If there’s one thing we as Star Wars uberfans have in common, it’s myopia.
To a degree this is pretty understandable. I’ve been guilty of it and odds are I’ll be guilty of it again in the future. Folks that are ultra-invested in Star Wars fandom kept the franchise alive during dormant periods between films. During those dormant periods, content that was released tended to be catered more towards invested fandom. Star Wars during these stretches felt like it was For Us rather than more casual fans or people who simply enjoyed the movies. In essence, we often feel like we’re owed something for Star Wars having a pulse through the mid eighties to late nineties and 2005-2012.
My first thought when it was announced that J.J. Abrams was returning to direct and co-write Episode IX was “Argh, I really wish a woman had gotten this.” And yeah, while I completely understand the production realities that necessitated Lucasfilm asking a familiar face to return to get things back on track, I was bummed.
My second thought was “We’re about to revisit the Well Actuallying of The Force Awakens, aren’t we?” My Twitter timeline bore that out in about two minutes of me waking up on Tuesday.
Talk about a lousy time to go on vacation! This week on Tosche Station Radio, Nanci and Brian break down Colin Trevorrow’s departure from Episode IX and J.J. Abrams’ return to the Galaxy Far, Far Away.
In hindsight, our pie-in-the-sky hopes of an Ava DuVernay/Michelle Mclaren/Patty Jenkins lead IX may have been a lot more pie-in-the-sky than we thought. To be clear, getting a woman to direct IX was definitely my hope and first choice, but that likely was done in by…
The timing of Colin Trevorrow’s dumping likely created some additional requirements for a new director. First, it appears that the script was in need of major work, so someone familiar with working with the Story Group was a must. Second, they would need to be able to integrate into Lucasfilm’s very unique collaborative filmmaking approach, and integrate fast. With production on IX needing to begin rather soon, it probably means Lucasfilm ideally needed someone who has done this before. That leaves a small (at this point) stable of directors in Abrams, Johnson (declined), Gareth Edwards (reshoot drama, for whatever that means), and Ron Howard (still working on the Han Solo film). Bringing a new face on board likely was not in the cards this late into the game.
Chris Terino, of Batman v Superman infamy, is co-writing with Abrams. Which… yeah. Let’s all hope that working with someone not named Zack Snyder results in something markedly better.
Speaking of writing, one wonders just how troubled the original Trevorrow script was. This will be the third and fourth person to have a go at this.
I’m going to ask everyone that’s re-litigating the merits of The Force Awakens to watch this Movies with Mikey review, which perhaps was the only one that adequately contextualized the long odds it had in succeeding the way it did. I’m sorry it didn’t do anything new for you, personally, white men. I’ve got a piece coming next week to discuss the Well Actuallying of The Force Awakens.
Put a woman on the next standalone Star Wars film. Full-stop.
Getting a woman to direct IX I think would have been the ideal outcome, and frankly, a woman probably should have been on IX from the beginning. But given everything above, I get why Lucasfilm decided to bring Abrams back to close things out. Stay tuned for an emergency podcast discussing the last week of wild Star Wars news.
Season 4 of the ThrawnCast continues! This week Amanda, Matthew, and Sho continue their discussion of Kathy Tyers’s The Truce at Bakura. We’re covering chapters 9-12 this episode, so strap in and hit play!
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Continuing our informal “If you liked, you should read…” series, I’m taking a look at the Aftermath trilogy by Chuck Wendig. I’ve made no secret that these are my favorite novels of the canon literature relaunch, largely because these books remind me so much of some of the best Legends novels I’ve enjoyed over the years. So without further ado, if you enjoyed the Aftermath trilogy, you should read these Legends novels. To the jump!
The news week began with a bummer as word dropped that Michael K. Williams would not be able to make reshoots for the (still untitled) Han Solo film and his character would have to be cut as a result. Wonder if they could have kept him in if the release slipped to December?