Star Wars: The Force Awakens is officially the biggest movie ever domestically. Take that Dances with Smurfs! It rode a train of insurmountable hype going into theaters after a ten year dry spell of nothing force related and has come to dominate water coolers and internet forums across the globe. Critics and fans love it, and personally it’s definitely my second favorite version of A New Hope.
By that last statement you understand where I’m going. As good as it was, The Force Awakens was not a perfect movie. It’s good and it’s an incredibly fun time but it’s flawed. So here I present what needs to happen in Episode VIII to fix the flaws left behind by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
It Needs To Be A Whole New Star Wars Adventure
According to the majority of fans that I’ve talked to, the most common complaint from 7 is that it feels like a remake of 4. I could go into the details but you already know what I mean. In essence, it feels a little redundant.
Personally, I understand why Disney went in this direction. Fans have been clamoring for Star Wars for a decade, and some for three decades because they felt the prequels were a disappointment (that’s a different topic for a different day). So Disney essentially played it safe and remade the original Star Wars. As a business decision it makes sense. They gave everyone essentially what they wanted and bowed to fan service again and again and it worked out for them obviously as the ticket sales keep rolling in. However creatively, it felt lazy at times. Did I really need a third Death Star???
Going forward though, Disney has laid the groundwork for a whole new adventure. They successfully sold me their new leads and I’m DESPERATE to follow them going forward on their new adventure. So next time we need to see them in a whole new different experience, something we’ve never seen before. They do not need to remake Empire and instead bring us a whole different experience. We still want Star Wars but we want NEW Star Wars. As safe as it is to remake the past, and Hollywood has shown that, we need something that feels new and different! It’s Rey’s time to shine now let her have her own adventure to go on.
Character Vs Plot Driven
Again a similarity between 4 and 7 is that events are typically plot driven. Things just so happen coincidentally to the characters at just the right time. The droids stumbleupon Darth Vader’s son. He happens to run into Darth Vader’s former master right before he’s about to get killed by Tusken Raiders. They go to the Death Star right before Leia is going to be executed. Rey stumbles upon just the right droid. She just so happens to find the Falcon, and so does Han immediately after. She just so happens to go to the very planet with Luke Skywalker’s long lost lightsaber. You see what I’m getting at. Things just happen to our characters that makes the plot go forward.
Next time, we need more room for our characters to breathe. They’ve already convinced us enough to invest in these characters as the future of the franchise, it’s now time to get down to who these characters really are. Now that Rey has left Jakku finally, who is she now? Who is Finn now that he is finally free? He has a whole journey of self discovery available no that he is finally his own man. A character driven story will give us the chance to really understand them and invest in them even further.
Make Us Fear Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke
This goes with the previous point, but leading up the the release of 7, everyone was wondering “Who is Kylo Ren?” Well, we now know that it is the son of Han Solo, Ben Solo, but that only answers part of the question. We know his name, but not who he is other than that he worships his grandfather, Darth Vader.
As the point before goes, the next movie needs to allow us to understand who exaclty is Ben Solo. Why did he turn to the dark side? Darth Vader was seduced by power and his love for his doomed wife, but why did Ben Solo turn? What drew him over to the dark side? Vader always talked about the power of the dark side in the original trilogy, but we don’t get much of that from Kylo. So why did he kill his father? We’re lead to belive that he thought he would become more powerful, but by the evidence of him losing the next lightsaber battle to two untrained indiviuals it is clearly not the case precisely.
There seems to be a lot of haters for Kylo calling him a crybaby or worse as they feel disappointed in him as a villain, when really we get more range out of him than almost any other Star Wars villain in their first outing. Having feelings over killing your father doesn’t make you a wimp. It makes you a more conflicted and complicated character. People forget that Vader only had 12 minutes in the original film on screen. While those few minutes were used to perfection, it wasn’t until Episode 5 that Vader became one of the greatest villains of all time. So, I would suggest waiting to see what they do with him next.
To that point I can only say that I am eagerly awaiting the first Kylo Ren and not the next Darth Vader. To surmise a previous point, we need something new and not retreaded. No one wants the next Darth Vader. What we want and need is something new and different for this new and different group, and not just watered down regurgitated material of the previous villain. Give us a new reason to fear this man.
Supreme Leader Snoke has been on the brunt of a 1000 different theories about origins of his own as fan after fan will claim that he is either a returned Anakin Skywalker, or a cloned Palpatine, or a Darth Plagueis, or a Grand Inquisitor. I’m less interested in who his identity is as to why the First Order follows him. Those two points may go hand in hand, but what I’m really interested in is why does he want to overthrow the New Republic. More importantly, what does he believe in and why does the First Order follow his commands? Who is this man?
What Is The State Of The Galaxy
30 years after Return of the Jedi we expected to see some changes in the galaxy. Episode VI suggests the end of the war, or at least a change in tide of the war for the better. In Episode VII, we’re given very minimal information about how things have changed other than the names of the two factions. the Republic is only mentioned two or three times and one of those is in the opening scrawl. During the course of the film, General Hux states that the destruction of the five planets in the following scene will lead to the destruction of the Republic itself. It outside material we find out one of those planets was the capital of the Republic. So after it is destroyed, is there any Republic left? For me to continue to invest in this ongoing conflict between factions of good and evil, I need to know what is at stake and why people are fighting.
The first trilogy showed a rebellion against an evil tyrannical dictatorship. That is something I can get behind. The second showed a secession of a group of planets to form its own government that was trying to assassinate a character that I cared about. I can get behind that too. After Jedi, and what I thought was the end of the war, I need a reason to care about this ongoing conflict. Is there any order left in the galaxy, and why are these two groups continuing to wage war? Clearly the Stormtroopers are brainwashed since being abducted at birth, but the higher ups must actually believe in some cause, and what is left of this First Order after the explosion of Starkiller Base? They aren’t the Empire in size so how well equipped are they? More than anything, the first question I need answered in the following movie is why should I care about why there is a war going on in this galaxy.
What Has Luke Been Doing?
About a month ago, we published an article about how Episode 7 didn’t understand Luke’s Journey. Well I’ll go ahead and tell you Kyle was wrong on that. After 6, Luke is left a lone Jedi ready to start the new order of Jedi Knights. When 7 hits we find out that he made an attempt but Kylo Ren executed all of the other students. So basically he is now where we left him in 6. He is the lone Jedi, able to train new recruits in the ways of the force. Disney/Lucasfilm had two options to deal with Luke. The first is that he could have already started the Jedi order and we see where he is at now. The second is that we get to see Luke start the Jedi order, which is more interesting. Instead of one of those, they chose both. To show that Luke had been doing something in the last thirty years, he started the order but it was wiped out and it’s clear he will have to start again in the next film.
Still the question remains of what has he been doing for the last several years since the execution of the other Jedi. He had to be doing something important cause otherwise he was sitting in a corner moping while the galaxy fell into ANOTHER CIVIL WAR! I would like to think that he has been training with force ghosts Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda while preparing to train for the next generation of Jedi. As much as people were asking “where is Luke” before 7 came out, that question still stands just as strong. What has Luke been doing and what will he be doing going forward? We need the saviour of the galaxy to be the hero he was in the trilogy once again. He saved to world for me time and time again as a kid, and now I need him to step up in the next movie and be the hero again. Be the hero Luke, because you can, and because we need you.