When it comes to the new Star Wars films, everybody has an opinion. Of course it’s kind of hard to please absolutely everyone when it comes to arguably the most popular film franchise of all time, but ever since Disney announced that a new trilogy was on the way, fans have been speculating and debating like crazy over episodes 7, 8, and 9. J.J. Abrams has officially been tapped to bring the first film to fruition and screenwriter Michael Arndt is currently working on the script, but unsurprisingly Disney and Lucasfilm have remained mum with regards to story details.
With a targeted 2015 release date looming, some minor pieces of info regarding the new trilogy have been surfacing here and there, and the biggest news nugget concerning Episode VII is undoubtedly the fact that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford are reportedly in discussions to reprise their characters in the new film. Fans seem to be split on whether it’s a good idea to be revisiting old characters in the new trilogy, but one wildly popular filmmaker recently took sides in the debate as The Avengers director Joss Whedon says he wouldn’t be looking to the past in Episode VII if it were up to him. Hit the jump for Whedon’s full thoughts on the subject.
When Disney first announced that it was buying Lucasfilm and plotting a new trilogy of Star Wars films, interest immediately turned to who would be chosen to direct the sequels. One filmmaker that unsurprisingly surfaced on a number of lists was Joss Whedon, but he seemed an implausible choice given his heavy commitments to Marvel and The Avengers 2. During a recent interview with Digital Spy for his upcoming Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing, Whedon was asked for his thoughts on the return of the original Star Wars characters in the new movies and he said he would have taken the story in a different direction:
“You know, I wouldn’t go back, I’d go forward. I would want to create characters that would resonate the way that they did. I mean not that I don’t want to see [the new movies], I would be excited to, but I also feel like I would want to explore a very different part of that universe.”
The interviewer then brought up the notion of recasting Han Solo in the rumored standalone film about Harrison Ford’s classic character, to which Whedon replied:
“That I would never want to do. Some things may not be rebooted.”
I’m actually with Whedon on this. I feel like the new Star Wars films should focus on expanding the universe with new characters instead of clinging on to the past, even if Hamill, Fisher, and Ford only show up for minor roles. Matt wrote an editorial on the subject of spinoffs featuring original trilogy characters recently, and he made some good points with regards to the new Star Wars trilogy’s relation to George Lucas’s original films.
What do you think, readers? Is Whedon right, or do you think strong connective tissue between Abrams’ Episode VII and the original trilogy is essential? Sound off in the comments below.