What I Want to See: The Next Star Wars Trilogy

Written by Michael Cole

We’re more than two months separated from Rise of Skywalker, and the finale of The Mandalorian season 1, and so it’s time to speculate and dream. I want to tell you all my personal pitch for the next Star Wars trilogy. If Lucasfilm happens upon this post, I am available to hire for either screenwriting or directing responsibilities.

Let’s go back to Revenge of the Sith, in that film Anakin kills the younglings who have been training to be Jedi. It’s a sad moment, and it does a pretty good job at showing just how far toward the Dark Side Anakin is heading. Now, the idea is kills all the youngling who are there on Coruscant, but certainly Jedi would always be picking up little force users throughout the galaxy, right?

The first film tells the story of Jedi Knight Sharhor Kii, who has had little to no interactions with Anakin by the time of the youngling slaughter.  Sharhor is traveling from an Outer Rim planet with a young boy, Kar Weil, whom he plans to present to the council. He hasn’t transmitted in about the his hopeful new apprentice, because why would he. But the Council sends out the news of Anakin’s betrayal, and Sharhor returns to the Out Rim planet, and begins training in secrecy, waiting for any word that it is safe to return. We see the youngling grow up in training to the point of a teenager (through montage), and eventually Sharhor, aware that Darth Vader is hunting down Jedi, decides to leave his apprentice in hiding, since there is not record of him in the Jedi temples or the remnants of the council, and he goes off to face Vader, never to return. We follow Kar as he continues his training, and goes off looking for Sharhor. Along the way, he falls in love with Cera, the pilot that he’s hired for transport, and marrying her.

The second film, Kar and his wife have three children, all of whom Kar is now training in the ways of the force. They do not consider themselves Jedi, but they all wield lightsabers, none the traditional Jedi colors. Kar has a yellow lightsaber, his two daughters Pik and Ana wield orange, and his son Lon wields a turquoise blade. The Weil family’s presence on their home planet becomes unsafe especially when the four force users are together, and they split up with the intention of rendezvousing when they can. For the majority of this film, we split between Kar and Cera traveling to different Jedi temples, trying to uncover ruins, Lon trying to hitchhike off to join the rebellion, and Pik and Ana going to planets where slavery and injustice are the norms, and helping to free those people. At the end of the film, we learn that the second Death Star has been destroyed, Lon sending the message to his parents and his sisters.

The third film, Kar and Cera are now fully into the Jedi historian process, trying to learn and preserve as much as possible, trying to rebuild. They’re still mostly remote from the population of the galaxy, and while they know that the Empire has fallen, they haven’t desired to return to it. Pik and Ana also still have their fight, because the slavery and injustice existed before the Empire, and the fall of the Empire meant little in their fight. Lon now with war-worn A-wing, goes off to find his parents and his sisters, hoping to reunite them all finally.  By the third act, the sisters have pissed off a mob-boss with his own hired gun army, and Lon who is with his parents go to help them escape. The four force users, and their pilot mother/wife manage to take down the majority of the army before Lon is killed, and his father loses his dominant arm. His father driven by grief and rage uses the force at a level he’s never done before and lays waste to the remnants of the small army.

I don’t have all of the set-pieces or specific act structures for these three films, just a very brief outline, as you can see. But I want this to be a family story, something that shows just how life somewhat carried on during the time of the Rebellion and the Empire. The idea that a force user could slip under the radar due to clerical error, and kick off this whole separate legacy. I would call this trilogy, The Force Kin Trilogy.

Let me know in the comments below what you think of the idea!

What I want to see: The Rise of Skywalker and the Possible Redemption of Hayden Christensen

A few weeks ago, when the first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.  Personally, I’m excited for the film, but what I want to talk about is some speculation into the film, but first let me give you a little background of my own star wars preferences, to help illustrate the point that I’m eventually hoping to make.

I guess the most important thing you need to know, is that I think Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith is the worst part of any Star Wars film (not counting the Holiday Special).I have been told most people think Jake Lloyd was worse, but at least he has the excuse of being a little kid, and many little kid actors aren’t good.  Others have argued that Christensen’s not that bad, and I don’t even know what films they’re watching.

I will say this, I am not sure that I blame Hayden Christensen for the performances in his two Star Wars films.  We’ve all seen that most of the performances in the prequel trilogy (and a decent amount of A New Hope) is cold, and the dialogue is not well written.  Lucas couldn’t get a good performance out of nearly any of the better actors in the prequels (I know people will argue Ewan McGregor, but that was more a matter of an extremely good actor in a role that is intentionally cold and aloof, it’s the opposite of the Keanu Reeves in the Matrix effect, where he’s good despite his talent because of the role.

Alright, so now that I’ve explained that I think his performance is the worst, let me explain one other thing.  He’s back in the new film.  Now, I don’t know what capacity he’s going to be in the film, but the day after the trailer dropped, he had up on his Instagram page a picture of the new title card.  Upon googling, it turns out he’s participating in the new film although all the specifics seem to be speculation.  I assume he’s going to be appearing as a force ghost, that’s the most logical option, but whether it’s for a moment or scenes and dialogue, is anyone’s guess.

I think, his appearance in this film, could be the thing that redeems him, and the character of Anakin (I love Vader, but I don’t love Anakin) for me.  You see, while I know that George Lucas has been involved in this film as a consultant (again to what extent is unknown) he isn’t writing the dialogue, and he isn’t directing the actors, and so now we have the opportunity to see what a director who is significantly better with both dialogue and actors can do.  I think J.J. Abrams might be a little over hyped, but c’mon he’s better at those two things than George Lucas any day of the week.

Now, there is a chance Christensen’s appearance will be small enough that it doesn’t really affect his legacy in the role whatsoever, but I hope this isn’t the case.  My hope is that we see one of two things, either one of which I think could make the film cool, and enhance Anakin as a character.  We could see him as a force ghost trying to influence either Rey or Kylo, and this is the safer more likely bet, but it could definitely have some really cool scenes, further the story line, and help the dynamics between force using characters.  This would be good.

Something that is much less likely, but would be awesome, and would kind of be crazy, and risky (after the Last Jedi, I think Disney proved they don’t do risk well, or maybe that they don’t commit to risk well).  Paul kind of suggested this, and I think it’s an amazing idea.  What if Anakin rises from the dead?

Like I said, this idea is a little out there, but I don’t think it’s totally out of the realm of possibility.  So here’s a couple thing, one is that we know Anakin is the most powerful force user, essentially he’s the Jesus of Star Wars.  Anakin is the Force’s immaculate conception.  Then we see in Empire Strikes Back, Vader in his black egg thing.  Well, I know it’s no longer canon, but the egg thing in the books was some kind of Force chamber, in the chamber, he’s trying to heal and rebuild his body with the force.

What if in dying and becoming a Force ghost, Anakin becomes “more powerful that you can possibly imagine,” and therefore finally powerful enough to use the force to rebuild his body.He is the chosen one, to bring balance to the force, and the Last Jedi, for all of it’s faults had one thing clear, there is something essentially broken with the black and whiteness of the Jedi/Sith mentalities.  Both Luke and Kylo seem to have realized this, (even if Rey decides by the end she can be a hero or a villain, and not something else).

What if Anakin comes back, to show the way the force should be used, creating an order that isn’t as ’emotionless’ as Jedi, nor as ruled by emotion as Sith.  Anakin, who wanted to be a Jedi, but also wanted to love, and was shunned by the Jedi for the latter, and manipulated by Palpatine for it, is the perfect person to show you can be a husband, a father, a son, and a powerful force user.  Perhaps that is the balance?

Honestly, that’s what I’m hoping happens.

What I Want to See: DCEU

It was announced today, that Henry Cavill is no longer going to be the live action Superman in the DCEU.  It was recently confirmed (and long rumored) that Ben Affleck was not going to be Batman in the DCEU.  So, the DCEU is down 2 of their three most iconic characters, and many people are speculating a ‘soft reboot’ of the DCEU in general.  Of their 5 films so far, the only success across the board (critics/fans/box office) has been Wonder Woman, and so this might make sense to do.  Especially since Wonder Woman and the upcoming sequel take place before the events of the other 4 films released so far.

MV5BMTA1NDM2ODUxOTNeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDgxOTEyMDYz._V1_Has Aquaman ever looked cooler?

Now, I personally think this reboot idea will likely take some of its cues from what happens with December’s Aquaman film.  We already saw Jason Mamoa as the character in Justice League, and I’ve heard virtually no complaints about him, but an Aquaman stand-alone will be a completely different thing, and so we really won’t know until it comes out.

There is also the forthcoming Shazam, scheduled for next April.  Now, Shazam hasn’t appeared in the DCEU previously, so if Aquaman tanks and they go full steam ahead on the reboot, Shazam could be part of the ‘new’ universe, or if Aquaman is a success, it could be tailored into the ‘newish/soft reboot/whatever they’re going to call it.’

maxresdefaultI knew nothing about this character, and the trailer sold me.

So let’s make the assumption that some kind of reboot is going to happen, and I will tell you what I want to see with that.  Ok?

I want to see this reboot build characters individually.  I’m not saying not to put Easter eggs, or slight references to each other, but let’s not get to the second movie before we have a full blown cross over.  If in Wonder Woman ’84 we see some story about a ‘meteorological event’ which implies Kal El’s (Superman) arrival, that’s fine, but I don’t want Jason Mamoa or Shazam or anyone else to show up.  Get several stand alone films under your belts, like you should have done the first time around.

ntgk14lkrtl11Thanos’ snap was more powerful than we all realized.

The second thing that I want to see happen, is I don’t want Superman and Batman to show up for a while.  It might sound dumb, and I’m sure people hate hearing about the MCU as a model, but Marvel didn’t have access to their A listers when they started, and it forced them to build characters and not assume we knew who they were, it forced them to get creative and be better story tellers.  I think Batman and Superman are too iconic to start.  Let’s deal with Shazam, and Cyborg, and other characters that the general film going audience that aren’t comic book readers aren’t familiar with, and start world building through them.  There is some brand recognition with characters like Flash and Green Lantern, but use those characters to bridge the gap between the audience who know nothing, and the audience who totally get it.  Then once you’re several successes deep, you can start introducing Superman and Batman.  This exercise, will also help you to understand how to create those characters more memorably, to not be coming at them as the icons they are to the general public, but to fill in and establish all of the layers that have comic book fans hooked.

What I Want to See: The Women Of The MCU

CE7F7742-6284-472C-988A-6DF85B590CB1

I finally saw Ant-Man and The Wasp yesterday, and I realized something, Hope Van Dyne is my favorite female character in the MCU. Realizing that made me reflect on the role of women in the MCU.

72BE2BB5-4761-41B3-A08D-361B858F9952

It’s been pretty well discussed among critics and fans that for a while the MCU had a female problem.  Despite Black Widow having been introduced in the third (of 20 so far) MCU films, she took a long time to gain prominence in screen time, or plot relevance (I’m not sure we’ve even seen her have more screen time or relevance to the story, than anyone but Hawkeye).  Fans were asking for a Black Widow film, and Marvel Studios’ response was something along the lines of “when it’s right we’ll do it”. which at the time probably felt like a cop-out, but they were having the same complaints made about having a non-white main character and they were giving the same response. At the time, it really felt like the MCU had a diversity problem, but in fairness they tried to address the problem. They quickly began to introduce characters like Sam Wilson as the Falcon, Rhodey to be War Machine/Iron Patriot started to have a larger role and more screen time, they added Scarlett Witch to the team, for example. Many argued this was a half measure, they were all secondary characters and not a solution to the problem. They were definitely steps in the right direction and they filled in some gaps. It was very clear that women and non-white males needed to be the titles characters of their own movies.

36C165FD-4EDA-4A12-9E07-8DA04799C217
Black Widow’s 1st Appearance In The MCU: Iron Man 2

The MCU started using crossovers and the team films to be able to add new characters, layer their universe, and make it more three dimensional.  In Civil War, we were introduced to the MCU version of Spider-Man and finally Black Panther. Pretty quickly, it was clear that both would be getting their own films, but the MCU as a single cohesive piece was more important, so they tend not to rush into things and it payed off.

0E657B27-90E4-4D7E-BB9A-F65098C699B7
Shuri stole the show in Black Panther.

Spider-Man: Homecoming was a big success, but Black Panther was a cultural phenomenon. Black Panther showed us that the MCU could handle a film with a non-white main character, a majority non-white cast, and come out with a critical and box office smash.  Black Panther not only stood on its own two feet, but it absolutely crushed the competition. The two most prominent white characters are played by Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman. Both are well established actors, but they’re certainly not mega-stars like Tom Cruise or Matt Damon.

CEBFFF5A-BE1D-4751-8BB3-F8DF0A3441A9

3CB6C911-ED20-4C41-91D6-A180C1ED091D

The second crucial thing Black Panther did, was almost double the MCU’s roster current of important, strong female characters.  Prior to this what did we have?  Scarlett Witch, is a decent character, but I personally don’t think she’s nearly as fleshed out as she could be.  Black Widow, tends to be used more in her relationship with which ever male hero needs her (i.e. in Winter Soldier with Cap, or in Age of Ultron with Bruce/Hulk).  Pepper?  I think we’re all honestly surprised when Pepper pops up for a cameo anymore, but really she isn’t much more fleshed out than Friday.  Jane Foster, might have been a good addition, except it seems that Natalie Portmant doesnt have much interest in playing Jane Foster anymore. So that’s not entirely the fault of the MCU.  The only two pre-Black Panther characters that seemed to be totally realized and fleshed out female characters were Gamora and Hope Van Dyne. In Ant-Man, Hope is the most capable character, the main character arc belongs to Scott Lang.

7841C1EC-837C-4572-95B8-B2F6AB8B6C5F         In Black Panther, we got three really great female characters in; Shuri (who is strong willed, intelligent, competitive, funny); Nakia who almost forces T’Challa to play the ‘fawning love-interest’ character due to her commitment to bettering Africa and the world; and Okoye who is one of the fiercest normal humans in the MCU.  Would you want to fight Okoye?  Do you think you could outsmart Shuri on literally anything?  Do you have more compassion for any group of people than Nakia does?  They’re all incredible, and while they have their ‘defining’ attributes, they’re not only those things.  Shuri is funny, and brave.  Nakia is in love with T’Challa, but refuses to let that be her guiding principal. Okoye, despite being a total bad-ass is also a loving girlfriend/wife (they don’t really say) who also stands up to her love when he is on the wrong side.

null

Black Panther pushed us further toward the MCU ‘sweet spot. Now we have Ant-Man and The Wasp and it’s the first time in the MCU that a woman is one of the title characters.  The Wasp does not disappoint.  She’s the most bad-ass fighter in the film, she totally shows up Ant-Man and even the pseudo-villain Ghost. She’s a dedicated, intelligent woman trying to be reunited her mother.

16E15BD3-B591-433C-B06D-F73F450B36E324F37A45-717D-4396-97BA-B180D2B8C407Something Hope/Wasp and the women of Black Panther manage to do, is balance the characters between being what we want in super-heroes while not removing their femininity.  They also don’t play on any female stereotypes or tropes. We don’t see any of the female characters being played as ’emotionally erratic,’ while also not playing them off as unfeeling.  It’s a hard balance that Hollywood in general has difficulty was and the MCU has done pretty well avoiding those pitfalls. Which is really impressive considering that so far, all the directors in the MCU has been mad.

EEAD6127-C4E3-485B-8509-E150EE85CE82

So what do I want to see when it comes to females in the MCU? That leads us to Captain Marvel.  For Captain Marvel, we’re going to get our first female (solo) title character.  We’re also going to get our first female director (co-director, but to be fair, Anna Boden has directed all of her films with her husband Ryan Fleck).  I really want Captain Marvel to be great.  I want it to be as great as Black Panther and a game changer in the same way Black Panther was. I want Captain Marvel to be an amazing character with depth, but also a total bad-ass.  The DCEU had their only smash success to date with Wonder Woman because it’s a genuinely good film. I hope Captain Marvel is at least as good (perhaps with a better villain). Because Captain Marvel will not have the momentum of being the first like Wonder Woman was, but it does need to be successful.  One of the major takeaways from Black Panther and Wonder Woman was that people respond to diversity in their entertainment. However, if a movie like Captain Marvel fails, Hollywood probably won’t learn the right lesson from it.  They won’t say “oh Captain Marvel sucked, let’s try a Black Widow film instead!”, they’re more likely to say “oh maybe Wonder Woman was an anomaly and the audiences don’t really want female lead superhero movies.”  It’s bullshit logic, but as I’ve written before Hollywood almost always learns the wrong lessons.

51CCD5CC-2972-4E70-9C0C-9F5836431754

If Captain Marvel has some great action set pieces and the character is as well developed and well acted as Hope Van Dyne, Okoye, Nakia, Shuri, and Gamora, I think they’ll have a hit on their hands. If that happens Hollywood will do more to replicate it.  The MCU has done a great job creating this universe and I’m confident that Captain Marvel will not be an exception to that rule. I know I’m really excited.

D9297F0E-0085-4D54-9786-6A3A8D4C8636Because, honestly?  I love watching great women characters, especially when they kick ass.  That’s so much more interesting to me than the damsel in distress. I don’t know maybe I’m not ‘alpha’ enough, but something I find attractive (not just on a romantic/sexual level, but attractive in a friend, or in my wife, or when I’m proud of my sister ) is characters/people who have passion. It’s what we admire about male characters right?  You love that Tony Stark is pursuing (albeit awfully) the betterment of human kind through science, or that Captain America is passionate about the ideals of freedom and what America is supposed to be.  Why wouldn’t we look for the same in our female characters? I never understood that.

811F8792-522A-40A8-9997-4AF66974D295

So, what I want to see, is an excellent Captain Marvel movie, and if there is a love interest, I hope it’s not shoe-horned in.  After that, I hope that Captain Marvel opens us up to more female lead films in the MCU.  I’m patient, I know it won’t be overnight, but with a few more hits in Phase Four, and then they’ll be on a roll.

BDF075CB-0A2F-459C-98A5-3D35DA06E9F1

 

Written by Michael Cole

What I Want to See: Solo Sequel

2D7EFB1D-EA83-4836-B90F-02276C948D04

This is going to contain some spoilers, so be warned.  TLDR: Spoiler Alert!

I had some reservations about Solo, I didn’t think it was a great idea, and there was the mess of a production we all heard about, and then they took forever to release a trailer, and it seemed like it was going to be a stinker, but the trailers regained some of my confidence.  I saw the film last night, and I really liked it, for a letter grade, I’d say B+.

5A557353-C6B2-420B-8072-9263D90719E0

The film tells the story of how Han starts his life as a ‘scoundrel,’ how he meets Chewie, and Lando, and how he finds the Falcon.  Of his lore, I think that’s all the big key points that were touched upon.  The film ends with Han and Chewie heading off to Tattooine to find some ‘big gangster’ for a ‘big score.’

That’s what I want to see in the sequel.  Han and Chewie finding Jabba, and starting their smuggling.  That’s the concept they obviously need to go with, and perhaps there will be some chaos with the head of the Crimson Sun, who was revealed at the end of Solo.  That’s the basic plot, and obviously that’s what they’re planning.

2B842124-6D50-4695-BD08-DACB75C1ADF3

But, what I want to see, comes down more to cameos, and lore.  If they’re going to be on Tattooine, we could easily see some kind of Obi-Wan cameo, same with young Luke.  I’m a little iffy on what the timeline is supposed to be, so I’m not sure if Luke’s a small child or a young teenager.

In addition to those two though, are all of Jabba’s crew; Greedo, Boba-Fett (not necessarily Jabba’s crew but on payroll), Salacious Crumb; it would be interesting to expand upon these characters.

3A18E3D3-0376-4939-8681-646D3C58F23B

There is also the possible setup of new characters that could be really cool.  So if you watched Rogue One, you should have known that most if not all of the characters shown would die, because otherwise why wouldn’t they be in A New Hope, but with Han’s life before A New Hope, there is no rule that says it has to interact with the main Skywalker Saga at all.  Cameos will be fun, but lets establish some awesome new characters, and pockets of the galaxy.  By doing this, it could create some connection, to whatever either of the two new trilogies (Rian Johnson, or the GoT guys’ trilogies) because while I don’t want those two new trilogies to be about Rebels or Resistance, or anything too obvious, it would be nice to know where it falls with in the extended universe.  Han and Chewie’s adventures could definitely provide a springboard for that.

Lastly, there’s a fan theory that I like, that might be fun if it’s shown to be correct, or at least purposely kept ambigious.  This theory basically says that because we see Chewie with Yoda in Revenge of the Sith, that they clearly know each other, and Chewie definitely has a passion for liberating the oppressed, and so what if Chewie was working as a rebel agent to some degree, with Yoda.  That’s why Han and Chewie meet with Obi-Wan, and it’s not all coincidence.  It’s a good theory, especially after seeing how Chewie behaves in Solo.

AA588631-B0A4-471E-B89A-4AF85D96AFB4

What about you?  What do you want to see from a Solo sequel?  Let me know in the comments below.

32F3500F-E0C7-436F-9489-4D6E168AC376

What I Want to See: Avengers Infinity War

 

444AA616-4D6D-4D86-AE46-CB14D9C543F8

Hopefully, I don’t need to catch you up on the history of the MCU, and I can just dive into what I want to see from Infinity War.  This might be a pretty controversial take on it, and as always I’m very open to whatever they’re actually going to do, but this is what I would do if I were in charge.

MARVEL’S AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Josh Brolin as Thanos

I want to see Thanos, and his team lay waste to much of the MCU heroes.  I don’t need to see him murder a bunch of them, (although I think we can agree there will likely be some major losses) but I want it to be a one-sided slaughter, I want the end of the second act to appear hopeless, like Han in carbonite, Luke handless level of hopeless.  I want the audience to honestly be borderline upset at how poorly our heroes are doing.

F3A48B8B-2EA8-4DA6-A9D4-9D3FC57E40B2

Then as the third act begins, we see something falling towards the Earth, and it’s coming in too quick, and we see the heat trail as it burns through the atmosphere towards the ground, and it’s the Hulk who has been hurtling through space since whatever happens to the ship Thor and the Asgardians were on at the end of Ragnarok, and he slams into the ground, and is so pissed off from that ordeal, that he begins to pummel through each and every one of Thanos’ lackies and maybe they don’t win the fight (it seems as if this will not be the end since Avenger’s 4 comes out a year from now and originally was going to be Infinity War Part 2,) but he helps the team to at least hold off Thanos.

9315A54D-C209-4D12-B5D8-022BD82CF265

BC747247-3C32-4A7D-B300-D017004077E6

I’ve got to admit, with a 2 year-old who’s favorite phrase has been “Hulk Smash” ever since he saw Ragnarok, I want Hulk to not be in the film for long, but then come in and fuck shit up.  I want to see Thanos over confident in his ability, and in his progress in destroying the Avengers and other assorted MCU heroes, and I want to have that moment everyone seems to have in the MCU where they think they know what’s going to happen, and then immediately realize they don’t have a clue.  Hulk is amazing at delivering that moment, and I want him to give that to Thanos.

DA53C300-045D-47E4-A954-EB73BE684A78

A big piece of speculation about the film has been that Thanos will not have all of the Infinity stones in this film, or at least not until the end of the film.  I’m not sure how they cover him succeeding in getting the stones, and still have any kind of victory for the Avengers.  It’s a plot point that seems—from a writing standpoint—to be insurmountable, but one that many seem to think is coming.  If it’s coming, I hope it’s the very last moment, and I would enjoy seeing the Hulk have that same “oh shit” moment of realization that I want for Thanos.  Then despite that, we see Hulk rampage forward, swing for a hit, and before it connects cut to black.

A9367304-1D5F-4C13-A971-AC68B6059114

I want to see the Hulk smash, like he’s never smashed before…

DAF10E67-8461-43A6-B300-38C908D6AE55

What I Want to See: Star Wars TV

A432DA7B-85C4-4937-A16C-AC345535EC9E

Paul did a podcast a week or so ago that covered the show Star Wars: Rebels, and out of curiosity, I began watching it with my son.  We’re hooked.  I like the fact that it’s a legitimately great entry into the Star Wars saga, and my son loved that there were half a dozen Wookies (or as he calls them “Bacca!”) and he also loves that there are lots of “Star Wars” which is what he calls the stormtroopers.  I’m starting him off young if you can’t tell.

DC0CCF5C-7D32-40B2-A4EB-6F962FD17664

So we’re hooked, but I’ve also been looking into Star Wars animation, since I had also heard that Clone Wars was a good show, and in the process, I found out that there is a lot of speculation that the next series will be Star Wars: Resistance.  This hasn’t been confirmed but apparently Lucasfilm and Disney have been getting the trademarks in order.

A675BFE7-65C3-479D-B0EC-E2BF0520833B

Now, I haven’t made it through the entirety of Rebels, and I will dive into Clone Wars when I’m done (I know it’s backwards but I don’t care, I saw Return of the Jedi first as a kid, and honestly it didn’t ruin anything for me).  I also recently read an article about how Disney with their television programming has a tendency to shut shows down, regardless of success with in about 65 episodes.  Rebels runs for 69, but many adhere to the 65 rule.  While this might be irritating for some, I think it may actually be good with Star Wars, because if we get multiple series, that might be a great way of doing things.  So I’m ok with this idea of 65ish episodes.

If the next show is Star Wars: Resistance, I have some specific things that I want to see.  First, I want this to take place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, it could be right in the middle, or leaning toward either one, but I really don’t want there to be much overlap with Force Awakens.  There are supposed to be roughly 30 years between the two films, and I don’t want this to just be the lead up to Force Awakens.

A53DB09A-B133-44CA-AAEB-E3BCEC42C84F

I’m interested in seeing the creation of The First Order.  There must be a power vacuum created in the wake of Return of the Jedi, and with both those loyal to the Empire, and the Rebels wanting to recreate the Republic, there must be a lot of story that happens within that power struggle, and arguably it could be more interesting than much of what we’ve seen.  One of the things that I love about Rebels, is that we’re getting to see a group of 5 rebels take on Ezra, and then become a part of a larger rebellion faction which then begins recruiting and forming the alliance.  Meanwhile, we’re seeing the Empire slowly complete their destruction of the Republic and its remnants.  Seeing both sides regrouping and seeing the Rebels trying to take more control from the crumbling Empire, while the Empire loyalists try to find their own new structure could provide some great storylines along with the ‘scrappy’ type of action that the originals, and now Rebels provide us.

D5476DA1-6214-480C-98CA-421659189D0B

I don’t really want to see much of Poe, Rey, or Finn in this show.  I love those characters, and sure Poe has something of a background in the Resistance, and Finn goes through stormtrooper training, but ultimately, I want any interaction with the younger versions of them to be cameo or Easter Egg level.

EF1A384E-DFA3-4620-8EA7-CB7B246D8146

 

I’m somewhat interested in Kylo and the Knights of Ren, but I think perhaps that should be in its own series, something based on Luke training new Jedi or something, but it seems to be somewhat separated from the action of the Resistance.

 

This show however, could provide some of the answers that people are wanting that haven’t necessarily been necessary answers.  We could see who Snoke is, and fill him in more, we could see more about Hux, and I’d be ok with those explorations as long as they’re not the main focus.  What I really want to see though, is new characters.  These wars span the course of 90ish years so far, and an entire Galaxy, and so I want to see more of the people who are also giving it their all, but aren’t necessarily connected, or not deeply connected to the Skywalkers.

C744362B-383D-4B1C-86FD-1B7BFD37BAB4

I am sure that now that I have started down the rabbit hole of the Star Wars animated universe, that I will likely be along for the entire ride, so I’m not saying I won’t watch if they don’t do it the way I necessarily want, but that is ultimately what I do want to see.

Written by Michael Cole

What I Want to See: The Fifty Shades Franchise

I kind of doubt that there is much overlap, between World’s Best Media’s audience, and The Fifty Shades audience, but hear me out, ok?

9F09FF0B-00DE-4F26-B289-7DA9FEB2A29E

The final Fifty Shades movie is upon us, and it seems like we may largely be done with this franchise altogether.  I personally don’t care whether or not it gets rebooted, or continued, but if it does, I have an opinion as to what I want to see from it.

6C4A8282-27BD-45D0-AB55-A06824EDD252

Now, let me be honest, I didn’t read any of the books.  I read a randomly selected page that my wife thought might entice me to read the entire book, and she was very wrong.  I did however go and see the first film with for Valentine’s Day, however many years ago that came out (was it two?  It feels like it was 5, but it’s been a crazy couple of years).  You may be surprised to hear this, but I didn’t think the film was as bad as seemingly everyone else did.  Don’t get me wrong, it was really bad, but there was a shining light.

E2383C40-4E8B-4A5D-8A6E-29BB3AB0C4F4

Sam Taylor-Johnson, who directed the film, did as good of a job as possible with the combination of source material, and restrictions she was given.  For whatever reason, the studio dictated that she stick fairly rigidly to the dialogue from the novel, and the dialogue in the novel was apparently a complete dumpster fire.  “I’m Fifty Shades of fucked up!” is one of my top 5 least favorite movie lines of all time.

5326C3C2-F02E-4D2E-AAB4-BAE2B0B5FA88

According to my wife, there is very little description in regards to the visuals of the world, apparently E.L. James didn’t spend much time on setting or anything while typing away on her Blackberry. This allowed Taylor-Johnson to create a pretty interesting visual style.  One of the things that the film lets her play with is visual metaphors, and it enhanced the story immensely.  During the initial meeting with Christian Grey, the main character Anastasia Steele (God! I hate the names of so many fictional characters) is attracted and sexually aroused by him. While the dialogue and acting don’t do a great job of selling that point, there is a moment, immediately after the encounter, where Anastasia walks out of the building into the rain.  Now, this could easily be missed, but water signifies climax throughout the movie.  Later when they’re in the ‘red room,’ as Anastasia succumbs to Christian’s BDSM lifestyle, the camera pans up to a painting of water splashing hard against the rocks.

11BA933D-10F3-4C79-AEF0-D1308D69CC37

I think this film, is similar to the problems that I have with the Star Wars prequels.  They stick to rigidly to dialogue that is not only awful, but also hurts the acting performances.  Had the studio not insisted on staying with the dialogue, then I think that Taylor-Johnson would have made the movie much more watchable.

FC3F4B20-8559-4BCB-BE34-BD39B18CB16E

Now, that’s all in the past, and on this first go ’round, we got very little in the way of what I would have preferred (probably because I’m not the main audience for it.)  If there is a reboot, or further exploration of the concept, what I’d like to see is something different.  If you watch the movie Shame from 2011, you see an NC-17 film about a sex addict, which is gritty, and realistic, and harsh, but more importantly, it is sexual while not really being sexy.  It showcased Fassbender’s performance, as well as exposing many to a type of sexual behavior that they weren’t previously aware of.  That is what I’d like to see with any future Fifty Shades reboots, or reimaginings or whatever they come up with.  In this series you have a story that many actual BDSM practitioners have called abusive, because the author didn’t know what she was writing about, and very few people in the creative process knew enough to correct it.  Take these characters, adapt the story to conform into a more realistic BDSM relationship, scrap side plots, and dive into the psyche of the two characters, examine the roles within the relationship, show us why it works for these characters, water crashing against the rocks.  We’ve never seen that in mainstream film, and yes it would likely get an NC-17 rating, but if the subject matter, and acting, and pathos are all strong enough, with the “Fifty Shades” name on it, it could be really interesting.

What I Want to See: Chadwick Boseman

Black Panther is coming out next week, and I really wanted to write a What I Want to See in honor of it, but the truth is, that Black Panther as a character was the MVP of the one Marvel movie he’s been in, has had one of the coolest trailers in the MCU, looks like he’s could be the MVP of Infinity War.  As a movie, Black Panther boasts one of the more exciting casts, and crews of any MCU film to date.  Ryan Coogler coming off of Creed to the MCU is an inspired choice. So I didn’t want to do a What I Want to See about Black Panther.  I have faith in this, and What I Want to See, is what they’ve got, I think it’s going to be amazing.

I first saw Chadwick Boseman in 42, as Jackie Robinson, and he was great in that film.  Then a year later, he was James Brown, and I haven’t seen that, but again he looked awesome in it.  Then we got to see him as Black Panther in Civil War, and he stole the show.  This last year, he played Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.

Marshall08124.RAF

He’s played 3 men who have been hugely important in the conversation of race over the last 70 years, and one of the most important fictional characters in the same area.  I really only know about these 4 roles, and I already consider Boseman to be a legend.

What I want to see, is Boseman get to play the big two.  The two big names we think of when we think of race in the last 70 years, I want to see him play Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.  I think that he has the acting chops, and I would love to see what he can bring to these two characters, and while it may sound ridiculous, I’d be interested in seeing him do both in the same film.

563e65d3c67fff1e4f0bf84a34f66ccf.1000x750x1

I think that it wouldn’t get taken seriously enough, but with two characters like that, two characters who we often think of as Yin and Yang, it would be really interesting to see what one actor can bring to both roles, to juxtapose them through one actor giving two performances.  I think the only man (at least right now) who could do that role, would be Chadwick Boseman.  I think he could give enough nuance to distinguish the two roles, and with make up they could make him look like two different people, and what we’d get would be something bizarre, but potentially really incredible.

We’re in a time where we’re seeing some very creative methods of telling historical stories.  Hamilton casts against historical race in order to show the spirit of America, we’ve seen time travel tell the story of JFK’s assassination and what his legacy may have been in 11.22.63.  We’re ready for something like this, and if you got someone with a really interesting direction style and Chadwick Boseman playing the leading roles, it could be amazing.  That’s what I want to see.

What I Want to See: YA Dystopian Movies

 

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’re aware of some of this recent trend in dystopian films, in which a kid is chosen to go against a huge government conspiracy.  Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, you know what I’m talking about.

4C95D1F3-C3EF-4E49-B418-ECB86A24C445

I was on board with Hunger Games, I read the books, and saw the movies.  I really liked the books, and thought the movies did a pretty good job translating them to the screen.  They’re not the deepest in movies or books in the world, but after Harry Potter finished up, they helped to fill the hole.

0D6F91B6-B4C1-4565-8E2E-CB450507FD1F

Then I started reading the Divergent series, and the first couple of books were enjoyable, the third one was terrible, and then I saw the first movie, and realized that I just didn’t care about it.  I haven’t seen the second, and I think there was a third, but apparently the audience fizzled out like I did and so I guess they’re not even going to finish the series in cinematic releases, but instead a made-for-TV movie.

767DF63F-01DF-45EC-A605-29B34C28ED94

Then there was the Maze Runner.  Now, I didn’t read the novel, I listened to the audiobook, and if I’m being honest, it wasn’t good.  I thought the story was good, but the dialogue wasn’t good, and I wasn’t sure if it was writing or delivery.  I tried to listen to the second one but gave up half way through.  When the movie came out, I didn’t bother to see it in theaters, just waited until it was on HBO.  I still haven’t seen the sequel which has been available on HBO for a while.

468FBC7A-69A3-4CAF-94CE-7487E5FCB2E4

Ultimately, these series all told the same basic story, big bad government uses kids for entertainment/soldiering/whatever, and one kid decides to defy them.  They’re too formulaic now, and really there isn’t much that’s unique or interesting about them.  They found something that worked, and milked it, and I think now we’re seeing it dry up.

6547F95F-BBEE-4FD8-AC24-2B4393FA5FA6

What I want to see, is good science fiction in this category.  Good stuff targeted to the PG-13 crowd, with new and interesting ideas.  I’m currently reading Ready Player One, which is coming out as a movie in a few months (directed by Steven Spielberg), and it might be what I’m waiting for.  So far, it appears as if the goal is different, and I just hope it isn’t too formulaic.  So far, it seems that corporations and not the government are the bad guys; while it seems to be a competition against a large force, they don’t seem to have a significant nearly insurmountable advantage, and as far as I can tell there are no big hidden secret conspiracies lurking to end the first section (all three of the other franchises are trilogies, and Ready Player One is a stand-alone).  Now, I’m not very far into the book, but I am really hoping this is the one to buck the trend.

97E680AB-2FA6-4EFD-8B5A-B137DCBD5FCB

You look at something like The Matrix, and not only did it visually revolutionize film, but the ideas and concepts it portrayed were interesting and new.  You might be able to say Hunger Games (on a much smaller scale did that) but then we saw so many copycats.  What I want to see is another movie that makes us go “oh I never would have thought to do that,” and I want that on a story telling level, visually if possible, and basically in anyways filmmakers can come up with, but I don’t want to know the beats and structure of a film because I saw what it’s knocking off anymore.  This is a problem that is not unique to this genre, but does seem to have gone from height of popularity to almost completely waning in the public eye in record time, and so we need something new!