Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Attention: Disney - How NOT to Fuck Up the New Star Wars

In case you didn't know, I am a very big fan of the original Star Wars movies, namely, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and the bits in Return of the Jedi that didn't have fucking ewoks in.  These movies profoundly affected me as a child and young teenager, and although I already had been exposed to many of the ancient myths that these movies were loosely based (stories from the Bible, medieval Europe and feudal Japan), the way that George Lucas packaged and reinterpreted them made it all so new and exciting.

Those of us who have read and heard Lucas cite Joseph Campbell ad nauseum as the supervising muse in all of this mythology, as if there is a deep philosphical and intellectual conversation occurring in these films - even the prequels - know in fact that Campbell could only have been a tiny spark that set this great fire blazing.  Lucas' actions with the productions of the Special Editions, re-released Special Editions, Anniversary Editions, Prequels, Blu-ray releases, and so on, have proven time and again that in fact the man behind the story had less interest in developing a story and honing a craft than making fuckloads of money.

A disclaimer:  I don't think that Lucas is all bad.  Also, I don't think (much to many a friend's horror) that the prequels are all bad.  I have no doubt that Lucas wanted The Phantom Menace to be a great film.  Did Lucas surround himself with yes-men and sycophants who dared not nay-say him?  Clearly, we know the answer to that.  Clearly, we all can tell that these movies were pretty much a car crash in slow motion.  Really slow motion.

Here's the short of it regarding Episodes 1-3.

The bad:

They are boring.  Mostly.  There is all this talk about politics, democracy, franchises (ferchrissakes!) that sounds too much like demagoguery and not enough like passion.  Also, we already knew how the thing was going to end - the very element that all film makers rely on - the climactic twist - could never happen with Revenge of the Sith.  The movie was spoiled from the start.  I won't mention Jar Jar Binks, or the death of the only two interesting characters in the prequels in the first fucking movie, I don't buy into the latent racism criticisms, I can't mention the shocking direction (I'll never stop), the pointlessness of most of Attack of the Clones, CGI Yoda, shit puppet Yoda, Jar Jar, Tarzan-call Wookies, the appalling/hilarious homage to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as Darth Vader unhooks himself from surgery for the first time, Jar Jar, the cringe-worthy courtship scenes between Anakin and Padme, the utter lack of adult/sophisticated humour throughout, ah Jaysus...

The good:

Any scene Ian McDiarmid was in was dominated by him, despite the stilted dialogue of the other characters.  This man OWNED the movies, bitches!  Qui Gon Jin was nearly awesome.  The scene in TPM where Darth Maul somersaults off his speeder to confront the Jedi as they attempt to depart Tattooine, lighting his sword and smashing into a desperate Qui Gon was the best of the movie.  Violent, fast and over very quickly.  It was one of those "What the fuck just happened!?!" moments.  But then Qui Gon dies.  Darth Maul - could've been awesome.  Evil, badass, twin bladed lightsaber, mysterious, cool, sexy ship, sexy clothes.  And then he died too.

There is one thing that needs to be mentioned - and it tends to be forgotten by all the critics and sourgrapes Star Wars nerds:  John Williams' musical score is incomparable.  I would say it is his greatest work.  Everything from Darth Maul's Theme/The Great Duel to The Death of Qui Gon, Zam the Assassin to Confrontation With Count Dooku, Palpatine's Teachings to The Immolation Scene - all of it utterly brilliant.  Do you hear me?  Utterly.  Brilliant.

So now, Lucasfilm is a Disney entity.  Some are claiming it's the end of all things good about Star Wars, others are claiming we are all saved.  Kathleen Kennedy seems to have started on a very positive note with the hiring of Michael Arndt to write the script.  We all know of course that that means nothing.  No one can fuck up a great script like Hollywood, right?  We all wait with baited breath on the announcement of the director for the first project...

So.  Here's a couple of tips for Disney and Arndt, and the director on what NOT to do with this project.  Are you listening?

DO NOT TARGET THIS FILM AT A KIDS AUDIENCE.

DO NOT INCLUDE CUTE ALIENS.

DO NOT INSULT THE ORIGINAL (NOW MIDDLE-AGED) AUDIENCE.

DO NOT DISCUSS MIDICHLORIANS.

DO NOT MAKE IT A REUNION PIECE ABOUT THE OLD GANG GETTING BACK TOGETHER.

DO NOT PUT TEENAGERS IN LEAD ROLES.

DO NOT PUT ADULTS IN TEENAGER ROLES.

DO NOT HAVE ANY TEENAGERS IN THIS MOVIE.

DON'T MAKE IT IN ANY WAY REFERENTIAL TO THE PHANTOM MENACE.

DO NOT HAVE A 7 YEAR OLD CHILD AS THE MAIN CHARACTER FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

DO NOT PUT JEDI GHOSTS IN THIS MOVIE.

DO NOT CLONE OLD CHARACTERS AND BRING THEM BACK IN THIS STORY.  FORGET THE CLONES.

DO NOT PUT SHIPS IN THE MOVIE THAT LOOK LIKE 1. THE MILLENNIUM FALCON 2. SLAVE ONE 3. JEDI STARFIGHTERS 4. THE DEATH STAR.

FUCK EASTER EGGS.

DO NOT MAKE SLANTY EYED ALIENS SOUND ASIAN, BIG NOSED ALIENS SOUND ITALIAN.

DO NOT PUT FUCKING GUNGANS IN THIS MOVIE.

DO NOT PUT YOUR OWN FUCKING CHILDREN IN THE MOVIE.

What then should the filmakers do?

MAKE IT SCARY.  NO, MAKE IT FUCKING FRIGHTENING.

MAKE IT SERIOUS WITHOUT BEING BORING.  NO DEMOCRACY TALK, FRANCHISE TALK, TRADE SHIT OR THINLY VEILED COMMENTS ABOUT CURRENT POLITICIANS.

MAKE IT FOR ADULTS.  I LOVED THIS MOVIE WHEN I WAS A KID COZ I THOUGHT IT WAS A FUCKING AWESOME COOL SCIFI FLICK FOR GROWN-UPS.

ACTION.  THERE MUST BE LOTS OF ACTION.  SPACE BATTLES, LIGHTSABERS AND BLASTER FIRE AND SHIT.

CAST ACTORS THAT HATED THE ORIGINAL MOVIES.  THAT'LL FUCK EM UP AND GIVE PROPS TO THE NEW ONES.

PARTS OF IT SHOULD BE FUNNY, BUT IRONIC-FUNNY.  REMEMBER HOW HAN SOLO WAS SO KICKASS COOL?  COZ HE DIDN'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT ANYONE BUT HIMSELF, HE WAS SELFISH, HE WAS GREEDY, HE WAS TOUGH, HE SMUGGLED SHIT, AND HE HAD A SOPHISTICATED SENSE OF IRONY.  THEN HE SOLD OUT TO THE REBELLION.

MAKE THE GOOD GUYS SHOOT FUCKING FIRST.  PREEMPTIVE SHIT.

JOHN WILLIAMS MUST DO THE SCORE.  OR IF HE DIES IN THE MEANTIME IT MUST SOUND LIKE THE GREATEST FUCKING JOHN WILLIAMS SCORE EVER.

DO NOT DO AS THEY SAY IN BULLSHIT MAGAZINES LIKE TOTAL FILM - AS IN, "KEEP IT AS CLOSE TO THE ORIGINAL FORMULA AS POSSIBLE".   FUCK THAT.  MAKE IT NEW.  MAKE IT SMART.  MAKE IT ORIGINAL.  FUCK THE IDEA OF COPYING OTHER SHIT.  IT'S ENOUGH THAT THERE ARE GROUNDRULES FOR THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE.  BE BRAVE GODDAMMIT.  START AFRESH FOR FUCKS SAKE.  YOU SEE WHAT BOURNE DID FOR JAMES BOND?  HE FUCKED JAMES BOND UP THE ARSE AND SHOWED HIM HOW A REAL MAN FIGHTS.  THAT'S WHAT THIS STAR WARS HAS THE CHANCE TO DO.   THIS STAR WARS SHOULD BE BOURNE TO THE PREQUELS' JAMES BOND.  FUCK THAT SHIT UP THE ASS!!!

GET RICHARD MORGAN TO WRITE THE ACTION SCENES.

STEAL RICHARD MORGAN'S IDEA OF TAKESHI KOVACS AND WORK IT IN SOMEHOW TO A HARDCORE STAR WARS STORY.  FUCK GERIATRIC HARRISON FORD AND POOR OLD BURNED OUT CARRIE FISHER.  IT'S NOT A FUCKING CHARITY.  PUT TAKESHI IN THAT SHIT.  (THEY'LL NEVER MAKE ALTERED CARBON, MAY AS WELL USE HIM IN STAR WARS.)

NO NEW STAR WARS MOVIE SHOULD HAVE A HAPPY ENDING.

That's about it.  Thoughts?  Any more dos and don'ts?



3 comments:

  1. Dayum, good calls all round, mate. I loathe the prequels - yes loathe. I'm glad you can find some good in them but I couldn't. They treated the audience (me!) with utter disdain and totally fucked up what should and could have been a generation-crossing epic series. But then, they did have to contend with the Lord Of The Rings, which killed any chance Lucas had of making something decent.

    By the way, have you seen Skyfall? It kicks arse!

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  2. Haven't seen the BournedoesBond yet. I've heard it's pretty damned fine. I'm to be convinced. Having recently seen Batman III and Bourne MkII with Jeremy Renner I am in a total fug when it comes to action movies. All formulaic, predictable, by-the-numbers shite. Maybe I'm just over cinema? Maybe I'm just over art? Maybe I'm just...

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  3. Nope your not over art your just not being inspired enough!!! Take me to the fucking movies will you on that gold class pass we have...sheesh!

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