New Star Wars film to be "original story"

News Simon Brew 1 Nov 2012 - 07:28
Did you know Darth Vader had a brother? Nor did George Lucas...

Mark Hamill has been talking Star Wars, plus a bit of info on the plan for Star Wars: Episode VII.

As things begin to clear a little following Disney's announcement that it's bought Lucasfilm off George Lucas, thoughts have begun to turn to exactly what shape the new collection of Star Wars films that are being planned will take.

There's still lots of speculation doing the rounds, but something that does seem to have a little substance to it is a report that popped up at E! Online yesterday. It quoted a Lucasfilm source as saying the new films aren't going to be based on the existing Star Wars books, rather that "it's an original story". It's an original story that George Lucas has mapped out, although he won't be writing the scripts or directing.

Furthermore, Mark Hamill has been chatting to EW, and he told them that George Lucas invited him and Carrie Fisher to lunch last August. "I thought he was going to talk about his retirement or the Star Wars TV series I've heard about", he admitted. "So when he said 'we decided to do Episodes VII, VIII and IX' I was just gobsmacked". Hamill isn't sure whether or not he'll be involved in the new films, but it looks likely that Luke Skywalker will be (although that's speculation on our part).

Finally, George Lucas himself has said that work has already begun with writers, and it seems as though Episodes VI, VIII and IX will be the end of the originally planned saga. That seems to be the broad hint that's coming through.

Again, as more news comes through, we'll keep you posted.


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Well, that's worrying that Lucas seems to be insisting on his plan for the trilogy, I just hope there's enough leeway for someone to come in and bring it to life.

This is good news - the Expanded Universe books are pretty hit & miss, and with the exception of Timothy Zahn's 'Heir to the Empire' trilogy bear little resemblance to Star Wars (the releases over the last 5-10 years have been pretty damn dull really).

A gap of around 30 years after RotJ would seem logical - scope for some cameos but also a whole new character set.

Could we have some Stormtroopers thou please Disney?

We will, of course, notice the difference from the first 20th Century Fox fanfare!

I'm officially excited about all this now, granted this new trilogy's very existence has more to do with being a bargaining incentive over Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm, and it has less reason for being than the prequels (which were, in theory, the other half of the story), but darn it, it's A NEW 'STAR WARS' TRILOGY, and one that will have minimum Lucas day-to-day involvement... look at how good the 'Star Trek' movies were - well, the second, third, fourth, and sixth anyway - after they kicked Roddenberry to the curb!

Whatever the story arc will be on the new trilogy, if they want to make a (presumably) May 2015 release date, they would need to start shooting by early 2014 at latest, which could work if they keep the CGI effects quota to a minimum - real physical sets, actual locations, etc - and that way, they could absolutely make a visually stunning movie with flawless effects work on a post-production of about ten months... my first choice for director would be Neil Blomkamp, who's with me!?

Tell you something, I will get that familiar tingle down my back when I'm sat in the cinema and those trumpets blast out!
Just hope that its not followed by that now too familiar feeling of desperate disappointment...

Just give me Crimson Empire! Now THAT would be the most awesome trilogy ever.

Luke as an old Jedi Master would be very pleasing, a kind of full circle with the old hermit Ben Kenobi. I'd like to see that.

There'll be a clause in the deal that let's George 'meddler' Lucas have the final say on anything released under LucasFilm. Disney should start by rebooting the prequel trilogy.

Yeah I thought the same thing. Hopefully he just came along and said "Right guys, the story will be Han Solos son trains to be a Jedi, go write it" (or something silly like that) then walks away to spend his billions and that's the extent of his involvement and the writers can flesh it out and make it good...!

Might want to edit this part of the article "as though Episodes VI, VIII and IX will be the end of the originally planned saga.", as it would be Episode VII not VI, as its written now.

Otherwise I agree with many others, 30 yrs into the future would be great, and they could use the cameo's of the originals and relaunch the franchise with new characters for a new generation of fans, and still appease the original fans as well.

Exactly. George wont let go of the reins completely. He'll have a nod on things in one place or another. Cant say I blame him either.

The intro wont start with the fox jingle and then the star wars music :( ( not very uptodate with who owns what nowerdays but disney dont own fox do they?)

In the intro I'd love to see Tinkerbell fly up to flick her magic wand then ***BLAM!!*** she gets blasted by a TIE fighter as it buzzes the castle. :-D

Stormtroopers: yes
Child actors: no

Well, an elder Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, I'd like to see. An elder princess Leia.... not so much :P

Not if she still has the bikini!

I have no freakin' clue how they plan to continue the live action saga O_o It will probably end up like the way Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides did. Just sayin', I don't know what other story these is to come, it mine as well could just be a sci fi drama instead of war since the primary Sith was vanquished in episode 6.

Why not? Why is it OK for men to be old & not for women?


There's still an empire to fight, just because the leaders died doesn't mean it did

Creative advisor means we will politely listen but don't have to obey! George has left an outline but he has no creative control beyond that through this deal. Curiously this is kind of what happened after Star Trek the motion picture when Gene Roddenberry was booted upstairs as some kind of Creative advisor and had no real control over the direction the series took...we got wrath of Khan!

In many ways the problem with the prequel trilogy was two fold, firstly George massively miscalculated the audience. He clearly stated he was going after a sub 13 audience not realising there was a huge adult fan-base who were hyped for the film. Secondly here was a classic case of a film creator needing studio execs to put the brakes on and say no to ideas! George had free reign to do what he like and everybody was terrified within the organisation to raise a dissenting voice! Ironically a simpler film mirroring Luke's life starting with a teen Anakin would of been a safer choice. The clones should of been the bad guys under the control of the Sith and the Storm troopers should of been conscripts drafted to fight the overwhelming clone hordes!

Of course the dichotomy with the prequel trilogy is it was highly successful and profitable! The recent 3D release of Phantom Menace made something like 100million US dollars! Also with the target under 13 male audience loved it and had no problem whatsoever with Ja Ja!

Which brings me to the new films! It was never going to be based on the extended universe books, legally it can't be! Disney has bought the rights to the Star Wars name and any new material they make. The extended universe doesn't sit under that, Disney can't make money from make a Thrawn trilogy! They have to make a new film if they want to make money back from their investment. And they will make the money back, even if the fans HATE episode 7, 8 and 9 it will still make huge amounts of money!

The good news is Disney have now gained experience with the Marvel universe and the mistakes made with the Star Wars prequel trilogy. If episode 7 is more character focussed and less childish they have a chance with the fans! They can still make a film that Children will like but with less of the Ja Ja factor. Keeping George at a polite distance should be fairly easy I think so I have moderately good hopes.

Another thing hopefully the fans will have slightly lower expectations this time, everybody was so hyped in 1999 (myself very much included) that it was almost inevitable there was going to be a backlash!

That better be on the DVD release....

And don't forget about Rick Berman; under him we got the mediocre TNG films, when Paramount kicked him off the franchise and brought in J.J. Abrams, we got the hugely fun and highly enjoyable 2009 film... say no more!

After ANH Lucas drafted up rough back stories to 11 more episodes making 4 separate trilogies. After Empire he cut this down to 3 sets of trilogies, one a prequel detailing the rise of Darth Vader and three final episodes set some time after ROTJ telling the story of the next generation of Skywalkers and Solos and the rebuilding of the Republic, Luke becoming head of the new Jedi order and being an Obi-Wan style figure to the young stars.

Needless to say, if Lucas has passed all his notes from over the last 35 years on to Disney, there will be plenty of material.

Lucas isn't writing or directing, so this has potential. When comparing the original films to the newer episodes, we see Lucas going from an innovative, risk taking, and hardworking director to a lazy and formulaic cash grabber who relied too much on CGI and wrote scripts whose "plots" were revolved around what scenes would sell the most action figures/video games (podracing anyone?). The overuse of green screens and wooden dialogue made even seasoned actors like Liam Neeson and Ewan MacGregor look like dispassionate amateurs. Even if the new films are horrible, we'll have some hilarious Plinkett reviews to look forward to.

However substantial Lucas' notes are, the reality is that most of them would probably all be based on a Star Wars that's no longer relevant to modern audiences. This is the reason why he made a good move by putting it into different hands. Pass it on to those who can update it with new characters, new plots, new stories, and new sensibilities.

We need SW to move past the premise of an aging filmaker's homage to the samurai flicks and pulp serials ''he'' loved growing up. We need a new trilogy with its own identity.

Except Berman had a say in First Contact, the TNG film most say was the best of that franchise. Insurrection and Nemesis were not bad films, just sadly by the time they came out, TNG had been off the air for years and Voyager by then had become the Janeway/7 of 9 lovefest which turned off alot of fans as well.

You're right, '...First Contact' was easily the best TNG film, unfortunately that's not saying much, both '...Insurrection' and '...Nemesis' were certainly not bad films, per se, just painfully mediocre;

The former was wrecked by meddling in Michael Piller's original 'Heart of Darkness'-inspired script (Berman, Paramount, and even Patrick Stewart had a say), whilst the latter was undone by both not having Nicholas Meyer co-write and direct (which Rick Berman wanted, but the studio forced him to hire Stuart Baird as director, who had never watched a single episode of the series), and also by giving writer John Logan veto powers over the final shooting script, meaning Meyer couldn't contribute his own ideas to it, and thus declined the director's chair... and that, as they say, was that for the TNG movie franchise!

Do you mean the Fox Movies fanfare?

It's more likely to be the Disney 'when you wish upon a star' intro :(

Umm, nope. The trumpets that blast when the Star Wars logo appears...

A good story is a good story no matter the age, the influence or the genre - ANH itself is a story which, although influenced by westerns and 1930s adventure serials, is thousands of years old - and a story which is still made over and over again today - sometimes with great results, sometimes with terrible. When Lucas had written ANH, which for its day was the height of modern pulp cinema writing, he then looked up The Hero's Journey and realised that his story was actually heavily grounded in classical literature - such is the influence that the monomyth has on story telling from all ages.

Give a talented film maker an old story and they'll do something great with it, give a poor film maker a great story and they'll do it no justice at all.

Harumph! you got me there! :)


My problem with Lucas has never been his ability to come up with a story, but rather his insistence on the minutia of that story. He created the world and the basic premises that gave us the original trilogy, the Clone Wars animated series, the more excellent computer games, so I find the this news cause for hope not dismay.

I hope they don't make Stormtroopers CGI.

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