Let’s be honest: after the somewhat horrendous quality of the Star Wars prequels, it’s only natural to have some misgivings about Episode VII. Even with Disney taking the reigns, who knows what sort of stunts they could pull that would only serve to further the decline of our faith in the Force? I myself generally have very little confidence in Disney’s ability to produce a proper sequel to any film. Star Wars, however, may be an exception. Though no one can deny there are plenty of ways the movie could be a total flop and ruin the franchise forever, there is a shining beacon of hope. If Disney could find it in themselves to use the Star Wars expanded universe appropriately, there would be absolutely no doubt that Episode VII would be a raging success. It might even be capable of making us forget about Jar Jar Binks.
Use the Expanded Universe, Disney!
The Star Wars franchise is fortunate to have an expanded universe that is rich in imagination and believability. Disney has material to work with dating all the way back to the early 1980s, and it would seem foolish of them not to use it. Here’s two examples of what could potentially make an awesome Star Wars film.
For those of you who don’t know, Mara Jade is a former agent of Emperor Palpatine turned Jedi known as an “Emperor’s Hand.” She later becomes the wife of Luke Skywalker, but don’t let that deter you. Including Mara Jade in Episode VII would help to further Luke’s character development by thrusting out of the role of student and into the role of the teacher. Not only that, but appropriately including Mara Jade’s journey would serve the Star Wars franchise’s over-arching theme of the triumph of good over evil. We would actually be able to see the inner turmoil of someone battling to overcome the Dark Side of the Force and sympathize with their struggle. Plus, we don’t really get to see too many leading ladies wielding a light saber, and watching Mara Jade go totally badass with one would be pretty awesome.
The son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, Caedus was born Jacen Solo five minutes after his sister Jaina. His story is one that fits well with the Star Wars franchise’s theme of falling from grace (and makes Carrie Fisher’s return so much more logical), as Jacen was first a Jedi Knight before he succumbed to the Dark Side for the sake of making the galaxy the way he wanted it to be (sound familiar?). Even though it would be impossible to tell his life story in a single film, including Jacen’s fall from Jedi to Sith in Episode VII would facilitate the franchise’s near-constant use of parallelism. Just as his grandfather fell from grace and became a Sith Lord, so too does Jacen. The younger Sith is, however, unable to attain redemption the way his predecessor had. A lingering sense of tragedy when a source of evil has been done away with? How classically Star Wars.