Advance notice: this is purely a nerd content blog post. Don't expect any bait and switch in the end where I try to find the gospel in Star Wars. The gospel is spelled out well enough in Scripture. Sure there are elements of the Star Wars movies that makes for good illustration in teaching the redemptive themes of the Bible but this is NOT that post. This is purely how I think the recent Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm and promise to continue the Star Wars franchise (which is very near and dear to my inner-10-year-old heart). Some are concerned Disney could "ruin" the franchise. Well if you've ever seen episodes 1-3 you know, damage done. This is a reclamation project and here's how they can do it right, even picking up what worked in the prequel trilogy.
1. For starters, issue DVD and Blu-Ray of the original trilogy, digitally-enhanced but free of all the Lucas tinkering. Let Han go back to being a bad dude- he shot first- that finds redemption. Let Yoda be a puppet. Let Vader stay silent in his self-sacrifice. Let Jabba stay mysteriously behind-the-scenes in episode 1. And for the love, get that dopey teen who played Anakin out of Endor!
2. Issue a "fan cut" DVD and Blu-Ray of the prequel trilogy. Streamline the dialogue. Edit Jar Jar way down. Close some loops... like the confusing Clone army and Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas. And well, it is a mess so good luck but really, the main problem: too talkly.
3. Now for Episide 7-9... have a simple story. No politics. No multiple story-lines. Have a hero, a quest, some likeable sidekicks, a wise sage to accompany the hero (maybe old Luke?), a really iconic bad guy (Darth Maul worked in episode 1 then they cut him in half and we got Saruman the White), R2D2 and C3PO, and a princess to rescue (no democratically elected queens).
4. There were four things about the prequel trilogy that were awesome: lightsaber battles, podracing, Darth Maul, and Ewan MacGregor playing Obi-Wan. It would be weird bringing back EM unless for some Obi-Wan ghost scenes but I'd avoid that. Bring back Darth Maul's people for revenge maybe-- lots of em... like Aliens lots of em. Amp up the lightsaber battles... old fat Mark Hammil should have trained him some new recruits by now. Now about podracing...
5. The podracing of episode 1 worked so well because it harkened back to the high octane space battles (or Hoth ice planet battle) of the originals. So kick this puppy into gear. Dazzle us. Make us feel 10 again and flying through the theater... not drudging through another lengthy and dull conversation between Anakin and whoever.
6. Bring back Han. Harrison Ford hasn't made a good movie since Air Force One. Pay him big bucks to crack-wise and be the widower (kill off Leia to give his story some gravitas) who just wants to fly around the galaxy in his bucket of bolts with trusty ole Chewbacca until some young buck Jedi recruits him for one last mission (at the urging of old Luke of course).
7. No Darth Vader suits. He's iconic and legendary. Leave that character alone. Don't mess it up.
8. No Ewoks or whatever Jar Jar Binks was. I get the Ewoks... powerful Empire toppled by underdog... sort of a furry Hobbit. I'm not as critical of Ewoks as some, but less is more. Don't shoehorn cute characters just to sell stuffed animals and bed spreads.
9. Admiral Ackbar. "It's a trap!" More of that please.
10. Keep John Williams score and bring him back to write new music. Don't mess with brilliance.