I know what you’re thinking: again with the Star Wars.
I see a few of the die-hard fans are excited, but this just cements my belief that Disney is desperately trying to squeeze every last dollar from the franchise.
Let’s face it, Lucasfilm already had three movies to showcase Kenobi as a young man and they blew it. It could have been integrated right into the canon, but that ship sailed. I guess now they’re going to spackle some character development in, probably have to use a lot of flashbacks, but in the end those abysmal prequels are still there. Red Letter Media did a great job juxtaposing Alec Guinness musing that Anakin was “a good friend” with all the pissy, snarky arguments between Hayden Christianson and Ewan MacGregor. Really, Obi-Wan treated Anakin the way a veteran cop treats a rookie he loathes and is forced on him because he’s the chief’s son or something. I don’t think they ever said anything nice about each other.
And look at the time frame: the 15 years or so that Kenobi spends keeping his head down. Sure, lots of exciting adventures for a guy hiding out in the middle of a desert! I suppose they’ll have him thwart all sorts of sinister efforts to kidnap/kill baby Luke, toddler Luke, grade-school Luke and pre-teen Luke, but really we already know how that ends.
So I’ll skip it.
It’s customary for die hard fan boys to respond with weary cynicism with an “Oh yeah, how would you have done it?”
I’m glad you asked.
As you may now, I’ve written a brilliantly creative but tragically underselling series of books that essentially fixes the prequels: the Man of Destiny series.
The chief difference between it and the Star Wars prequels is that I put characters front and center. So my version of Palpatine is an ambitious, self-made backbencher named Maxim Darius who rises to ultimate power and initially does so with the best of intentions before giving into the temptation of absolute power. The friendship between Justin Tolliver and Adam Flyte – loosely based on Kenobi and Anakin – is one of the most important elements of the story.
It’s too late for Disney to retrofit that.
Oh, and another difference between my story and the slop Lucas dished out: prominent female characters.
Padme is a sphinx, a total cipher. What other women are there in the prequels? She’s basically Anakin’s squeeze and dresses up like a geisha and a tart. My book has a number of important female characters. For example Adam’s main love interest – he has two, actually because he’s a handsome and charming guy – is Cristin Morra, whose mother Arrin is a powerful and influential politician who will eventually lead the opposition against Darius. Another key figure is Celene Luthien, a respected aristocrat who tries to hold the Commonwealth together, but fails. The center can’t hold. The head of the knightly order in my story is also woman.
I want to emphasize that these weren’t arbitrary choices, and I wasn’t trying to fill a quota, but instead I needed characters who embodied certain traits.
Consider Star Trek. Everyone agrees that the best movie is Wrath of Khan. It’s superb in so many ways, but one of the coolest elements was finding out that Kirk had a son. It’s arguably Shatner’s best performance as he comes to terms with how much of life passed him by.
And of course it was completely believable that he would have sowed some wild oats.
What’s really interesting here is how feminists really seem to hate feminity. Only women can give birth to children, but feminists hate that and instead think that the coolest thing in the world is to create a woman who behaves like a man. It’s fascinating and tells a lot about their hangups. It’s like they can’t understand that mothers can be fascinating characters in their own right. Go watch I, Claudius and see how powerful and amazing Sian Phillips is as Livia. You can also go see Patrick Stewart with a full head of hair, but I digress.
Signorney Weaver in Aliens is absolutely amazing – she’s strong but also vulnerable and the scene where she confronts the queen in her power suit is completely awesome. There’s more “girl power” in that moment than in the entire Star War sequels AND the new Battlestar Galactica. Yet feminists completely ignore Ellen Ripley because it was in the 80’s and she acts like an actual woman.
Given Disney’s feminist orientation, the odds are overwhelming the Kenobi will be paired against a badly-drawn female character. She could be yet another Disney Mary Sue, which given the way the studio fatally botched Mulan, would not be surprising.
To put it another way: what Disney product in the last five years hasn’t been stunted in some awful SJW way?