Thursday, 7 February 2013

5 (somewhat) good things JJ Abrams could do with the new SW movies (and probabiy won't)



1) Start Fresh

And I mean: leave the originals alone. Start a new story with new characters.

Get rid of the continuity and of the throwbacks at the beginning of the new film and make tabula rasa of everything, at least plotwise (of course there should be the Force, Jedi knights, spacecrafts and battle scenes)

The original trilogy is one of the most-beloved series of films. The audience has become very precious about the originals (to the point that many now disregard the constantly-enhanced Special Editions as a travesty). Besides, a lot of people are already concerned about the possibility of seeing the old cast members returning in their roles (they have not aged all that well and I presume a lot of the members of the audience do not want to be confronted with the fact that they have aged too).

Still, Disney did not buy SW to make something NEW out of it, but rather to take advantage of its established popularity: meaning they want to cash in to recognizable characters and situations (they have just announced their intentions about stand-alone movies about Yoda and Han Solo).

When Abrams took the helmet of Star Trek, his mission was clear: revamp the franchise, using all the elements the large majority of the audience knew about it: the Enterprise, Spock, Kirk etc.

Disney announced they are going to make Episode VII, therefore I believe that it will somehow tie in closely with the previous episodes.

It is possible that the prequels and its characters will be less referenced too, since they are not as popular.

I really hope Abrams won't fall in to the temptation of trying to redeem the prequels by picking up storylines or elements and making them cool. The prequels are broken beyond repair.

2) Cast actors he worked with before.

Who wouldn't like to see John Noble or Terry O'Quinn as Jedi? Or Josh Halloway as a space pirate? Or Michael Emerson as a baddie?

Casting decisions are maybe less troublesome for this picture than for other blockbusters. I guess that the SW brand and Abram's name are enough to generate legitimacy. The movie is very likely to be a success whoever they will cast, as long as the choices aren't terribly wrong.

But I cannot help thinking that with Lost, Fringe and other stuff, J J Abrams came across a lot of talented actors who can really deliver. That is, of course, If they have a good script. Which leads to the next entry:

3) Ask Friends

Abrams worked/is friends with a lot of people who could serve as good script doctors or at least could throw in some nice advice: Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith (check out this Dinner for Five), Simon Pegg, damn, even Damon Lindelof (yes, the man who according to most has screwed-up the Alien franchise) and his Lost writing partner Carlton Cuse. These are all people that may have some interesting insights about what made Star Wars good.

Michael Arndt and Lawrence Kasdan (both fine writers) are also being involved in the SW revamp, but it is not clear what their contribution will be. However J J Abrams is an accomplished storyteller. As long as he cares, I'm confident this could turn out good.

4) No 3D

Of all I've written, this seems the most unlikely to happen. Unless 3D becomes "uncool" or turns in a gigantic boomerang in two years time, I guess Disney will follow the trend and shoot this m*********er in 3D.

Storywise this shouldn't matter much, and as long as I can choose to see it in 2D, that's fine.

It's true though that 3D may push a director to choose camera angles more based on their "roller coaster ride" quotient, rather than their effectiveness on a dramatic/storytelling level.

5) Have John Williams write the score

Just kidding.
I mean, Williams is the best and should write it, but I'll love to hear a Michael Giacchino SW score.

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