Star Wars without Darth Vader? It could be happening.
While the franchise was built on the backs of iconic characters such as the former Anakin Skywalker, Yoda and his Jedi apprentice Luke Skywalker, a Lucasfilm screenwriter revealed that the moviemakers are actually looking to scale back on the household names over the next decade or two.
‘I don’t think they’re going to be relying on the same legacy story elements as we have in the past.’
On the way out? Rogue One scribe Gary Whitta said core characters in the Star Wars series could be phased out over the next few decades as new ones command the limelight
‘One of the thing things we really want to do at Lucasfilm is create a universe and not keep relying on old legacy characters.’
Whitta said that with last year’s Rogue One, Lucas filmmakers are ’90 percent’ complete in introducing the ‘new generation’ of characters set to emerge as household names, such as Kylo Ren, Finn and Rey.
‘Yes you see Leia, yes you see the Death Star and Vader, because those are elements of that story and they belong there, you can’t tell that story without those characters,’ he said. ‘But for the most part, 90 percent of that story is completely new characters. Completely new planets and places you’ve never seen before.’
Gone, they are? While the nostalgic value of characters such as Yoda can’t be understated, filmmakers are looking to the future in hopes of creating new household names
Then and now: Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill, has been one of the franchise’s most enduring characters, but it’s uncertain what the future holds
He added: ‘It’s a Star Wars movie with no Jedi! You don’t see a light saber once until Vader pops it out at the end,’ noting that the box office hit didn’t possess the same themes of ‘spirituality or mysticism’ as its predecessors.
‘It’s very different DNA to the Star Wars films that have come before it,’ he said, noting that not all elements of the initial culture-shifting film franchise were headed the way of both Death Stars.
‘The next spin-off is ‘Han Solo,’ that’s another familiar character, but I think increasingly you’re going to see’ less of the originals, said Whitta.
Almost there: The writer said that with 2016′s Rogue One, about 90 percent of the film centered on emerging characters
In the thick of things: With a Han Solo spin-off in the works, not all elements of the old guard are going away anytime soon
Whitta told the website that, ‘speaking purely as a fan,’ he would enjoy seeing a Star Wars film with all fresh characters.
‘I obviously have no idea what their plans are for the franchise,’ he said. ‘I did my small piece of it, but it makes sense to me that you don’t want to keep telling the same story over and over again. You want to tell new stories.’
Whitta noted that the last two films, Rogue One and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, were packed with classic characters both major and tertiary, as well as a few from the prequel trilogy.
Passing of the torch? Recent films in the franchise, such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, include a hybrid of classic characters and emerging ones, such as Daisy Ridley’s Rey
He said that it’s ‘totally possible’ that in time, ‘many of the new characters being introduced’ – such as Knights of Ren, Guardians of the Whills and Saw Gerrera – ‘will be popular enough to warrant their own spin-off films.
‘Or possibly a movie with exclusively new characters, vehicles and planets could spring from the mind of a gifted filmmaker looking to reshape the brand.’
Whitta noted that there is virtually unlimited content to tap with the show’s ‘expansive’ universe spread out over multiple timelines.
‘It makes sense to use familiar characters to transition into a bolder vision,’ he said, ‘but eventually the filmmakers will have to shift the paradigm in order to keep audiences excited.’
Future of the franchise? Rey is among the new generation of core characters who could be primed to carry the films without the legacy characters involved
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