So the sequel trilogy was an unmitigated disaster, as evidenced by the fact that nobody even posted a thread after Last Jedi came out! I thought it might be fun to resurrect this board and discuss how things could have been done differently.
You know what the Star Wars sequels should have been about? The end of the star wars. Letting go of violence and building the peace. It's The Undiscovered Country, but with lightsabers. And you know who's going to have the hardest time with that? Leia. She's spent her whole adult life fighting a war, she saw her planet blown up, and freaking Vader turns out to be her father. She's got to deal with the dark side, not just of the Force, but of her own human nature.
Leia, as the villain of the entire sequel trilogy. The hard part is just not turning her into an Anakin clone.
Posted by Shik (Member # 343) on :
Should've been 8 hours of Ewoks & Tusken Raiders slaughtering everyone.
Posted by Spike (Member # 322) on :
I could've done without the contrived "Palpatine had a son"-storyline.
Posted by Krenim (Member # 22) on :
I feel like the sequels had the exact opposite problems that the prequels had.
The prequels had good plots. In particular, I think that Palpatine's master plan to become emperor was ingenious. The problem was in the execution. Actors who had no chemistry, cringe-inducing dialogue, bad directing, etc.
The sequels had terrible plots. The Force Awakens is mostly a rip-off of A New Hope, and the fact that it still winds up being the best of the bunch really says something. The Last Jedi had three subplots going on, and only Rey's made any sense whatsoever. Poe's subplot only makes sense if Admiral Pew-Pew is a complete moron, and Finn's is a complete waste of time. The Rise of Skywalker... ugh. Yet, I still like Rey, Finn, and Poe way more than I like any of the characters from the prequels. As flawed as the sequels are, I still feel like they had great casting, great chemistry, snappy dialogue, and good directing.
So how would I fix the sequels?
I'm not sure that I would actually do anything to The Force Awakens. Like I said, it's worst sin is apeing A New Hope, which isn't the worst thing in the world.
For The Last Jedi, I would keep the Rey/Luke plot exactly as is. Poe's plot can easily be fixed by having Admiral Pew-Pew not be an idiot. She has no reason to keep her plan to herself other than to spite Poe. Keep the conflict between the two, sure, but have Pew-Pew act like an adult. You can mainly keep Finn and Rose's plot intact, but tighten it up some and have it actually pay off at the end.
Lastly, for The Rise of Skywalker, I would mainly change two things. First, forget Palpatine. Instead, have Snoke come back. Not only would that be way more believable (heck, Maul came back from being chopped in half too), but it gives us a chance to finally learn more about Snoke. Having him just be someone Palpatine grew in a jar was unsatisfying in the extreme. Second, have Rey indeed be "nobody" as intended. The sequels could have had the halfway decent message that anybody could be a hero, but instead we fall back on the idea that if you're not a Skywalker or a Palpatine, who cares?
Posted by Malnurtured Snay (Member # 411) on :
The first thing I would've done is taken the directors, sat them down, and said "it's fine to do your own thing but we need to have a cohesive story first, so let's get to work on that."
Posted by Lee (Member # 393) on :
When it comes down to it, there’s no real reason for the sequel trilogy to exist at all. Did it advance the story? No. It reset the original trilogy and then to all intents and purposes repeated it. The galaxy is in the exact same state at the end of 9 that it was at the end of 6.
Posted by MinutiaeMan (Member # 444) on :
I also enjoyed The Force Awakens as a starting point, but I think there's more story potential in the events leading up to Episode 7. Show Luke in the middle of building his Jedi academy, with Ben as a student and Leia and Han in a semi-stable relationship.
Make the trilogy about fighting to keep what they won. Have Ben be at risk of falling to the Dark Side in Episode 7, then he falls in Episode 8 and pulls back/gets redeemed in Episode 9. Let Luke have his crisis of confidence (IMO the best part of The Last Jedi) in later Episode 8 and early 9.
Assuming Harrison Ford still wanted Han to die, have Han discover some aspect of the evil plot in Episode 7 and have a heroic death fighting back or getting word to Leia about the threat. Han's death could easily be a trigger for Ben to turn to the Dark Side.
Then Leia would be front and center in Episode 8 trying to reunify the various Republic factions, while Luke is in the background running the Academy, and would get his Big Damn Heroes moment in Episode 9.
I think the characters of Rey, Finn, and Poe are mostly pretty good, and even a lot of their plot points in Ep. 7 could stay very similar. But yeah, keep Rey a nobody, and have a LOT more of the three of them all interacting together as the new trio, rather than idiotically splitting them up through most of the trilogy.
The idea of the First Order as neo-Nazi fanatics who are so wrapped up in Imperial propaganda is interesting, but they should have been just one faction in the bickering New Republic that might have trouble keeping things peaceful once there's no Empire to fight anymore. Heck, instead of the First Order, make the villains the resurgent last gasp of the old Imperial remnant. (That's splitting hairs, maybe, but having it be the actual Empire rather than Empire fanboys could make a difference.)
Oh yeah, no Death StarStarkiller Base. Try some kind of threat that's a little more original. Even though Star Wars is basically pulp space opera, trying the same thing too many times is dumb.
Of course, if I could REALLY change things, I'd just make Timothy Zahn's "Heir to the Empire", "Dark Force Rising", and "The Last Command" into movies. Maybe it's my own fan nostalgia, but very few Star Wars stories have come close to matching the grandeur and characterization of the original novel trilogy.
Posted by Omega (Member # 91) on :
As I think about it more, I think perhaps there isn't even a new Republic in these stories. The Empire didn't really destroy the Old Republic, it just restructured the executive branch. Now the whole organization is functionally gone, and the individual elements that made up the Republic and the Empire will probably ask, what do we even need a central government for anyway? If we need a shooting War to keep the title making sense, there it is right there. The whole galaxy has just devolved into a thousand sided Civil War.
I suppose it would follow that Luke, Leia, and any other New Jedi would try to serve in the peacekeeping roll the original Jedi held.
Posted by MinutiaeMan (Member # 444) on :
That’s a great point, Omega. There would be a lot more anarchy around the complete removal of the old system... or alternatively, they kept a lot of the bureaucracies of the Empire intact for everyday governance, which raises its own set of issues.
One other thing I would’ve liked to see more of is how the New Jedi could/should be different from the old Jedi. Yoda’s arguments in TLJ that the Jedi were not perfect was an important point that deserved to be fleshed out, especially because that was a major revelation of the prequels, that the Jedi were a flawed, short-sighted, political organization. Very different from the introspective mentors that we saw in the original trilogy. How would Luke salvage the core ideas of the Jedi without recreating the same flaws? For that matter, how would Luke see the Jedi anyway, considering all he knew about them came from one week of training in a swamp?
Also, Krenim’s earlier point about the prequels having the exact opposite problem that the sequels have is spot-on.
Posted by Lee (Member # 393) on :
From what we could see, the Old Republic was more of an idea than a reality. Something the inhabitants of Trantor - sorry, Coruscant - could use to tell themselves they mattered. There didn’t seem to be much of a police force apart from private security forces. No armed forces. Just the Jedi. Maybe they thought that was all that was needed. But they’d long since lost their lustre - and effectiveness. Most planets were lawless shitholes. And the ones that weren’t, like Naboo, were by turns parochial and elitist. The Republic was like the Wizard of Oz, and all it took was the Trade Federation to pull back the curtain.
And the Empire? More of the same really. No interest in governing or bringing law to the lawless - like the Alliance in Firefly, it was only ever about being in charge.
And the New Republic, again, same. Did it look like their very existence mattered one jot on Jakku? Nope. Did anyone even notice when those five core planets got Starkillered? No.