Retread of the Jedi?

Beware, some diet spoilers.

With the resumption of Ep VII filming, leaks are coming like out of a baby’s overstuffed diaper. First artist Tom Hodges released a sketch of the new stormtrooper helmet and then photos started coming out of the same helmet and a snowtrooper helmet within a few days. Then out comes what’s allegedly a concept art of Han’s costume. It looks exactly like what he wore on Hoth in TESB.

Stormtroopers, snowtroopers, Hoth, TESB. Plus we have X-Wings and the Falcon. Admiral Ackbar. I’m surprised we haven’t heard yet that Leia will be back in her slave girl outfit.

Which leads me to ask the question that’s been haunting me all along: is there anything new at all in this movie? ANYTHING?

Okay, Luke’s beard is new. I will give them that.

But otherwise, Ep VII seems like a big retread of everything we’ve seen before, and by that I mean only everything we’ve seen between 1977 and 1983. Worse yet, I’m concerned that some elements are being put in the film for no other reason than to keep certain “iconic” images around even though logically they shouldn’t be there anymore. Why the heck are there stormtroopers anyway? The Empire was defeated 30 some years in the past! Darth Vader shouldn’t be around and recreating Luke’s vision on Dagobah would be cheap and stupid. God forbid if Luke speaks with his father Anakin (because then you’d have to roll in Hayden Christensen and that would offend the hateboys) but it’s fine to keep hitting him over the head with Darth Vader. I hope that rumor’s not true and if it is, I hope someone sobers up and whacks it from the movie.

It’s not to say I don’t want anything from the previous movies to show up in these new ones. I expected the Falcon to turn up and I knew all along that Lucas would have brought back the older versions of his OT crew should he ever revisit the Saga. You have to have Threepio and Artoo. I would consider it a huge disappointment and missed opportunity if this new trilogy never once addresses Luke and Leia’s maternal roots: the way it is now, it’s doubly tragic that Padme had a short life and was completely forgotten in a generation. The existing films leave open the possibility that Luke and Leia have living extended family on Naboo. I would consider it a huge disappointment and missed opportunity if Luke never once communicates with Anakin. Heck, if ghosty Qui-Gon shows up, I’ll go out of my mind. I’d love to see Ewok senators (“the delegate from Endor votes ‘yub nub’”) and Neimodian Jedi. Or vintage droidekas that, gulp, still work!

It is possible that they are using the strategy of drawing everyone’s attention to the familiar while the new stuff remains safely unspoiled. As of writing, nobody seems to know for sure who in the rest of the cast is playing. Have you seen any of the new guys in costume yet?

Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel that what’s driving the film and the PR behind it is pandering to older fanboys and the internet geek crowd at the expense of doing anything new. Look at Abrams deciding to reject high definition digital cameras. Or all of this deceptive and dishonest “look ma, no CGI” crap. The prequels and Clone Wars were tasked with building up to what already existed in Star Wars, but even they had something new to show: new creatures, new ships, new locations, new aliens, etc.. The challenge anyone making this movie faces is that the emotional and narrative arc of the previous Star Wars films concluded in ROTJ. It would take a creative, bold vision to take Star Wars into its narrative future. But it seems to me they are sticking with what’s safe at the expense of the saga’s integrity as a whole. You tell me what’s going to be gained by holding Star Wars hostage to what was in the OT for all eternity.

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11 Responses to Retread of the Jedi?

  1. I understand your fears. I truly do. I harbor them myself. But I have to keep reminding myself to keep an open mind until the movie is released. I don’t want to dismiss it before seeing it, despite the bad feeling these rumors are generated.


  2. madmediaman says:

    Eloquent and to the point…. EXACTLY how I feel.


  3. Mindless-droid says:

    Very well said. I can’t help but wonder if there is a prequel hater or someone who believes the prequel haters in Disney’s upper management and in their mind they are out to save Star Wars from the prequels. I totally agree with your point about brining something new to the table especially about The Clone Wars. They did a masterful job at blending the prequel era and the OT.with characters like Maul,Tarkin,Chewy and many of the background Jedi we only got glimpses of in the films It was the perfect show to bind the saga together but as we know Disney management in a similar way has taken the safe nostalgic driven route with Rebels a show which I don’t have a lot of optimism about.


  4. Christopher skywalker says:

    I told you yet you wouldn’t listen it’s simple revenge of the sith will be the last great star wars film


  5. Daniel Xie says:

    Unfortunately the movie is probably not gonna tread any new ground, it will just rehash the original trilogy to death. Unlike the MCU, which adapts and revitalizes stories for a new audience with new ideas added to it, or Game of Thrones, which stands along from the books to draw in new audience, it’s likely becoming “you won’t get this if you didn’t watch the OT. What a waste.


  6. honest fan says:

    revenge of the sith last great star wars movie


  7. Tarrlok says:

    I was hoping for Episode VII and the ST to offer something new…

    I actually love the new helmet design for the trooper. It’s a logical evolution of the lineage that began with the Phase I clone trooper. It now looks like the central bar has split and migrated to the sides of the visor and vent. I think it’s very decent, though I don’t extend that opinion to some of the other leaked/teased designs.

    However, what it potentially represents does not inspire confidence in the slightest.

    I sincerely hope it’s simply a design that has proliferated among a few scattered successor states rather than the new face of the Galactic Empire.

    There are few words in the English language to describe how I feel about the notion of a still standing Galactic Empire after what happened in the OT.

    The core of the PT and OT is a generally well-crafted political story. There are a lot of exciting things that can be done with a post-Imperial, post-Palpatine galaxy, continuing with the themes and trends of the prior trilogies (and TCW) while opening up new horizons. An Imperial survival throws all that out the window in favour of nostalgia.


  8. Darth Pipes says:

    Of all the various rumors floating around, the Hoth one is probably the one I find the most pathetic. Hoth is literally the most boring planet in all of science fiction. It’s literally a big ice cube with no people and a handful of creatures. It worked out great in ESB to be sure…battle in the snow. But after that it offers absolutely nothing. It would be the most pathetic example of fanboy fanwanking I’ve ever seen and there could potentially be a lot of it in this movie.

    This film needs its own identity and needs to establish the new characters. But Disney seems to be allowing JJ to make it an ode to his childhood. If so, they are displaying amazingly bad business sense.


  9. Eduardo Vargas says:

    I think that it’s possible that the Empire survived somewhat fragmented from what it used to be and it went into either hiding as a remnant or a very small part of it stayed with a smaller dominion of the galaxy. I can buy that.

    What I would hate to see would be the Empire in full power and no new Republic or Jedi Order established. That would be tremendously disappointing, not to mention ignoring a big part of what is set up in the end of Return of the Jedi, with the Galactic Senate and the Jedi Temple in Coruscant. George put those there to signify that Democracy had returned.

    If this basic blueprint isn’t there, then I will be very disappointed.


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