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(Spoilers)How could The Force Awakens have been more original?

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The biggest complaint of the Force Awakens is that “it’s a cynical mass produced cash grab with no vision behind it that deserves to burn FOREVER!”. I would argue against that, but I would get off topic.

So, very intelligent man-person, if Disney knocked on your door and asked you to write Episode 7, what would you do?

TIPS :

Keep some things in mind. Originality is not ALWAYS a good thing. I’ve actually seen TV shows and movies get so focused on being original that they forget to make a good story! The prequels is one of them (just search up “star wars ring theory” on Google).

Kylo Ren, while his story is very similar to Darth Vader’s, is one of the greatest villains of all time and the best Star Wars villain. Trust me I’ve been around. I’ve swung with the best. The Joker, Michael Corleone, Norman Bates, even Darth Vader. Villains are measured by how they affect the characters around them. When Kylo Ren is created, it literally ruins the life of all of our heroes from the OT.

Kylo Ren is a villain that breaks all the rules of villain screenwriting and somehow does it right. He is not an all powerful force yet there somehow still a sense of danger. He is an angsty teenager that somehow does not make you want to rip your hair off and throw it through a wall. Angsty people are maybe the hardest type of character to write!

The beauty of that final lightsaber fight is that (at least for me) you care about all the characters in that fight. Even though he’s fresh from commiting one of the worst crimes imaginable, I still felt bad for Kylo Ren. The guy’s clearly confused, probably has mental problems, and has definetly been brainwashed. You ever heard of a villain like this?

Moral of the story, definetly keep Kylo Ren. His character is a combination of all the logical paths the main players of the original trilogy would take : Luke would train Jedi, Han and Leia would have a kid, and the Sith and the Empire would return one way or another. Kylo Ren also does not work without someone like Snoke : somebody to punish Kylo when he makes a mistake and to bring him to the dark side in the first place. Contrary to popular belief, he’s a very original character.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher are old. Come up with some younger new heroes (though not a 10 year old like Anakin in Episode 1).

The prequels are still canon, so any New Jedi Order is going to be an emotionless robot snooze-fest. Work around the prequels.

Avoid politics. The original trilogy is primarily based on the American Revolution, but there is ZERO talk of space taxes. It’s kept visual. From the first shot of the original Star Wars, we know what’s going on. The Empire is just made a lot more like the Nazis than the British (though there is plenty of Imperials with British accents).

WHAT I WOULD DO :

Finn would definetly be more prominent. I would go over his training with his squad a little more and give him more personality. You could even take some inspiration from the book “Lost Stars” and give him a love interest who stayed a stormtrooper.

Unnecesary similarities with Episode 4 would be out. No BB-8 or Poe Dameron. I would introduce the map to Luke by having Rey somehow scavenge the starmap to Luke on Jakku, which gives her more agency and cement her as the protagonist. There would be more unique worlds and new ship designs. Starkiller Base would stay though. How else can you make the First Order a big threat?

I would make it more obvious that Rey’s memory has been tampered with. I really like the theory that Rey was a student of Luke’s Jedi Academy that Kylo Ren could not kill (so he altered her memory to make her think that her parents left her on Jakku and not him).

I’d like for there to be a Grand-Admiral-Thrawn-esque droid that hates all organic life due to beibg discriminates against for so many years. In Episode 9, there can be a happy ending where droids get rights.

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I’d give the superweapon to the good guys. Ethical quandaries all around.

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  • Fully established Jedi Order with Rey as a student
  • No superweapon
  • No mcguffin in droid
  • Have Poe (or some other new character) be a double agent for the First Order

And to be honest other than the mcguffin being put in a droid and SKB TFA’s mirroring of the OT seemed more like using it as a back drop to tell a new (but vaguely familiar) story.

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CHEWBAKAspelledwrong said:

Lord Haseo said:

  • Fully established Jedi Order with Rey as a student

That would be boring.

Not if the characters are written well. Also what would be boring about a bunch of Jedi and a bunch of Dark Side Warriors clashing?

EDIT:

Also why should there only be a few Jedi like in the OT?

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Lord Haseo said:

CHEWBAKAspelledwrong said:

Lord Haseo said:

  • Fully established Jedi Order with Rey as a student

That would be boring.

Not if the characters are written well. Also what would be boring about a bunch of Jedi and a bunch of Dark Side Warriors clashing?

EDIT:

Also why should there only be a few Jedi like in the OT?

Because the new order is only ~30 years old and as TFA explains, Luke failed in his first attempt to train a new generation of Jedi.

TV’s Frink said:

I would put this in my sig if I weren’t so lazy.

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If you’re going to have a search for Skywalker, then actually have a search. Not just two parts of a map that conveniently come together and X marks the spot.

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BillionaireHobo287 said:

Kylo Ren, while his story is very similar to Darth Vader’s, is one of the greatest villains of all time and the best Star Wars villain.

Urge to drink … rising.

“I am a writer. Therefore, I am not sane.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

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CHEWBAKAspelledwrong said:
Because the new order is only ~30 years old and as TFA explains, Luke failed in his first attempt to train a new generation of Jedi.

Ok, but in my hypothetical he does succeed in training Jedi. You could say Kylo Ren just split off and joined the Knights of Ren. And 30 years is more than enough time to have a few Jedi Knights and even low level Masters.

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DuracellEnergizer said:

BillionaireHobo287 said:

Kylo Ren, while his story is very similar to Darth Vader’s, is one of the greatest villains of all time and the best Star Wars villain.

Urge to drink … rising.

I’m as obsessed with Kylo Ren as much as the next shut in but he has a long way to go until he reaches anything close to that mantle. Lets at least wait until Episode VIII (once he completes his training and all that) before we start hailing him.

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If the OT is “WWII in space”, they could’ve built the new trilogy as the “Cold War in space”, with two factions remnants of the old Republic as the “superpowers”. In staying true to this Cold War setting, we would’ve had less battles between armies, but more espionage and information control, leading to a completely different kind of plot and scenes from the OT.
You still want a fight between light and dark jedi? They could’ve wrote that these factions are unofficially lead/protected by jedi and dark jedi, or have their struggle be the actual cause of this Cold War (but I guess this one would be too similar to the PT, in a way).
Completely new characters, with only very few from the old cast making a return, mostly as cameos.
New concepts: the OT had the Force and the empire, the PT had the clones and the council, so it would’ve been the right time to introduce us to new concepts (like the infamous crystals, or borrowed sci-fi concepts) and build the plot around them.

The Original Trilogy’s Timeline Reconstruction: http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Implied-starting-date-of-the-Empire-from-OT-dialogue/post/786201/#TopicPost786201

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No more superweapons. And if you absolutely have to have one, don’t give it some critical weakness exploited by a ragtag group of rebels and destroyed immediately.

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mfastx said:

No more superweapons. And if you absolutely have to have one, don’t give it some critical weakness exploited by a ragtag group of rebels and destroyed immediately.

In fairness, this weakness was far less “critical” than in the OT. In TFA they had to infiltrate the base and plant explosives inside to allow access for the rebels. Far less “critical” a weakness than an open exhaust port leading to the core.

TV’s Frink said:

I would put this in my sig if I weren’t so lazy.

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DuracellEnergizer said:

BillionaireHobo287 said:

Kylo Ren, while his story is very similar to Darth Vader’s, is one of the greatest villains of all time and the best Star Wars villain.

Urge to drink … rising.

To be fair, I would’ve said that Kylo was the second best Star Wars villain if the prequels didn’t thoroughly ruin Vader.

Some other tips :

  1. Avoid politics. The original Star Wars wasn’t really WW2 in space. The Empire was just based on the Nazis but also the British during the American Revolution (why all the grey shirts have British accents). Star Wars is more like the American Revolution in space not WW2 and this isn’t explained through dialogue. We know this from the very first shot of the original Star Wars. Keep the politics simple and visual. You didn’t hear any talk of space taxes in the original trilogy.

  2. Sadly, the prequels are still canon. Any Jedi character more skilled than a Padawan is probably going to be an emotionless robot IF there is a Jedi Order. It doesn’t even make sense that there would be a succesful Jedi Order since Luke did not finish his training even after Return of the Jedi. Work around the prequels.

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John Doom said:

If the OT is “WWII in space”, they could’ve built the new trilogy as the “Cold War in space”, with two factions remnants of the old Republic as the “superpowers”. In staying true to this Cold War setting, we would’ve had less battles between armies, but more espionage and information control, leading to a completely different kind of plot and scenes from the OT.

Yes to this!

Ray’s Lounge
Biggs in ANH edit idea
ROTJ opening edit idea

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John Doom said:

If the OT is “WWII in space”, they could’ve built the new trilogy as the “Cold War in space”, with two factions remnants of the old Republic as the “superpowers”. In staying true to this Cold War setting, we would’ve had less battles between armies, but more espionage and information control, leading to a completely different kind of plot and scenes from the OT.

I think this would work better as a prequel novel.

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Because it would call for slower pacing which are fine for books but doesn’t translate as well in terms of film. Still a great idea though.

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CHEWBAKAspelledwrong said:
In fairness, this weakness was far less “critical” than in the OT. In TFA they had to infiltrate the base and plant explosives inside to allow access for the rebels. Far less “critical” a weakness than an open exhaust port leading to the core.

True, but it still got destroyed really quickly and I just can’t believe that there was actually another superweapon for the 3rd time in 4 movies. I mean one of the main reasons I rank ROTJ lower than the other movies in the OT is because of the 2nd death star, that was unoriginal enough. I never thought they’d make ANOTHER one.

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The prequels don’t ruin Vader because he wasn’t in them.

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Lord Haseo said:

Because it would call for slower pacing which are fine for books but doesn’t translate as well in terms of film. Still a great idea though.

Pacing only comes down to the director’s taste. You can totally have both espionage and fast pacing in movies (think of every James Bond film).

The Original Trilogy’s Timeline Reconstruction: http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Implied-starting-date-of-the-Empire-from-OT-dialogue/post/786201/#TopicPost786201

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John Doom said:

Lord Haseo said:

Because it would call for slower pacing which are fine for books but doesn’t translate as well in terms of film. Still a great idea though.

Pacing only comes down to the director’s taste. You can totally have both espionage and fast pacing in movies (think of every James Bond film).

That works for that franchise, but there are other factors in SW films that need to be adhered to and blending them together so that the espionage is substantial could be troublesome. Also again I think this would work better as a book due to the fact that they’ll be longer waits for things to happen, sneaking around more exposition, long drawn out conversations etc. Also the aspect of a Cold Wars sounds like something that would happen in a prequel novel rather than an actual Star Wars film.

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Expositions on the plot can be as long as in ROTJ’s briefing scene (which didn’t affect its overall pacing), there’s no need for waits and conversations longer than there were in the OT.
Why do you say it would make more sense in a prequel novel? I don’t get it: wasn’t half of SW’s plot about Leia being a spy and Obi-wan’s mission to bring the stolen data tapes to the Rebellion? I’m only suggesting to push this just a little further in the espionage genre with a cold war-like context.

The Original Trilogy’s Timeline Reconstruction: http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Implied-starting-date-of-the-Empire-from-OT-dialogue/post/786201/#TopicPost786201