The Atlantic yesterday reported on what George Lucas treatment was for The Force Awakens. Although we can’t find the section of the Vanity Fair article Spencer Kornhaber is apparently reporting on, he quotes VF and Abrams as follows:
‘[Abrams] said Lucas’s treatment had centered on very young characters—teenagers, Lucasfilm told me—which might have struck Disney executives as veering too close for comfort to The Phantom Menace and its 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker and 13-year-old Queen Amidala. “We’ve made some departures” from Lucas’s ideas, Kennedy conceded, but only in “exactly the way you would in any development process.”’
I think Lucas’ idea would have made a lot of sense and I don’t think Abrams and co. have diverted from his ideas as much as they think they have. After a major revolution, a younger generation will grow up with the consequences and their stories will be new and interesting. Look at Leia and Luke, their stories were interesting and they were young.
It is well known that Lucas has always had a plan for Star Wars. His initial script for Star Wars encompassed all three of the Original films and he already had sketched out how the prequels would go. It comes as no surprise to me, then, that he had been thinking about the potential sequels as well. Star Wars is Lucas’ brainchild and everything that happens in these films, in some way or another, comes from him.
Apart from the general Prequels bashing in the Atlantic article, it is interesting to see the pooling together of creative minds which has led to the making of The Force Awakens. Some of Lucas’ ideas will most definitely be in there. Lawrence Kasdan, writer of The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi, co-wrote the script, bringing in his experience and passion for Star Wars. As a woman and a Star Wars-fan, I believe that Kathleen Kennedy has a lot to add to this film as well. Even Harrison Ford was apparently excited to step back into Han Solo’s shoes. This bodes well for the film, since Star Wars spans generations and should try to be as inclusive of new ideas as possible.
The only point upon which I can agree with the Atlantic article is that what sets Star Wars apart is that it constantly reinvents itself rather than just rely upon already available material, in the way that Marvel are mainly adapting their comic books. However, it is ironic that Kornhaber can’t see how hypocritical his own article is. By departing from the Extended Universe, Lucasfilm and Disney have given the director and writers of The Force Awakens a lot of freedom. These sequels won’t be like the Originals, they won’t be like the Prequels. They will be their own films, loved by a new generation of fans and probably also disliked by part of the fans.
As Making Star Wars accurately says:
The media that celebrates ripping the prequels to shreds will probably turn their sights onto the sequel trilogy after a little bit of times goes by and the hype dies down. Entertainment reporters forced to cover Star Wars when they aren’t interested in it will become colder and colder. Embracing this relationship and attempting to separate Star Wars from itself (the prequels from the original trilogy from the sequel trilogy) will surely bite everyone in the ass eventually.