Roqoo Depot Roundtable

April 3, 2013 at 10:50 am | Posted in Disney, JJ Abrams, Lucasfilm, Movies, Sequel Trilogy, Star Wars | 1 Comment

RD Roundtable


This week’s discussion centers on the Expanded Universe and the Sequel Trilogy.  Will EU characters be included in the ST?  Who do you think are likely candidates are?  How faithful to the EU will their characterizations be?

Geralyn: Given that the Prequel Trilogy and The Clone Wars have used EU characters, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some in the movies.  Lucas isn’t writing the script but he came up with the story, and he passed on sketches he had done — I’ve found references that these images are actual storyboards, but I can’t verify that.  Kathleen Kennedy has stated she wants to remain true to Lucas’s vision, and JJ Abrams is a huge fan of Star Wars.  He changed up the Star Trek story, but he definitely stayed true to the characters.  Now the only thing we really have to go on is how EU characters were portrayed on screen, specifically in TCW.  LFL demonstrated they weren’t adverse to using EU characters, but they also demonstrated that they were going to tell their own story with these characters, and not necessarily the story in the EU.

Cory: Honestly that’s how it should be. For a new audience member there shouldn’t have to be a reference guide to figure out what’s going on with new to the screen characters.  Han and Leia are married and they have twins, Jacen and Jaina. LFL/Disney will use the names but not all the background that exists for the characters. It would be too confusing for a new audience to have to read 40+ novels to get to know these characters. Also Anakin won’t exist and don’t expect Ben’s name to be used either. Most likely Luke and Mara’s son will be called Cade.

Skuldren: Well, when Star Wars first came out, we saw a ton of characters no one knew anything about. Backstory is never an issue unless the characters are handled terribly in the movie. Assuming Episode VII springs board into a future where the original cast is about the right age to resume their roles, it wouldn’t be hard at all to get a new audience introduced to a new generation of characters. We all expected Han and Leia to get married. A scene opens with them together, and in come their kids barging in–bam–everyone is on the same page. Does Jacen have to make lame jokes and have an affinity for animals? Does Jaina need to be mechanically inclined like her dad? Do they even need Anakin? The details don’t really matter one way or another from a film storytelling aspect. What does matter is that Han and Leia get married and have kids. Anyone who has seen the films will be expecting that.

Now Luke would be the surprise factor for film only fans. There are a lot of people who don’t know Luke got married in the books. While Jacen and Jaina are a given, Mara and Ben are up in the air. Personally, I think Mara is a must. She’s easily the best female character the Expanded Universe has ever created, and for people digging through the Star Wars toy box, Mara is a character they would be very very tempted to pull out and use in a movie. I’d even go so far as to say Mara would be more important than Jacen and Jaina.

Beyond that, the movie makers are probably going to be somewhat adverse to leaning too heavily on EU characters. Keep in mind they’ll want to introduce new characters who are significant to the plot and will take up quite a bit of attention just to be properly developed. When not using the Big 3 for their guaranteed nostalgia factor, the film makers are also going to be tempted to use old, familiar characters from the Original Trilogy. Disney has shown a very strong push toward ignoring the prequels and touching on the spark of Return of the Jedi. Just look at their promotions for Star Wars Weekends 2013. It’s all Return of the Jedi themed. We could see Ewoks, Mon Cals, Hutts, possibly even Ackbar and Boba Fett (though Fett would be a good example of a character they can’t bring back without first explaining his escape from the sarlacc).

Ryan: I think Mara is the single character out of the EU that should definitely need to exist in the Sequel Trilogy, but I’m not exactly sure if she would be brought in/how exactly they’d do it. The story of Luke and Mara’s romance is great and epic, and if Episode VII does indeed take place during a time where Luke is Mark Hamill’s age, presumably, he’d have already met Mara and the story of them meeting would be skipped. Or if Luke himself is put into the mentor role and isn’t the main focus of the movie, I’d imagine Mara’s role would be even smaller.

As for Jaina and Jacen, I’d absolutely love them to appear as the leads, or at least in, the Sequel Trilogy. Not entirely sure about if Lucasfilm would do this though, as I’d imagine the Solo/Skywalker offspring to be quite important to the story. They might want new characters for that. However, if they do put them in I think that’d make an interesting dynamic in the films, and that would please many of the EU fans.

As for minor things, I think Lucasfilm might take a few things from the EU, like how Lucas took the name of Coruscant. Maybe the Galactic Alliance (Or New Republic) will be featured, or some other things such as that. Little nuggets of EU would be very much appreciated.

However, if for whatever reason Lucasfilm makes the Sequel Trilogy completely original and they ignore the EU, I’d still be equally fine with that. The movies come first and I get why they’d want to make them original, and the EU would still exist in my heart.

Geralyn: We’re EU fans and we’ve read the books and comics, game guides and everything else we could get our hands on.  I think the hard thing to do here is to divorce ourselves from the EU because whether we realize it or not, we’re making assumptions about the ST because of our EU background.  I think we’re all assuming there’s going to be a reborn Jedi Order and at least Solo offspring, because we’ve been reading about that for a couple of decades now.  But go back to ROTJ and think about it.  The only thing that’s concrete going forward is that Luke was the means by which Anakin Skywalker fulfilled the prophecy of the Chosen One and brought balance to the Force.  Going by just movie canon, there’s nothing to say that anything that happened in the EU is going to happen in the ST, persistent rumors not withstanding.  You can assume that Return of the Jedi refers to Jedi plural so Luke does reestablish the Jedi Order, but that’s only our assumption.  Every single thing we assume post-ROTJ is just assumption.  The future is actually wide open.

I go back to my original premise that even if EU characters are used, LFL is going to take ownership as they did with TCW.  We EU fans really need to stop these unconscious assumptions or we’re going to set ourselves up for disappointment.  Mara may appear and there may be a nod to her EU personality.  But even if she is in or referenced in the ST, there’s zero guarantee that it will be the Mara we know.

Skuldren: Well I think everyone would be pretty shocked if Han didn’t marry Leia. Imagine if Han marries some redhead named Mara…who happens to be Force-sensitive…and they have a kid named Frank. Yeah, that would mess with everyone.

Cory: Their love child couldn’t be named Frank, that’s Palpatine’s first name. Wait! It all makes sense now, Mara is still under the influence of the Emperor!

Skuldren: Let’s say Mara is picked as a character. How much do you think they’ll actually reveal about her in the movie?

Cory: For me this is where is gets tricky. I guess it depends on whether anything from the EU is kept. Let’s say only the Thrawn Trilogy is kept then I think we will see some of her background used there. If the slate is clean then LFL will have free reign with the character.

Geralyn: Honestly, I don’t expect that even if LFL references The Thrawn Trilogy, they’ll lift it whole cloth.  To my knowledge,they’ve never done that.  I think the closest they’ve come is with the Dathomir Nightsister arc in TCW.  Even then, look at what they changed or added: Zabraks and Ventress as a Nightsister.  Though I would also say that I think Ventress in TCW was more or less true to the Dark Horse comics Ventress.  I enjoyed her personality a lot more in TCW than I did in the comics.

So while Thrawn could be referenced and Mara actually appear, it’s anyone’s guess as to how much of the EU backstory would be referenced.  Based on what we’ve seen, I’m inclined to think not much.  Plus you have the fact that there was a lot less story to deal with in regards to a character like Ventress as opposed to a character like Mara.  It would just be a whole lot less of a hassle for Disney/LFL to wipe the character slate clean.

On the other hand, you do have Abrams who has certainly demonstrated that he can do a complete reboot and keep characters intact.

Cory: I’m starting to think that less and less will be used for the Sequels. I think at the most it will be names, but I’m very confident that a major change will occur. Namely Ben will be replaced by a daughter.

Geralyn: Well, I’m confident that no matter what rumors we hear, what is officially revealed or how much fan moaning and groaning goes on, we’re all going to flock to the theater to see Episode VII.  And probably VIII and IX too.  You know we are.

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  1. […] countered with his preference for a tighter continuity mindset. Yesterday, the staff at Roqoo Depot roundtabled the Sequel Trilogy as it relates to the Expanded […]

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