- Unknowns get their turn
- Going forward
“Into the garbage chute, flyboy!”
“Who’s scruffy lookin’?”
The Original Trilogy was a masterpiece of the motion picture industry. I don’t think anyone will deny that it helped shape and change the way movies were made to this very day. ILM is everywhere, Star Wars references are resonating across multiple networks, and a new trilogy is dawning.
That being said, I have five reasons why the “Trifecta” of characters from those movies should have absolutely nothing to do with Episodes VII, VIII, and IX. No cameos, no supporting roles, not even waving to us in the background.
- Age. Remember Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of We Want More Money? One of the biggest criticisms was that a 65 year old Harrison Ford wasn’t something people wanted to see. Not only were they (mostly) right about Ford, but seeing Karen Allen running through the jungle wasn’t something ANYONE wanted to see and she was only 57. Carrie Fisher is 56 now, Mark Hamill is 61, and Harrison Ford is 70. They’re all fine actors, but the last time we saw Luke, Leia, and Han was **30** years ago. Think about that. Ronald Reagan was President. The Dow Jones closed at 1258. The first cell phone was sold to the public. Let me be even more clear, this happened so long ago that Phil Collins was popular. It didn’t work for Indy 4 and it won’t work here.
- Distraction. Bringing back the actors will only serve as a distraction to the story JJ Abrams is trying to tell us. I guarantee that we’ll be talking about “oh man, did you see Luke/Leia/Han?” instead of what the trilogy should really focus on. Leno, Letterman, and Conan will stir the pot by having the older actors on as guests and then maybe the new kids. What will the talk show hosts ask? Here’s another lead pipe, stone cold, take it to the bank prediction: “So what was it like working with <insert new actor here>.” The story won’t be about the story any longer.
- Contracts. Every dollar you pour into the actors is a dollar you can’t put into shooting on location, sets, props, CGI, or marketing. Setting up contracts for Hamill, Fisher, and Ford means more lawyers, more agents, and more time taken away from shooting the films. Negotiations with actors are very complicated, often taking up to 100 man hours of work. Even if they all agreed to take no salary, no royalties, and make things as easy as possible, you still have agents, managers, handlers, trailers, travel arrangements, hotel accommodations, and so on. Bringing back seasoned actors means a larger paycheck, more egos on the set, and a little bit of “I wonder if George would do what JJ is doing?” from our beloved heroes.
- The Unknowns. When they were cast in the 70s, our now iconic figures were mostly unknown actors. When they cast the Prequel Trilogy, they again went with mostly unknown actors. Natalie Portman’s biggest roles before TPM were “The Professional” and “Mars Attacks”…hardly blockbuster roles that launched her into fame and fortune. Ewan McGregor hadn’t hit the big screen in the US unless you count that dazzling job in “Emma”. As for Hayden? He wasn’t heard of before nor after the Prequels (do you really want to count “Jumper?”). Star Wars brings in fresh talent each and every time. They let a new set of actors make their mark on the franchise (for better or worse) and a new set of heroes is born.
- Moving On. Was Michael Keaton in The Dark Knight? Who saw Tobey Maguire in the Amazing Spider-Man? Wasn’t it so cool to see Sylvester Stallone in the new Judge Dredd movie? A stand-alone trilogy should do just that, stand alone. You can’t move forward while clinging to the past. Give us a new adventure, take us to places we’ve never been before, let’s explore a new direction of Star Wars. Joss Whedon admitted that were he directing the trilogy (oh if wishing made it so!) he wouldn’t bring back Hamill/Fisher/Ford. “I wouldn’t go back, I’d go forward.”
I couldn’t agree more.
This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.