I want, instead, the series that I was promised as a pre-teen boy back when the original movie came out. The series I never got. Let’s review:
Luke starts off as a whiny Farm Boy, and ends up the Hero by blowing up the Death Star. OK, a bit much, but that was what we had to deal with. Lets start from there. The Empire is starting to show signs of weakening, and the Rebel alliance is just starting to have successes. They have this new Hero, Luke, who can do things that no one else can. But he is at the beginning of a Long, Long Journey. Out there is the man who killed his Father, a man who plans on replacing the Emperor on the throne. This man is the last practitioner of the arts of the dark side, just as Obi-Wan was the last practitioner of the arts of the light side. Yes, the last….
No “I am your father”
No “Leia is my sister.”
And no three movie wrap up.
I want the start of a long serial, where our hero grows into himself. Battle after battle, planet after planet, stage after stage, until he leads, not just the early few, but a massive New Republic Fleet against the best that the Empire has to offer, and wins an outright victory.
Remember how the critics all said of Star Wars (and Indy) that is was a throw back to the serials of the Thirties? Where is the serial?
What I want to see go away:
Everyone is related. It is a huge Galaxy, this shouldn’t be a family feud.
The whole redemption of Darth Vader. No apologies for a mass murderer.
The force as mysticism: OK I am going out on a limb here, but I like there to be Science in my fiction. I realize Star Wars is escapist fantasy, but lets make it at least plausible.
Here’s how I would reset the story: The force is the result of a nano-tech revolution. The nanites are symbiotic with life, and provide a network of communication between themselves. Getting tapped into the network requires training, but anyone can do it. Access to the network provides heightened reaction speeds and minor telekinesis as a side effect, but mostly it is about communication.
Light sabers, on the other hand, are just a tool for ship to ship combat, as blasters have the tendency to blow holes in the ship and kill everyone inside. There is also some aristocratic non-sense about duels and such.
A Jedi’s main ability is to manage large scale combat.
For a couple thousand years, humanity has moved out to the stars slowly, each trip between star systems taking years. The Republic is a very weak federation with little to enforce its decrees. Star systems are autonomous. Only a few have “the force” nanites.
Suddenly, Hyperspace comes on the scene. Suddenly, trips between star systems take days, not years. The force nanites spread.For a while, there is a golden age of information sharing, but there is also a realization that many planetary systems have very different moral codes. Slavery is wide-spread, as are other practices that many planets consider barbaric.
A growing movement starts to free the slaves on slavery worlds, and this leads to a situation much like the American Civil war. The end result is the abolition of slavery, but also a much more centralized government.
Over the years, contact between start systems spread the force nanites. Access to the network is controlled by the Jedi. It starts with a centralized Authorization/Authentication approach, but with the civil war it fragments, and from there on, there is a battle between nanites accepting the old and new auth servers. Yeah, I’ve been working on FreeIPA too long.
The Jedi, strangely enough, come from the culture of the losing side of the civil war. There were many planets that did not have slavery, but that still resisted the centralization.
Thus, the ethical lines are much more blurred than in the Star Wars trilogy, and the people chose sides for more personal reasons. The Empire does not control the whole galaxy, just the single larges chunk. Hyperspace travel has opened up a slew of new worlds, many of which are populated by people fleeing from the Empire. Meanwhile, the Empire continues to grow.
Wouldn’t that be a better setting?
I’m really pleased about your ideas on the nanites and a more unbiased story towards “the trip of Hero”. It’s a breakthrough taking to a new level the original story. Indeed, is whole new story!
I’d like to read more about if you come and write it down.
Regards from MÃ©xico!
Wow. Just… wow.
The point of Star Wars is in part that it is a story about people, not technology. The force is mystical, yes, its also symbolic: the characters of Star Wars live in a universe where human will manifests itself physically; where our drives, ambition, compassion, and perseverance allow us to overcome impossible odds by literally affecting the world around us. The force is not technical because it expresses a primal property of man himself, and it is not elaborately explained (prequels and midichlorean nonsense aside) because its artistic purpose does not need it to be. Light sabers come from a similar place. They extend the human but do not render him irrelevant. Their efficacy comes from the wielder, it takes more than a pair of hands to make them credible in the face of more conventional weapons.
I hate to appear to discuss “right” and “wrong” ways to enjoy art, but if you’ll allow me the shortcoming I’ve never understood why people appear to read bodies of fiction just for the political trappings and technological legwork (fantasy readers are the same way by the way, with your mysticisims and “cool magic systems” taking the exact same spot as technology). There appears to be swaths of readers looking to analyze all of the universe-building workmanship as the center of the work, with the story and people merely being a vehicle to show it off. Rich subtext is either wholly absent or primitively allegorical. While I won’t deny the value of a well-constructed setting, I’d see it as more distraction in the works these people seem to enjoy. The disease seems almost total in recent fantasy writing. Sci-fi doesn’t seem nearly as overtaken most of the time but, as this post demonstrates, its certainly present.
That’s my rant in specific, now as an unrelated piece of advice: Star Wars isn’t 3 to 6 movies. There’s hundreds upon hundreds of books and other materials that now comprise it and are considered canon. Every prop in the movie has been assigned a manufacturer, every extra has a backstory, hundreds of worlds and a detailed timeline spanning centuries before and after the films has been established. I don’t know much about it, I’m not a Star Wars nerd, but I think if you’re going to deconstruct Star Wars in this way you have a responsibility to be a bit more comprehensive in your experience of the universe (possibly up your alley, I’ve heard a recent Star Wars book covered the day to day lives of the thousands of innocent people who cleaned toilets and served hamburgers on the Death Star when it was blown up).