Before you all get your pitchforks and torches to hunt me down after being excited by the news of Ford’s return this morning, hear me out.
I just saw Episode IV again and I think Han Solo is pretty much the most awesomest guy ever. He’s so awesome you have to use the non-existent word “awesomest” to describe him.
Ford plays him to perfection, bringing an amount of charm and cool that makes it impossible to dislike him even when he apparently abandons the Rebellion. Han is probably my favorite thing about the original trilogy along with Darth Vader. So why shouldn’t he be part of Episode VII?
Sequels and prequels are difficult movies to write. You have to try and keep fans of the original happy and you can’t alienate newcomers. That’s why if you read the first four Harry Potter books, you’ll see the first few chapters are full of explanations of things we already know, in case you forgot or you haven’t read the previous books. But I think the major reason most sequels aren’t as good as the originals is because they suffer from too much continuity.
The Star Wars prequels suffer from this because George Lucas wanted to tie everything together. So he limited his story choices because he was trying to include things like Anakin building C-3PO. The Hobbit was another victim of this disease, with so many nods to the Lord of the Rings trilogy (Hey look, it’s the party sign! Frodo is putting it on the door right now!) that it forgot to have its own awesome moments.
But the best (worst?) example of this is the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. The first one is a lot of fun and it’s really cool. But the second one tries to bring back every single character from the first one and the third one is a direct continuation of the second. If someone decided the first PotC movie they would watch was At World’s End, they wouldn’t understand anything.
Now, let’s have a look at some good sequels. Take The Dark Knight for example. Apart from a minor cameo by the Scarecrow, it doesn’t refer to Batman Begins at all. It brings lots of new exciting characters and it doesn’t use the first movie as a crutch. Or my personal favorite trilogy: Toy Story one through three. Pixar really knew how to handle these sequels by adding new characters like Jessie, Bullseye or Ken and even removing the not-so-cool ones (Bo Peep).
So back to Star Wars. I think if Lucasfilm is going to make a new trilogy, it should try and create completely original stories to please the fans instead of bringing back old characters to do that. Instead of coming up with ways to bring back Han Solo, create a character as awesome and iconic as him. I didn’t particularly enjoy Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull because Indiana Jones is so awesome and seeing him as an old man wasn’t that awesome. As much as I love him I want to have young Han Solo in my mind, not grandpa Solo.
That being said, I’m a huge Michael Arndt fan and I’m sure if Han Solo, Leia and/or Luke are back, he’ll find the way to pay homage to the original trilogy without using it as a crutch. But I hope he’s just creating an awesome original story. Thoughts?
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