By Edward Davis | The Playlist February 7, 2013 at 2:24PM
“Star Wars” apologists are the worst. The excuses they make for the prequels are tenfold -- they’re made for children, you’re just too old now, and you’re looking at things through a nostalgic lens, so quit being melodramatic and get a life. True, the “Star Wars” prequels are not a travesty and they didn’t ruin any sensibly-adjusted adult’s life that grew up loving the original “Star Wars” trilogy as created by George Lucas. But they’re not good films either. Not by a long stretch. At best, they are an entertaining lark relatively semi-full of imagination. At worst, they mostly robbed “Star Wars” of its mystery, power and allure by explaining everything unequivocally (and we'll politely overlook the general execution of the films themselves).
While hindsight is 20/20, Damon Lindelof – who ironically still helped co-botch the sorta-prequel “Prometheus” – perfectly captures what’s wrong with most prequels, or at least what’s fundamentally wrong with the “Star Wars” prequels. They destroy myth-building, by pouring light on what was originally in the shadows. "With all due respect to anyone who makes a prequel, but why would you ruin the greatest twist in the history of cinema, 'Luke, I am your father,' by showing me three movies which basically spoil that surprise," he's said. "You can do movies which take place before 'Star Wars' but I don't need to see the story of the Skywalker clan. Show me something else which I can’t guess the possible outcome of. There is no suspense in inevitability. So a true prequel should essentially proceed the events of the original film, but be about something entirely different, feature different characters, have an entirely different theme, although it takes place in that same world.”
Amen. The ‘SW’ prequels are boringly linear, they spell out a banal and uninspired six-degrees-of-separation world where everyone from the original films is connected, there is zero suspense, and these legends described in passing in “Star Wars” don’t ever seem so mythic or legendary in their presentation. So for the “Star Wars” films going forward, please: less history, more mystery. We feel, more so than most fans, pretty objective about “Star Wars.” We like, but don’t adore the originals like most do. And we don’t loathe the prequels as much as lament them as a huge missed opportunity. We have no horse in this race, but with such a gigantic, rich and mythic universe at hand, we would hate to see yet another squandered opportunity with any of these new “Star Wars” films.
Over the past week, word started percolating about Disney's "Star Wars" spinoff plans -- movies said to take place outside the central saga and story arc -- and if they are to be believed, we'll be seeing a young Han Solo film, a Boba Fett movie and possibly a solo Yoda film.
“Disney realizes they can come up with new characters if they want to, right? Or did Lucas forbid that in his contract?” Ain’t It Cool writer Eric Vespe wrote sarcastically on Twitter yesterday. And that was pretty much our initial thought. Can’t they create spin-off films from new characters? To many, these “Star Wars” spin-offs signify a creative team not really wanting to take risks. And/or maybe they’re just executing a Lucas/Disney vision to help keep the brand thriving (and more importantly, the merchandising), but frankly, none of these are great ideas. Why not start with 'Episode VII' and then spin-off films with new characters or simply take new original stories set within the “Star Wars” universe, much like the video games, comics, books and Extended Universe stories did. If those guys could do it, can’t the filmmakers? Are they to follow the same mistakes Lucas did? Those who forget recent history are generally doomed to repeat it. But Kathleen Kennedy, Simon Kinberg, Lawrence Kasdan and to a lesser degree (since he’ll be working on 'Ep VII' and not the spin-offs) J.J. Abrams are smarter than that, no?
In case they’re not, here are 5 ways how to not totally fuck up these “Star Wars” spin-off movies (or several ways you can easily fuck it up if you choose).