Home » Entertainment » The Travesty That Will Be the New Star Wars Trilogy

The Travesty That Will Be the New Star Wars Trilogy

 

I am seriously considering boycotting the new Star Wars trilogy.

I love Star Wars.  I’ve loved Star Wars ever since I was a little kid.  And so have a lot of other people.

Star Wars is a pop culture phenomenon that has survived, nay, thrived, in spite of George Lucas’ embarrassingly awful dialogue.  (“I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and irritating and it gets everywhere. Everything here is soft…and smooth.”)  The movies only make us want MORE, which brought us action figures, comic books, novels, video games, a T.V. series, and even a tabletop role playing game (which is totally awesome, by the way).

The Expanded Universe is incredibly in-depth and sweeping, fleshing out and introducing dozens of memorable characters.  Some of my favorites are Mara Jade, a force sensitive assassin trying to kill Luke Skywalker, Talon Karde, an honorable thief a lá Han Solo, and Jaina Solo, daughter of Han and Leia, an expert pilot and Jedi.

And there’s Thrawn.  Basically he’s the awesomest (technical term) villain in the Star Wars universe.  Darth Vader is iconic, but not terribly fleshed out (teenage Anakin is just obnoxious, and not especially interesting).  Emperor Palpatine is creepy, but is similarly one-dimensional. Darth Maul has some sweet moves, but I’m pretty sure that’s all he has.

Thrawn, on the other hand, is delightfully complex.  Thrawn belongs to the species of Chiss, with blue skin and red eyes.  He is so brilliant and talented that even the xenophobic Empire promoted him to Grand Admiral (in fact, he’s the only non-human Grand Admiral)’  Want to know just how brilliant he is?  He deduces the weaknesses of his enemies by studying their art.  Yes.  Their art.  By studying human art, he learns how humans think, and how to outmaneuver them, etc.  In intellect, there is no better comparison than Ender Wiggin, of Ender’s Game.  (In fact, parts of Heir to the Empire have much the same feel as Ender’s Game, but in reverse.)  He also does that calm-and-quiet-when-he’s-angry thing that is so much scarier than yelling and throwing a hissy.

When Disney and Lucasfilm announced that the next Star Wars movies would take place after the original trilogy, I was sure they would be doing the Thrawn trilogy.  I was devastated to find out that they are, instead, chucking the entire Expanded Universe and making up new stories altogether.

Seriously?  I marathon the original trilogy, read the novels, play the video games, dream of a Force Unleashed movie, and even play tabletop, and this is how my loyalty is rewarded?!!!?!!?!  Nothing in the Expanded Universe is guaranteed a spot in the new Star Wars movies.

Talk about heartbreak.

The excuse Lucasfilm gives is to allow the creators of the new films maximum creative freedom.  They want to tell a new story instead of one their fans already know.

But, really, that’s what the die-hard fans want.  We don’t want a new trilogy that’s going to erase the Expanded Universe we love.  Honestly, a lot of us like the Expanded Universe better than we like the movies.  A friend of mine even told me once that his favorite episode of Star Wars is Force Unleashed, the video game.  (Admittedly, the die-hard Star Wars fans also insist that there are only three Star Wars movies.)

Imagine that book you really, really loved, then being all excited to see that it’s getting made into a move, then the movie completely destroys everything that the book was about.  That’s what abandoning the EU is like.  (Though, come to think of it, the prequel trilogy was a lot like that, too.)

I don’t know how many Star Wars fans will cave and go see the new trilogy.  I’ll probably end up seeing them, too, but if there really is a descendent of Obi Wan Kenobi in it, I’m going to throw popcorn at the screen then go get a refund.

Sources:

The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn (and other Expanded Universe novels)

Wookiepedia – The Star Wars Wiki

“Star Wars Lore is Changing – Here’s What That Means”

“Lucasfilm Confirms new ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy Will Ignore Expanded Universe” on Ace Showbiz

Disney Is Going To Nuke All The ‘Star Wars’ Books and Comics Fans Have Been Enjoying For Decades” on Business Insider

Advertisements

6 Comments

  1. It’s disappointing I know. What I really want to see is a KOTOR movie. To me, Revan is where it is at. Thrawn is indeed cool though. I’m trying to stay optimistic. I have heard some cool things about the up coming universe, and I have to stay faithful to the world that has been so good to me over the years. Hopefully they can do it right just like they did with marvel. Nice post, check out my page if you get a chance

  2. This was the first post I read upon finding your blog — after having been very pleased to find a blog from a conservative (!) Star Wars fan (!!) who is also apparently a fan of Walt Disney (!!!). And then I find this blog entry, which takes my expectations back down a few notches.

    Seriously, I don’t fear the new films and am happy to see them coming, especially after having twice thought that the cinematic saga was over — once during the dry years following Return of the Jedi, and again after the release of Revenge of the Sith. I was nine years-old when the original movie was released in 1977 — the perfect age to be wowed by what I saw. And I’ve enjoyed ALL the movies since then (really, in many ways I think Return of the Jedi is the weakest of the sextet). All of them have weaknesses and strengths. Dialogue and acting were never the strong suit of the saga (although I came away seriously impressed with Ewan MacGregor as Obi-Wan, whom I consider the real star of the prequels, and Obi-Wan is now my favorite character in the entire saga. And I can defend even the awful dialogue you quoted from Attack of the Clones: Anakin had been sheltered by the Jedi since he was taken from Tatooine. He likely hasn’t had many opportunities to practice romancing the ladies. He has the natural confidence that comes from his training in the Force, but he is 18 or 19 years-old, with the “romantic maturity” of a young man of maybe 15 or so. On top of all that., Padme isn’t just some woman, but the one with whom he has been borderline obsessed for 10 years. Have you ever listened, as an adult, to an awkward 15 year-old trying to smooth-talk a young lady? I cringed when I heard his dialogue in that scene — not because it was poorly written, but because I identified all too well with Anakin’s ham-fisted attempt at seduction! In short, I think it was MEANT to be incredibly awkward.

    Anyway, I am not very worried about the new films. I’m an optimist in general, and I’d rather expect the new movies to be good than wring my hands at the thought that things could go horribly wrong, as I see so many other fans do in response to things such as this. Further, I know that JJ Abrams is a huge, legitimate fan of Star Wars, whereas he was more of an admirer of Star Trek (even though I enjoyed his Trek films quite a bit). Abrams created/co-created two of my favorite TV series of the last 15 years in Alias and Lost (the latter is actually far and away my all-time favorite TV series, which is not an honor I bestow lightly). I think that the vast majority of fans of the films and maybe the Clone Wars TV series really are NOT that concerned about strict adherence to the EU — I know I’m not, having only read a few of the books. Fans sometimes go too far trying to force EVERYTHING into the continuity, from the old Splinter of the Mind’s Eye novel (Vader’s “Come; amuse me, girl-woman” to Leia in that novel is a line that makes ANYTHING in any of the six films seem like Shakespeare) to the two different versions of Disney’s Star Tours ride (no joke), and then actually get angry when they can’t make it fit despite shoving as hard as they can. Sure, there was a lot of fan outrage posted online in the wake of the announcement of said disregarding, but I always take that with a grain of salt, or maybe a shaker of salt. The audience who consumed the EU novels and games is, frankly, far smaller than that who consider themselves fans of the films. Reading comments online would make you think the prequels are almost universally reviled, but the box office results belie that idea; they made the kind of money that only comes with repeat viewing, and the reviews were generally better than many believe. And those with complaints are far more likely to expend effort and energy ranting online than those with no axe to grind.

    Even still, I look forward to perusing the rest of your blog …

    • I completely agree about Ewan MacGregor as Obi Wan – he was excellent!

      If they weren’t completely chucking the EU, I wouldn’t mind new stories or new interpretations. New contributors could have great contributions. But to say all my favorite stories never even happened is a slap in the face.

What do you think about it?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: