the Sith's attraction. But imagine if he failed and switched sides — you would feel like you'd been lied to for all those years.
One of the coolest things about Episodes IV-VI was the sense that even though these people lived in a highly technologically-advanced universe, things still felt kind of old and beaten up, as though it's been this way for years and everything was kind of old hat. It felt real and sincere. Again, the prequel kind of undid this by overusing CGI to make everything look perfectly pristine and untouched, but the universe would feel more real if it looked like people actually lived there.
Few things enraged Star Wars fans more than than the notorious re-edit of Han Solo's first appearance in A New Hope. Hoping to negate the image that Solo is a cold-blooded killer, Lucas re-edited the scene for a '97 special edition release so that Greedo, not Solo, shot first.
This may seem like a simple thing, but it's symptomatic of a larger issue: the Star Wars universe was the Wild West in space. Good guys were mostly good, but sometimes they were bad. People like Solo had to watch their back at all times, and that sometimes meant shooting first. If nothing else, it added to the realness and grittiness that made the stories come alive. Hopefully Episode VII can maintain that feeling, rather than re-editing us to "safety."
Considered one of the most badass characters of the original trilogy, Boba Fett is a must-have for the new episode. He perfectly represented the Star Wars universe in his mix of technology, scrappiness and lawlessness, but the prequels kind of ruined that by revealing his entire backstory and the fact that every stormtrooper is basically a Fett clone. Boba's popularity is strong enough that he may have earned his own standalone film, but we still hope he's a part of Episode VII, just not too much — he's got to save something for his own story.
Considering that Star Wars is one of the most popular movie franchises of all time, it's no surprise that there's a ton of expanded universe stuff out there, both official and fan-made. Some of this stuff is cool, but a lot of it is just super complicated and unnecessary. Maybe a few shoot-outs would work in Episode VII, but this should be a movie for fans and non-fans alike, not just a circle-jerk for intense superfans only. I don't want to have to study anything outside the films to enjoy or understand the new installments.
The Star Wars franchise is known for creating some of the greatest villians ever: Emperor Palpatine, Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus (AKA Count Dooku), Darth Vader. Hell, even General Grievous, however silly, was a force to be reckoned with. Part of what made Star Wars so great was this sense that the evil forces were almost too spectacular to overcome, so that when Solo and Skywalker did destroy the Death Star, it was that much more satifying. Hopefully Episode VII can repeat some of that magic.
Episodes I-III spent a lot of time setting up Episodes IV-VI, sometimes to a fault. Of course, everything needed to fit together in the end and make sense, but an overemphasis on this can lead to awkward situations that don't really make sense.
A personal favorite is at the end of Episode III when you see all the sleek technology of the prequels disappear in favor of the random buttons and screens that show nothing — it had to happen, but it felt super weird and forced. Because they don't have to tie into existing films, the new episodes should have a bit more freedom.
A lot of major action movies and reboots from the past few years have taken a noticeably dark and sinister turn. Christopher Nolan's Batman movies, the Daniel Craig James Bonds and Abrams's Star Treks are just some of the movies that have rethought the original formula to be way darker and more serious than before. While it would be good to see an Episode VII with a bit of teeth, the original trilogy seamlessly mixed a serious and adventurous storyline with moments of fun and punchy dialogue that gave the movies their excellent tone.
For better or worse, Abrams has become the king of lens flare. But with what will hopefully be some badass dogfights in space, there will likely be enough stuff visually happening on screen that we won't need that added lens flare. Abrams has reportedly admitted that he has a problem, but we just hope he can contain himself.
As I said earlier, an overemphasis on continuity can be dangerous, but when you have one of the most awesome movie characters at your disposal, it would be a real mistake not to use him.
Ford has reportedly already signed on for Episode VII, but we hope it's more than just a cameo. While we want to the new movies to explore some new ground, Han Solo is just straight up awesome (he does have one of the greatest love lines ever) and we hope he gets his fair share of screen time.
I know it's not likely, but I'm completely fucking serious. If I see Jar Jar Binks or anything remotely resembling or sounding like Jar Jar Binks, I will lose my fucking mind.