A long time ago, in a theater far, far away – Andover, Minnesota to be exact – I left slightly disappointed after watching “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” with my friends.
Why that was, I would not have been able to tell you, being only 12 and far from movie-critic status. Something just seemed missing.
After several years of reflecting and re-watching episodes I-III in comparison to the original trilogy, I have made some bullet point ideas. These ideas are just some simple things I hope to see in the new trilogy to prevent it from following the dark path of the prequels.
Teases back to the previous films
What I mean, essentially, is having some references to the other films – almost like inside jokes with the audience. It creates a sense of reliability the audience will appreciate.
I am not too worried about this after seeing both of the teaser trailers for the upcoming film: “The Force Awakens.” Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford all reprise their roles. As a fan, I was ecstatic to see this.
How much they are in the movie is left to be seen. I deeply hope they have a fair amount of screen time to ease everyone into the new trilogy with its new characters. Seeing the Millennium Falcon again made me as excited as it did when I first saw it jump into hyperdrive as a kid.
No convoluted plot
Both “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones” had a problem with this. Neither film seemed to have a coherent direction and instead was made up of small sub-plots.
In episode I, there were the issues with the Trade Federation, then the Battle of Naboo, then something about a new Sith, I don’t know. The same happened in “Attack of the Clones.” Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker split up to take up separate missions. Focus in both films seemed lost.
I would like to see the new films stick to a solid plot and focus on it. The force awakening (i.e. the likely return of the Sith) should be the main idea.
Less can be more sometimes. Put the emphasis on one plot point and make it great.
No filler characters
I think every “Star Wars” fan cringes a bit when they hear the name Jar Jar Binks.
The prequels had a severe problem with character development, especially villains. It seems like some of them were dropped in for the sake of needing a bad guy.
Darth Maul and General Grievous could have been solid characters, but both where killed off before the audience could really feel anything for them. The potential they had was extinguished much too suddenly.
Darth Maul could have killed Qui-Gon Jinn then escaped leaving Obi-Wan, his apprentice, with a burning sense for vengeance. This then creates a fantastic conflict almost entirely absent from the prequels.
Cool lightsaber fights
This was one of the redeeming qualities of episodes I-III. For all its faults, “Attack of the Clones” had some amazing fight scenes. For the new films, I would prefer quality over quantity.
I have no issues in declaring the fight in “The Phantom Menace” as one of the best in the “Star Wars” saga. The fight with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan versus Darth Maul had the perfect balance of style and realism.
I hope this equilibrium is held in the new films. With the advancements in CGI, it is easy to go overboard, as was seen in “Revenge of the Sith.” After seeing how J.J. Abrams did the new “Star Treks,” I feel confident that all will be okay.
No cheesy one-liners
“You underestimate my power!”
Good dialogue will often go unnoticed, but bad dialogue stands out like a sore thumb. The prequels had a handful of bad one-liners.
One-liners have their merit but they should be sparse, especially in an action movie. As long as the new movies just avoid this trope, all will be well.
There is nothing wrong with a cheeky joke, but don’t force it. All in all, I think the new movies can easily avoid letting fans down if the writers and producers adhere to what made the original trilogy so memorable.
May the force be with you J.J. Abrams. Please don’t let us down.