How Old Characters Could Ruin a New 'Star Wars'

[caption id="attachment_154075" align="alignleft" width="300"] Lucasfilm[/caption]

If you have trouble understanding me, it's because I've been breathing into a paper bag for almost two weeks. I have lesions up and down my arms from all the pinches I've applied to myself. I really and truly can't believe we're getting another "Star Wars."

Just as I was coming around some news items of not-pure-ridiculousness surfaced that key members of the classic cast, namely Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and, gasp, Harrison Ford were all keen or at least open to the concept of returning to their far, far away roles from a long time ago.


Oh, sorry, I lost consciousness for a moment and my head slumped on my laptop. (Oddly, it landed only on the lowercase letter "e." I'm not sure if I could do that again if I tried.)

Anyway, as you can plainly see (or plainly eeeeeeeeee), I'm excited by this news. But I've been burned before. Thrice, actually, with prequels that range in quality between having fire ants walk on your eyeballs and having fire ants walk on your eyeballs while trying to sell you life insurance.

I'm staying positive (the 500 foot restraining order on George Lucas is a good sign) but I'm doing that whole "hope for the best, expect the worst" trick. To that end, I've mentally prepared for embarrassing, demoralizing, soul-crushing moments wherein the original cast of "Star Wars" will be shoehorned into the new script with as much subtlety as a Wampa in a china shop.

For example...

[caption id="attachment_126664" align="alignright" width="300"]Yoda Lucasfilm[/caption]

No doubt "Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Legend of Yoda's Gold" is going to feature a band of young heroes finding their footing as would-be Jedi Knights and/or pilots. Of course, they'll need guidance, some sort of sage to help them find their destiny.

Just imagine that our group (led, no doubt, by a sandy blonde twink) find themselves flattened out by circumstance until a curious man in a cloak emerges from the shadows to offer some advice. He steps into the light and, low and behold, it is an old Luke Skywalker, living out his post-Battle of Endor days as some sort of ascetic, but now feels called to become the new Obi-Wan. The moment we see him slide into the elder statesman role should, by all rights, send our eyes rolling, but there's a good chance we'll all be having strokes of excitement despite our better judgement.

Later, of course, there'll be some interstellar travel, and complications will arise. Our team will have to put in for the night, and that's when they come across a laid-back bar and grill. There are dejarik tables and folks in the back playing a few hands of sabaac. When the gum chewing, tough cookie owner/waitress comes to take the drink order we pan up to see: Princess Leia.

Her marriage to Han takes a lot of breaks in order to stay healthy, and right now their happily in "off mode." To keep busy, she maintains this out of the way place to forget about the bigger problems in life. When she calls back to order some burgers the response is a hearty Wookie growl. Chewbacca's at the grill wearing a paper hat.

It's the beginning of the third act. Our plucky band of would-be heroes are about to launch into a final fight. (Well, final enough for this movie – there are still two to come.)

[caption id="attachment_152751" align="alignright" width="300"]Star Wars Disney[/caption]

Before they get into their fighters there's a commotion at the other end of the hangar. "It's the General! The General is speaking!" A crowd of people head into another room where, up on some sort of makeshift stage (and in front of a giant flag) is a weather-beaten, somewhat haggard looking man giving a speech about honor, trust, duty and courage. That man is Han Solo, and at the end of his speech he grunts out the words: "may the Force be with you."

During the final battle, though, there are frequent cutaways to the newly restored Galactic Senate. They're eagerly watching the fight on their Droid Tablets.

One Senator gets so anxious and worked up he has to excuse himself to use the bathroom. While he's there he shares a moment with the men's room attendant, the wise old Gungan whose been working there for so long no one remembers how he got there. Making a joke about bodily functions, is the gray, scaly and ancient Jar-Jar Binks.

At the very end of the film, of course, will come the most shameless bit of shoehorning. There's a secret meeting of the Jedi and one individual we only see in silhouette. He's described as a man from another time and another place. Just before the film ends we follow this man in a red robe home. . .to 177A Bleecker Street in the late 20th/early 21st Century. Yes, Dr. Stephen Strange is, in fact, a Jedi and he's figuring out a way to transform midichlorians with Gamma Rays. And before you can say "wait for Episode VIII," he turns to Manservant Wong and says "find me Bruce Banner, I think I know how to cure him."

Luckily, theater owners will be equipped with defibrillators for crossover-friendly nerds of every stripe. Others may not have such a welcome reaction.

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