It is time we finally tackled the subject of Star Wars. One of the biggest and most divisive franchises in the world. Since Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012, we have had: 5 films, 2 animated series, 1 animated mini-series, a streaming TV show, and much more to come. In 2015, we had our first of the sequel trilogy, and everyone loved it.
This Christmas, I set myself the challenge of rewriting the synopsis of the entire sequel trilogy of Star Wars. I cannot add any new characters to the franchise, I can only use things from the existing canon. Any elements from Episodes 1-6, The Clone Wars TV Show, and tie in media can be used or brought up.
What we got
The Force Awakens, as a movie, is probably the least controversial out of the sequel trilogy. And for good reason: it showed us the potential of these movies and what they could give us. It introduced us to new characters, old favourites, and the sort of sci-fi popcorn flick we expected. It was a fun experience to watch this movie. But there were issues.
Some of these issues are exclusive to the film, and some permeate throughout the trilogy. Starting with this film’s issues, I felt that it resorted to nostalgia a lot of the time. Every few minutes in the film, there was a call-back or a moment of fan service. In one scene, the Millennium Falcon is reintroduced. Han Solo and Chewbacca come back, and then there’s General Organa (Princess Leia). Kylo Ren is actually Han Solo and Leia Organa’s son. The film ends with Luke Skywalker with the new main character, Rey.
The issues that plague all the films, however, will crop up a lot in this series of posts. The new characters; such as Captain Phasma, and Poe Dameron are not used nearly enough in this film. The Resistance and the First Order are derivative of the Original Trilogy. And tell me, how original is a planet-sized laser weapon? A weapon that wipes out all the planets from the prequel trilogy? It’s a derivative rehash of A New Hope. Frankly, I think I could make it better.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
What I am proposing for my version of the trilogy is a clean break. That means that it will be the new characters who will be the main stars. No fan service. We should be letting these characters stand on their own two feet, before we throw in some fan service. No major call backs to the Original or Prequel trilogy.
The opening crawl would introduce my way of getting around this:
IT HAS BEEN 200 YEARS SINCE THE FALL OF THE GALACTIC EMPIRE. THROUGH THE EFFORTS OF JEDI MASTER LUKE SKYWALKER, GENERAL LEIA ORGANA, AND HAN SOLO, THE GALACTIC COMMONWEALTH RESTORED PEACE AND DEMOCRACY TO THE GALAXY.
And that’s all you would say about Luke and Leia. They would not appear at all, and that’s their story wrapped up. I say that because they got what they needed. Their stories were complete. The crawl would serve to introduce the Knights of Ren, who are ‘Purists’. They would act as an order that act essentially as gatekeepers for the force and believe that they and their descendants are the only true users of the force. Interestingly, they would use a mix of Jedi and Sith teachings.
In the 200 years since ROTJ, the Jedi and Sith went away, and force users essentially were excommunicated. They would all go to planets for force users. For all intents and purposes, the force went dormant, and Force Users were left alone.
WHAT I’D KEEP ABOUT THE FORCE AWAKENS
The following scenes would be the same: Rey would still be a scavenger who finds BB8 on her planet, who learns she is a force user, and Kylo Ren will still want to destroy her/make her join them. Finn would still be a disaffected Stormtrooper (or a Knight of Ren). The lightsaber duels would still largely occur as is, along with the ending of the movie (though heavily modified)
When Rey meets Maz Kanata on Takodana, she finds Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber (like in The Force Awakens). That’s when she discovers she’s a Force user, and that revelation is sensed by Kylo Ren. She is the first outsider who gains access to the force, which is how ‘The Force Awakens’. Kylo takes his interest in her because she is an outsider, while the others want her as an accessory for the commonwealth, and for harbouring a fugitive (Finn).
By the end of the film, The injured but still alive Finn helped the Commonwealth stop the Knights of Ren, Poe Dameron would be rescied, Kylo Ren vows vengeance on Rey, and Rey travels to Ahch-To, using a map she took from Kylo Ren, to discover the secrets of the force…
WHAT I’D CHANGE ABOUT THE FORCE AWAKENS
Firstly, Phasma would be the main antagonist. She would torture Poe, she would engage with Finn and Rey, and try to take Luke’s lightsaber. Also, she would injure Finn too. The fight between Rey and Kylo would happen, and he would offer to let her join, but Phasma would play a bigger role.
The raid of Jakku was in order to gain old Jedi or Sith Relics. The big plan of the Knights of Ren was to invade/attack the capital of the Commonwealth, and they’d do so with a ship armada (No diet death stars). Poe Dameron would be a Commonwealth spy/commander of their military, who gets captured and tortured. Rey, Finn, and BB8 team up essentially to save him. Whether or not they use the Millenium Falcon or not is entirely up to you. I don’t think it matters.
What would be mainly different is that The Knights of Ren would have different motivations. The Knights of Ren are Radical Force Users who want to make their own new Jedi Order and create their own military. Members like Kylo Ren, Phasma Ren, and Hux Ren would be Dark Jedi’s.
Kylo would still be a descendent of Leia and Luke, but a Great Great Great Grandson, which is why he became a Knight of Ren. His motivation would be to restore the Jedi Order, but he’d have streaks of Anakin Skywalker in him. Kylo Ren is an angry young man, and he is guided by voices (and the voices will be a returning character, more on that in Episode IX).
This synopsis essentially covers what I’d do if I was writing The Force Awakens. At least half of the film would not need to be changed, just tweaked. I didn’t cover the plot holes left by removing certain characters, because I wasn’t going to add new characters. I do think there would have to be new characters added, but that isn’t what this is about. This post and this series is about retooling what was already there.
In my next post for The Last Jedi, there is going to be some more drastic changes, but trust me, it will all be worth it.