I like you too. I definitely plan to keep checking back and posting regularly. It’s good to talk this stuff out with people in a place that doesn’t feel like an echo chamber.
That’s really interesting to know about the 2001 books. I had never heard before about him saying that. That’s a great way to explore alternative stories branching from a single point of origin, and I would love to see Star Wars do something similar to that. I like to view the unaltered OT as existing in its own bubble of canon, while the Special Editions and the Prequels and Sequels are all off in a different timeline, essentially.
SW77 is partly my favorite because of how well it stands on its own. The franchise could have ended after one movie and it would still be considered one of the great science fantasy classics.
The issue I have with the ST is that they got the original staring actors back. It makes it tough to see them like that, you know? The PT did not have them so it is easier to dismiss.
Yeah, I know what you mean. They really wanted to give the ST this outward sense of legitimacy by bringing everybody back. It felt like the old gang was coming back together. Lucasfilm had one chance to reunite them and give them a worthy sendoff. They couldn’t afford to just “wing it” with the plot or settle for a mediocre story. If you’re going to continue the stories of those beloved characters post-RotJ, it had better be respectful to those characters, and it had better be worth people’s time. And I don’t think it was.
Michael Arndt struggled with the TFA script because it kept morphing into being about Luke! Disney did not want that - there was almost certainly a mandate to introduce new characters (especially a female protagonist) that younger people could “identify” with.
This is a classic case of a corporation underestimating it’s audience. You really think that a trailer featuring Luke, Han, Leia (even old) kicking ass and taking names would make younger people not want to see a NEW Star Wars? Luke Skywalker is cool because he has a lightsaber. Toy sales reflect this; the kids don’t want Rey and Finn toys.
The way I see it, if you write new characters that are compelling enough, then you wouldn’t have to worry about the OT characters overshadowing them. If the OT heroes keep having the spotlight gravitate back towards them in your script, then maybe that’s a sign you need to improve your new characters. It’s not that hard to have the audience care about new people while still getting a thrill out of seeing the old cast back in action. Just have Luke be a Dumbledore or Gandalf-like figure to a new generation of Jedi. It’s not that hard.