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This is one of a series of articles I wrote for The Coalition of Awesomeness blog some time ago. The blog has since gone to an unfortunate (but very awesome)Of Myst, mice, and men

In Minority Report, Tom Cruise's character was able to interact with a very cool looking computer desktop that he could manipulate with special gloves just by waving his hands around. [captionTuesday TubeWatch: Minority Report to Sixth Sense to PHUD - Interface Advancement and Integration

Murder in the First, based on a true story, tells the tale of Henry Young (Kevin Bacon) and his attorney (Christian Slater) as they expose the brutality of the AlcatrazReview: Murder in the First

Well, what do you know? The first trailer for X-Men 3 actually looks good! I was really worried with all the rumors I'd been hearing. Now I'm looking forward toX-3 trailer up

For those who are unaware, I have 2 daughters, ages 6 and almost-5 (4 and 11/12ths, she tells us repeatedly). Being the perfect, completely respectful children that they are, weOur kids adore us

U.S.S. Mariner » Bugs Bunny, greatest banned player ever This just blew me away. First of all, if you've never seen the referenced cartoon, you're missing one of the greatestFirst base: Bugs Bunny; Second Base: Bugs Bunny...

Quick, think of all those movies from the '60s. The fun ones. The ones with energy that just kept going. Fast dialogue. Bold colors. Doris Day. Frankie and Annette.Review: Down with Love

Thor. So... Thor. Let me tell you... my back was so Thor after I spent all that time sitting in the theater. Thank you! Tip your waiters! Okay, seriously. I saw Thor tonight. AndReview: Thor

Set in the 12th century Crusades and the defense of Jerusalem, this movie should have been one I loved. The crew took pains to ensure an accurate portrayal of theReview: Kingdom of Heaven

I had the opportunity to watch 2 TED talks tonight. Both of them were about the power of technology and its relationship to... well, relationships. The intertwining of connection and isolationTwo TED talks: Turkle and Whitacre - Internet Connections and Isolation

At a recent Rangers game, a couple was caught on film denying a game ball to a crying toddler, and they have been put through the social media ringer over"Stolen" baseballs

Trailer for 11 Minutes Ago The first thing that impressed me about this movie was that it was shot, in it's entirety, in a single day. For a feature length film11 Minutes Ago

My friend and I first saw this movie in the mid-eighties on the recommendation of a video store clerk. That was probably the best tip we ever got from aReview: Sleuth

Writer's Blog: Striking Writers Head to Capitol Hill The writer's strike continues, though negotiations have started once again. Meanwhile, the writers went and had a mock debate in Washington D.C. toWriter's Blog: Striking Writers Head to Capitol Hill

Survey: Unethical Corporate Behavior Stems From Unrealistic Objectives and Deadlines First of all, the fact that this even warranted study is a heck of a condemnation of the corporate world. That,Corporate ethics

Star Wars VII, VIII, IX… and beyond?!

Well, apparently one does.

I don’t know if anyone else saw this coming, but I was completely blindsided.

Disney just bought Lucasfilm, including the rights to all their films – and most importantly, Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

Apparently, due to some rights issues with Paramount, Indy is just going to retire. That’s sad, but possibly for the best.

On the other hand, Disney has already announced that they are going to release Star Wars: Episode VII (that’s 7, for the roman numeral impaired). That means a sequel to Return of the Jedi. In 2015!

They’ve also said they want to release another Star Wars movie every 2-3 years following that, and they don’t mean just a single new trilogy. This is where I begin to get conflicted.

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire cover

Don’t get me wrong, I still love the Star Wars universe, and I think there are a TON of stories left to tell. But I do worry that we’ll start to get the same problem with Star Wars that we had with Star Trek. Remember a few years back there was a Star Trek incarnation on TV or in the movies almost every day. The market became saturated, and viewers left as it all just started to look the same, rehashing the same ideas. I don’t want that to happen with Star Wars.

I’ve read a bunch of the books in the Star Wars Expanded Universe (EU). Those are stories that are set after Return of the Jedi (RoTJ), starring (for the most part) the same characters we know and love from the movies, along with new exciting characters. The first of these published, the Thrawn trilogy, was hands-down excellent. There are quite a few good stories in the books that came after as well, but then, there is also a lot of tripe. That’s kind of what I want to avoid – the hit-or-miss quality of the books finding their way into the movies (yeah, I know, some will argue that already happened with the Prequel trilogy – moving on).

That said, lately the books have been pretty strong on long series with interesting plot arcs and real consequences. If that’s the direction the movies go, I’m on board. Especially if they throw in some of the cool stuff we’ve seen from Bioware. That’s the kind of tone I’d like to see in the films.

Which brings me to this: what stories should they pursue?

They have a few ready-made options:

  • As mentioned, the Thrawn trilogy would be a good pick, and it introduces some very iconic and important characters. But the problem there is the recasting. Luke, Lando, Chewie, Han, and Leia are still the main characters in that book. There is a time gap between the story and RoTJ, but I’m not sure it’s enough to make it an easy transition to new actors playing such well-known roles. Still, it’s been done pretty well with Star Trek, so this does remain a possibility. I’ll remain skeptical for now.
  • We could move even further into the EU and go into the lives of the Solo children – but that may take some explaining and feel a bit artificial for fans who only know the films. Plus the original characters are still around, so we still have the recasting issue.
  • My pick for previously published story fodder would be the Legacy time period (assuming we are going chronologically after RoTJ). That takes place 1000 years after the Battle of Endor, I believe, and no current film characters survive to that time. The main character is Luke’s descendant and he has some issues with his legacy. The Jedi Order is around but has had a lot of trouble as the Sith have reasserted themselves, and there’s a whole new group of Force-wielders loyal to the much more sympathetic Imperial remnant. Lots of differences from the world we know in the films, but still familiar enough and very engaging. The galaxy is politically fractured and there’s a big threat to be dealt with – if Skywalker can step up and face his legacy and his destiny. Of everything I’ve read, I think this would be the best story for a movie.

Star Wars Legacy cover - Cade Skywalker

That’s all assuming they adapt something that’s already been told. I’m not convinced they’ll do that. My thinking is that they’ll do something original. My hope is that they at least follow the lead of Legacy and go far future.

Now, if they keep making films beyond 7, 8, and 9, I assume they will at some point go backwards and visit the Old Republic time period. Lots of room for story in that 25,000 year span. And it could be epic.

Then of course there is the time between Episodes 3 and 4, as Darth Vader comes to power and the Emperor sweeps his reign of tyranny across the galaxy. But if they do that story, I think it will be on TV.

So it’s anyone’s guess whether it’ll be good or not. Or whether it’ll be Star Wars burnout. I’m hoping it breathes some new life and makes it interesting again.

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