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The Return of Star Wars


My predictions/whishes for the new movies:

When the news that Disney was going to buy Lucas Arts, I thought this is interesting but not too exiting. But then the news broke through that there would be new movies. And my world started to crumble…

Well I am overplaying it a bit here but as a matter of fact I am a huge Star Wars fan. I read almost all the books that are available and buy every new one (or old one) I can get. Believe it or not I have a whole bookcase full of only Star Wars books. It may sound a bit strange to read books about a galaxy far, far away where lightsabers exist, people fly faster than light with a hyperdrive and some religious people believe in an energy field that connects all living beings considering that I study physics and strongly believe in science. But you know it is a galaxy far, far away and it was a long, long time ago…

It is not like I live in this universe, it is more that I love to sit down, grab my latest Star Wars novel and dive in into this other galaxy, I first made contact with when I was twelve. I can ignore all the science that is missing, pay no attention to some bad writing or strange story twists and enjoy the ride.

One of the most important things to a story arc that spans over decades of ongoing story telling and hundreds of book, comics, games and several movies is continuity. In the Star Wars universe almost all things that ever appeared as book, game or movie fit together. Which is awesome! It not only makes the story more believable but it gives you the chance to relate much more to the characters and move with them through this other universe. This is because our brain hates things that do not fit together.

I think we all know this from a scene in book or a movie when we think something happened that is unrealistic, we lean back and start to think about the whole story again, only to find all the other flaws. Even if we had not thought about the reasoning for the plot, our brain will find these things subconsciously. And 90% of the time this happened it made the book or movie worse than it was before you stumbled upon the bump in the road of the story.

It was the fear that "my" universe would loose this continuity with the new movies being made that made my head spin for a moment. The fear that most of the things, I have gone through with my most beloved characters from this other universe, would suddenly be invalid, like they never happened. Which was kind of amazing taken into account that they never did happen.

For all the books and comics there is a special department inside of Lucas Arts that is responsible for the continuity. But if you saw Clone Wars you know that Georg Lucas himself thought that in the end it is his universe so he can mess with it the way he wants. Similar to what he had done to his films, but not that bad. And in the end he is right it is his creation and he can mess with it.

With the creation of Episode I-III George Lucas invalidated some books that played in that time or rather before. Overall I am not sure if George Lucas regarded anything apart from the movies as a part of the real story. On the other hand he did alter things in the movies and was the headmaster of the all the stories in the universe - he gave his nod to each and every single story. That gives me at least some confidence that he knows how important it is for a fan that all the parts come together. Now the story is in the hands of Disney though.

For Disney buying Lucas Arts was a huge deal and they paid a lot of money for it. It was not the first deal like this Disney did and they showed that they can deal with the legacy of a creative company. What are the possibilities for the future of the universe:

  1. Disney ignores everything and concentrates on making three fabulous movies
  2. Disney picks an already written trilogy in form of three novels and bases its new movies on them
  3. Disney chooses to let the movies play in a time where no existing story takes place so it can write its own story

You could argue that the first option will produce the best movies and therefor will make the most money, which is probably one very important factor considering the huge investment. This would neglect they the fact that every movie that would play in the universe has to pay respect to the universe simply to fit in. The work that Lucas Arts put in to all the details in the movies is humongous. A new movie naturally has to consider the universe it lives in in great detail. Nevertheless could Disney decide that it is the best for the movies to play, let‘s say five years after Return of the Jedi (ROTJ) and ignore the entire books written past that time. This would lead to a split in the timeline. New books will be written for the new one and maybe there will also be new books for the old one.

I think it would hurt the sales of new novels dramatically, if there will be a split in the timeline. New fans will be confused about the old books and the old fans will be angry about the brake of the continuity. Compared to the money Disney could earn with the movies the value of the reduced book sales will probably diminish. I am not sure however how important the selling of books is regarding the long-term prospects of the investment in Lucas Arts. They sell Star Wars books now for more then twenty years. They regularly produce new ones, the record them as audio books, they even bring out new and better versions of old audio books. At least they are making some money with this – for 20 years.

Still I regard option one as highly likely. The books sales will probably come back after time when the fans made their freedom with the new timeline. Some fans never forgave George anything though.

Considering these reports and the burden it would bring to the making of the movies I strongly believe option two is highly unlikely. There are some books that maybe could be made into a movie but why limit the new films to an old story.

Option three could be the win-win situation for everyone. There would be no need to split the timeline and to mess with the hardcore fans like me and it would give the creative head of the movies a lot of freedom. But it sure is the way I hope they go and I am not really objective regarding the matter.

The news that ensured my wishful thinking was that Harrison Ford would play Han Solo again. Also Mark Hamill (Luke) and Carrie Fisher (Leia) where contacted from George Lucas himself that there will be new movies. What does this news have to do with option three1? They would have the right age now.

Think about the basic plot of the episodes. In Episode I-III we see the birth of Anakin and we see him growing up. We see the training of a young Jedi and his way to mastership. We see the death of Qui-Gon in the first one. In the last Episode we see the birth of Luke. A break of 20 Years. In Episode IV - VI we see Luke growing up. We see the training of a young Jedi and his way to mastership, the death of Obi-Wan in the first one and the death of Anakin in the last one.

I know this is not a clear pattern, but I see one. Extrapolating from this we see the Jedi growing up and watching his path struggling to becoming a Master. We will see the death of Luke like we saw the death of the other great teachers (Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon and Yoda).

At this point I think it is worth mentioning that George did refuse to let any of the main characters die in the novels except from Chewbacca. Maybe this was a sign that there will be more movies all along.

The other question might be who would be the Jedi in training we see. In the novels Luke already has a son that is a very young Jedi knight. There is also the daughter of Han and Leia, Jaina Solo, which is several years older and already an established Jedi knight/master.

After reading Apokalypse, the novel that is the most advanced regarding the time that passed after the events of A New Hope, I think the Jedi in training could be Allana Solo, the grandchild of Leia and Han Solo. She has the right age to begin her Jedi training so we could see her on her way to knight ship. More interesting is the fact that she has a prophecy of bringing balance to the galaxy, of unifying it. Sounds familiar?

I think the last series of novels developed all the important things for the Star Wars movies: A young Jedi knight with a prophecy that has seen to much trouble already. An old and very wise master, that is old enough to become one with the force. And it reestablishes the Sith as an evil, dooming over the whole galaxy. If you ask me this is a perfect setup.

Plus if you look at the timeline of novels and comics there is a big hole between 45 years after A New Hope (they call it ABY - After the Battle of Yavin) and the next comic that plays 130 years ABY.

With absolutely no insider knowledge these are my predictions for the new movies.

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