10 Things to Expect Now That Disney is Making Another Star Wars Trilogy
Posted 11.04.12 by Ryan
Last week, Disney and moviemaker George Lucas announced that the company had purchased Lucas' profitable LucasFilm Ltd. production company for $4.05 billion, While that affords Lucas a modest retirement from making movies (actually, he plans to donate most of the money to educational charities), Lucas also revealed that he had decided to hand over his Star Wars franchise to "a new generation of filmmakers," collectively blowing the minds of millions of Star Wars fans everywhere.
While creating Star Wars has given Lucas unparalleled respect amongst writers, directors, animators and movie audiences alike, it's been Lucas' "recreations" of those same movies, as well as work creating the prequel trilogy (that's Episodes I-III for you kids that watched them sequentially), that has made him the target of those same peoples' derision. Now that Disney holds the keys to Lucas' magic kingdom, we offer 10 things to expect from the new Star Wars trilogy.
1. The next trilogy will feature a princess. Perhaps even two.
This is just basic math. Whether it's Leia or Amidala, both Star Wars trilogies have featured a princess, and adding that to Disney's animation history equals the extreme possibility of a new princess for the third trilogy as well. There's more math involved as well. A new princess plus a new wild hairstyle equals more Star Wars cosplay for years to come, and that's certainly part of the equation.
Speaking of Leia, there's a distinct possibility that Carrie Fisher could return as the Princess of Alderaan. While this is by no means confirmed, Luke Skywalker himself (Mark Hamill) told EW that Lucas already informed him and Fisher of the new Star Wars trilogy over lunch. "I guess he wanted us to know before everybody else knew," said Hamill, who said he is not sure whether he or Fisher will be asked to appear in the next trilogy.
I can see both sides of it. Because in a way, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that’s the way it should be — and it’s great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories. But on the other hand, there’s this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material.
It's that "ravenous desire" that makes us expect that Hamill and Fisher will participate on some level, even if it's a cameo.
2. Disney will make a big splash with the trilogy's director.
In fact, directors are already lining up for the job, at least in their public (and very politic) statements. Fans, of course, have their own opinions and are already mentioning names like Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) and Jon Favreau (Iron Man) as possible directors for Episode 7. Favreau, for his part, certainly sounds interested. "The idea of another trilogy that further shrouds the Force in mystery as its secrets are lost to time — that’s extremely compelling," Favreau told EW after the announcement. "I want so bad for it to be good. Can you imagine?"
Favreau isn't alone. Director George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) was more than happy to reveal to EW his interest in directing Episode 7. "I can’t imagine a larger event-film for our generation than a sequel to Return of the Jedi," said Nolfi.
Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Desperado) was even more complimentary, and, while he could just be offering his support, his comments would seem to put his name in the conversation for director. "What an amazing world and legacy George Lucas has created — and it needs to continue in capable hands," said Rodriguez. "I do think Disney is the best studio for the job and the fact that they brought in [new LucasFilm President] Kathleen Kennedy? I can’t imagine a better scenario. And 2015 can’t get here fast enough."
No director has been chosen for Episode 7, but Favreau, Rodriguez and Nolfi have certainly cemented their names in the conversation. And, for the record, "from the director of Iron Man comes... Star Wars: Episode 7" probably doesn't sound too bad to Disney either.
3. C-3PO and R2-D2 will appear in the next trilogy.
Also located in the "obviously" department (see #1), there's no way another trilogy passes without Lucas' beloved droids. After finding a way to insert them into Episodes I-III, there's no doubt that Lucas' successor will find a way to keep them in the next installments. After all, droids don't age, and, while the next trilogy won't need to adhere too much to the older movies, it might want to keep some hallmarks of the original movies and C-3PO and R2-D2 make the most sense.
4. The next Star Wars trilogy will avoid constant Lucas tinkering but could get "the vault" treatment.
The decision to sell LucasFilm was admittedly a move on Lucas' part to hand over the franchise to other people, which is no surprise considering Lucas' previous comments on Star Wars. "I get asked all the time, 'What happens after Return of the Jedi?,' and there really is no answer for that," Lucas told The LA Times in 2008. "The movies were the story of Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker, and when Luke saves the galaxy and redeems his father, that’s where that story ends [for me]."
For better or worse, this means Lucas won't write or direct the next Star Wars trilogy, though he has said that he has ample notes for the next trilogy and will no doubt put his stamp on the story. This also means that he won't be constantly fiddling with the next trilogy every decade or so, updating the special effects and altering iconic scenes. While this is good news to all the fans still angry about Greedo now forever getting the first shot, leave it to Disney to continually put the Star Wars movies in their proverbial "vault" like they do with their animated releases. As a marketing move, this has been a success for their home video releases, but doesn't mean that the new trilogy won't continually be re-issued. However, the best case scenario for those that grew up watching Episodes IV - VI would be if Disney released them in their original form, without all the extra scenes and "updates" — for a limited time, of course. Fingers crossed on that one.
5. The next trilogy could have smoke monsters and plot holes.
At the time of the announcement of the sale of LucasFilm, Kennedy mentioned that they are "sitting down with a couple of writers," but could one of them be Damon Lindelof? The former writer-producer of Lost has been a polarizing figure of late, mostly due to his work on the script for Prometheus. Still, Lindelof is very active in the sci-fi genre lately, having worked on the scripts for Cowboys and Aliens and the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness.
Does that mean that Lindelof will be involved in Episode 7? Lindelof certainly wouldn't shy from the opportunity. "All I can say is my heart literally started racing when I heard," Lindelof told EW. Depending on your feelings about Lindelof, his comments are either an exciting possibility or a frightening prospect, with visions of smoke monsters and pale, CGI-created "engineers" taking their place in the Star Wars universe.
6. RX-24 could finally get his chance to shine.
Forget C-3PO and R2-D2, droid RX-24, or Rex, piloted the Star Tours attraction at Disney theme parks since the ride began in 1987, but has yet to appear in a Star Wars movie. Unfortunately for Rex, C-3PO took over in 2010 for Star Tours: The Adventure Continues, putting Rex on the scrap heap. Still, any character can find redemption, so why not the one Star Wars character that Disney has owned from the beginning?
Remember, in the original timeline, Star Tours took place after Return of the Jedi, offering a botched tour to Endor, the forest moon home of the Ewoks, meaning that Rex is a droid created after both of the previous trilogies. It may not be in Episode 7, but, at some point in the next trilogy, we expect Paul Reubens (aka Pee-Wee Herman) to get back in the voice-over booth and bring Rex's next disastrous flight to life.
7. Expect a Force-wielding female protagonist.
Much like the princesses before her, the next Star Wars heroine won't shy from a fight. However, Disney has been making a push for more movies with a central female protagonist (the most recent example being Pixar's Brave), and, if there's one thing Lucas never really got a chance to pay off on is having a female protagonist struggle with her ability to use the Force. While we expect another princess to make an entrance, we wouldn't be surprised if there's another female protagonist as well, one that finally fulfills Yoda's prophecy that "there is another."
8. Obi-Wan could get his hologram on.
In terms of story, the sky's the limit for the next trilogy, but if there's one recurring motif that has followed throughout every Episode it's the one that involves a Jedi teacher and a student. Qui Gon-Jinn (Liam Neeson) teaches Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) who, in turn, teaches Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and, later, Luke (Hamill). Only Return of the Jedi escapes this, but we expect the student-mentor aspect to be picked up in the next trilogy.
Whether the new movies will feature Obi-Wan or Yoda is unknown, but should there be a way to sneak Obi-Wan's ghostly hologram into the the next installments, McGregor appears to be ready. "Wonder if they will need any Obi-Wan Hologram action?" asked Mcgregor on his Twitter after the announcement was made, adding the hashtags "#ep7" and "#donthecloakagain."
9. The new trilogy won't have Jar Jar Binks, but will have a "new" Jar Jar.
A big factor in The Phantom menace, the character of Jar Jar Binks became less of a factor as the second trilogy went on, only making a cameo in Revenge of the Sith. Whether Lucas ran out of uses for the character or was tired of hearing how much fans hated Jar Jar, we're doubtful the character moves on to the third trilogy, despite the retconned inclusion of Gungans at the end of Return of the Jedi.
Still, Disney loves its funny sidekicks (The Lion King being a prime example), and the merchandising opportunity for a new, silly alien of some kind will be too much for the studio to pass up. Let's just hope the lesson of Jar Jar makes its way to whomever writes the sequel.
10. Joss Whedon will get to kill off Han Solo.
While Joss Whedon is likely going to be too busy writing and directing The Avengers 2 and producing the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show to work on Episode 7, but that doesn't mean that Marvel and parent company Disney couldn't possibly consult Whedon on the project. After all, Whedon's directorial debut was in the sci-fi action genre (2005's Serenity) and, earlier in his career, Whedon paid bills by writing uncredited rewrites on scripts such as the first X-Men movie.
Should Disney bring in Whedon for advice, this means someone dies. Someone fans love. And who better than Han Solo (Harrison Ford)? Remember, Whedon killed off fan-favorites in both The Avengers and Serenity in roughly the same way, so expect Solo to be impaled by — and this is just our suggestion — a young Greedo offspring.