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Ask Slashdot: Can Star Wars Episode VII Be Saved? 403

An anonymous reader writes "10 years ago today, in the wake of two disappointing Star Wars prequels, we discussed whether Episode III could salvage itself or the series. Now, as production is underway on Episode VII under the care of Disney, I was wondering the same thing: can it return Star Wars to its former glory? On one hand, many critics of the prequels have gotten what they wanted — George Lucas has a reduced role in the production of Episode VII. Critically, he didn't write the screenplay, which goes a long way toward avoiding the incredibly awkward dialogue of the prequels. On the other hand, they're actively breaking with the expanded universe canon, and the series is now under the stewardship of J.J. Abrams. His treatment of the Star Trek reboot garnered lots of praise and lots of criticism — but his directorial style is arguably more suited to Star Wars anyway. What do you think? What can they do with Episode VII to put the series back on track?"
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Ask Slashdot: Can Star Wars Episode VII Be Saved?

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  • Star Wars Sucks! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @04:38PM (#47050333)

    The movies are all terrible. The only one that is half way decent is the Empire and that because Lucas neither wrote nor directed it. The more this new one completely ignores everything that came before it the better.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @04:45PM (#47050439)

    Our childhood memories have been raped six ways to Sunday, but does anyone care anymore? Yes, stupid remakes of the movies we grew up with exist. The songs of our youth have been remade into cheap dance tunes and ringtones. The games we played are now free-to-play tablet apps with in-app purchases. The originals all still exist, should we need them - but do we need them? How long can you hang on to the past without becoming old instead of grown-up? I just wish they would spare the actors the embarrassment.

  • by stewsters ( 1406737 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @04:46PM (#47050449)
    Making it a bit darker in a gritty way would be nice. More character development. I saw this [] on reddit today, and I kind of agree with where that's going.
  • by juanca ( 49302 ) <[jchacon] [at] []> on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @04:54PM (#47050583) Homepage

    SW EP VII, Scene 1

    Leia: Luke, after studying for years the effect of Midi-chlorians in the way we use the Force, I've come to the conclusion that they bare no effect in who can or cannot become a Jedi, all we know about them is wrong...anybody can be a Jedi...

    Luke: whoa!

  • by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @06:07PM (#47051339) Journal

    The original Star Wars movies were great because we saw them when we were 13 years old, and they were filmed to appeal to 13 year olds. Watch it again now, and if you enjoy it that's likely due to fond memories of watching them as a child, not because they're such great pieces of filmmaking on their own.

    yes plover, you nailed it

    often when I hear people talk about why the love trek or star wars or D&D or video games it relates to exactly the same...I just sort of insert "I like nostalgia and fun things" for whatever they are babbling about (fyi of all these i'm a 'trekkie' and a gamer sub-genre of tetris nerd)

    there *is* of course the times when these silly things that were aimed at middle schoolers have really interesting storylines that go beyond their target market

    that's up to interpretation, but it's all about distinguishing **why**

    Star Wars and Alien are awesome scifi films but are hugely different in tone/subject matter....I'm sure some fanbois would argue that both are equally great in all ways but they aren't. Alien is written and acted much better in all ways. Again that's an interpretation but it's one most people share and its easily defendable.

    I say the original trilogy are all "classics" for their own reasons...but in film discussions should be viewed as a whole...sort of like LotR...the prequels are kind of a B-/C+ retread, but reduced to its component parts it has some moments that are "classic" (note that the fan-edited versions of the prequels are much better)

  • Really, the stakes are too high. Too many people have memories of IV, V, and VI that are too fond. Even if we had a young George Lucas directing it we would still likely deem it a failure after the first 10 minutes. If you try to make it feel like the original trilogy people will discard it as "uninspired" or "derivative". If you try to make it groundbreaking people will say you "tried too hard". And obviously he can't reboot it like he did with the new Star Trek movies for much the same reasons.

    I actually feel bad for JJ Abrams, as he will be the scapegoat in the end regardless of how good - or bad - the screenplay is.
  • Re:It's hopeless. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jxander ( 2605655 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @08:53PM (#47052747)

    Teenage protagonists wouldn't be all that bad, honestly. Mark Hammil and Carrie Fisher were only in their early 20s when A New Hope released, and that panned out alright. Just make sure to get good actors, instead of Teen Heart-throb of the Month

    It's certainly be a lot better than trying to have the original 3 actors just trying to rehash their original roles, to appease the old fanbase. Don't get me wrong, they're all great actors, but I can just see the new film trying to shoe-horn 75 year old Harrison Ford back into the same Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder that he was 40 years ago. And he's simply not that character anymore. Harrison has grown and changed over the last 40 years. Han would have too.

    Also, if you look back on the original 3.. sure, they were considered SciFi, but the Sci part only existed to serve the story. They never stopped to explain the actual science behind ANYTHING. How do light sabers work? No one cares, they're laser swords. Why did that guy just vanish when he died? And how is the dead guy talking? Because he's awesome. Shut up and watch the movie. How does The Force work? Midocl-NO ... no one cares, they're space wizards, just go with it. And we did, and it was awesome. The Falcon made the Kessel Run in less than 12-parsecs ... that made ZERO sense and NO ONE CARED. That some fans wanked [] out some way for it to sort of make sense didn't help the story at all.

    You want to save Episode VII? Here's how: Have Luke, Leia and Han present, but only enough to help introduce the new characters (be they teens, 20s, or whatever) and then move on. They can hang out in the background, but should not be the main focus past the first third of the movie. Better yet, kill one of them. Have Luke go out Obi-wan style (that is, an active choice of self sacrifice) to save the new hero kid. Oh don't worry, Mark Hammil can float around as a Force Ghost if we need. But let his death inform the audience that this is not his story. That story is over. Oh, and if my previous paragraph wasn't a hint, skip the science part. Do what needs to be done for a good story, and if anyone needs an explanation, just say "because fucking space wizards."

    Oh and one more thing. No obvious big twist "I am your father" moment. We expect it, we'll be waiting for it. The bigger twist is for it to NOT go for the obvious. If you absolutely MUST have some twist or gut punch, dig deep and make it a good one. Think: 24 season 3. Ending with Keifer just breaking down in the car. Something no one sees coming.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham