Star Wars: A Formulaic Franchise

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Star Wars Week has come and gone. And while most of us are excited at the prospect of a new film, I, for one, am hoping for much more than the same formula they have been sticking to for every film.

I want to see more and explore more than just the same old same old. That’s probably why The Force Awakens didn’t really get the reception it desired. Abrams played it safe and modeled the movie with A New Hope so closely it felt like we were simply watching the same thing. One would think that a writer with the Universe at their fingertips would be more liberal with their ideas instead of sticking to the safe picks.

In fact, because this new trilogy is not a prequel, it is not bogged down by a certain future that requires multiple plot devices to reconcile. Thus, I would hope for more innovative ways to explore the Universe, even take a detour explore unique cultures if need be.

Obligatory Cantina Scene
Apparently this is the go-to place to gather information; and also the only place where you’ll probably see the most amount of aliens. Twi’leks dancing and Biths playing the Sax. Do Ruffians and Scoundrels not know of any other way to procure data?

The Same Climatic Planets
I don’t want to see the same old Snow planet, Desert Planet, Forest Planet. I get it. There aren’t many different climates to choose from that make things exciting. What made the prequels interesting even with bad reception was that they tried to mix it up; Kamino’s water-ridden planet and Mustafar’s Lava Planet were definitely great ideas. If only it wasn’t ruined by terrible writing.

I also want writers to start addressing issues such as gravity differences and planets that actually have different climates at different parts of the world. Something I felt the KOTOR game did pretty well in.

Pew Pew
Indeed, you could never call this Star Wars without the space battles. Thankfully, we no longer have to bear witness to a young Anakin try spinning simply because “that’s a good trick”.

Poe Dameron is the best pilot in the Resistance and I would really like to see more of that, along with his budding bromance with Finn. Heck, I wouldn’t even mind if they ended up in a relationship. Star Wars needs to go for it and challenge conservatives to rethink their perspective.

Blow up the WMD thingy
Please stop. I get it. The threat has to be imminent and menacing. But going bigger was one of the worst decisions made in TFA. Instead, introduce something more nefarious. Darth Nihilus was a great villain who remained largely unknown until he reared his ugly mask.

And our heroes don’t always have to win all the time. What made Empire Strikes Back so great was because of how Han Solo got Carbon Frozen and Luke lost his hand. With TLJ’s focus on balance, it should be natural that victories have to still feel painful, as it should in times of war.

Red vs Blue
Lightsaber duels are a must-have in Star Wars. The fact that Rogue One didn’t have one and still managed to be impressive was an eye-opener. (Although the final scene with Vader more than made up for the hole) We have yet to see something as new and impressive as Duel of the Fates (albeit rife with choreography flaws).

The introduction of the new tri-saber was a good start. It stirred controversy but won over the audience in the end. With the story moving towards true Balance of the Force, one can only hope that Rey finally crafts and wields a unique colored lightsaber, one that symbolizes the balance of both Light and Dark.

We should also look forward to more unique ways of Force Wielding while dueling. Gone are the days where Lucas is there to strictly ensure Obi Wan and Vader use both hands to hold their saber and play Kendo.

Viewers just don’t want the kind of bull they pulled at the end of TFA. Rey and Finn were not supposed to be a match for Ren, not even if he was severely wounded by a Bowcaster. I would have much preferred if Chewbacca was the one to bail them out of that sticky situation.

Use Lightning to power up engines that affect the battlefield, or borrow electricity from a Thunderstorm a la The Force Unleashed II. A multitude of options await writers!

As an avid fan of the franchise, it is my heartfelt wish that Star Wars keeps innovating and exploring/incorporating the EU to keep things fresh. Otherwise, it may fall into the same superhero-movie fatigue.

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