I've been having a look at what we know about Star Wars 9, due for release in December 2019. I will admit I often catch myself murmuring 'please don't suck please don't suck'. And I have every reason to do so. For a start, it's directed by JJ Abrams. He directed The Force Awakens which earned a giant raspberry from me. It was a remake of A New Hope, complete with orphan in desert, cute personal droid, and giant super weapon.
Maybe Abrams has learned his lesson. An interview states "Abrams said he wants to "go beyond, and do better than we did in 7" – which hopefully means that Episode 9 won't be a clone of Return of the Jedi in the way his Force Awakens duplicated the plot of A New Hope."
Although I thought a little more highly of The Last Jedi (eventually directed by Ron Howard) I wouldn't say it was wonderful. Once again, we had storylines reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back with a few shots from Return of The Jedi. The vast First Order fleet pursues a rag tag of rebels to force a final confrontation. I could have done without the rather silly casino sub-plot – although I suppose it made the point that lots of people profit from wars. Then we had the throne room scene (reminiscent of ROTJ) where Snoke presides over Kylo Ren and Rey in a battle. I didn't mind Luke Skywalker's arc. It made lots of sense to me. But again, shades of Empire with Rey going off to find a Jedi Master who has chosen solitude.
So… at the end of The Last Jedi, what do we have left?
We know nothing at all about Snoke and how he fits into the story line. How did he become Supreme Leader (aka Emperor)? Or maybe he was the Token Villain? Princess Leia will appear in her last movie. There is much talk on the rumour mill that Darth Vader and/or his castle will be seen. Luke is dead but he can be a Force ghost – as could Darth/Anakin. Oh, and in more resurrections, it seems Billy Dee Williams will be included as an older, wiser Lando Calrissian. The mad hatter, General Hux, will rejoin the crew, as will Rey. And I have to wonder what will happen to young Ben Solo?
It's all starting to sound a lot like Hogwarts, with lots of ghosts floating around in a castle with moving staircases. All we need is for Han to appear as a ghost. Oh wait. I've seen suggestions that he'll appear in flashbacks. Added to that, Carrie Fisher, who played Leia Organa, is REALLY dead. Apparently, there is enough left over footage from episodes 7 and 8 to sustain her vital role in Episode 9. It will be interesting to see how Disney removes her character. Will she die a heroic death, or retire to a nice planet somewhere, or move to a retirement home, or become an instructor in matters Jedi?
One thing the rumour mill is pretty much agreed on – Disney will not air a trailer at the Super Bowl.
Meanwhile, I'll keep murmuring, soto voce, 'please don't suck please don't suck'.
Tell you what, I'm over the Skywalker family. Disney, write something new and good, like Rogue One. Or (better still) make a movie with Grand Admiral Thrawn. Or come up with something new and different, a bit like the original Star Wars from 1977.
Lordy, what a radical thought.
Lordy, what a radical thought.