My initial reaction to the news that Disney has agreed to purchase Lucasfilm and will be making Star Wars Episodes 7-9 (and beyond) was horror leavened by dread. As a lifelong fan, I am still stinging from the awfulness of Episodes 1 and 2 (3 was OK, if only by comparison). I was happy and ready to let the film franchise fade into memory. I imagine I am far from alone in that sentiment.
Of course, given that every other big-budget Hollywood movie today is either a sequel, a re-boot, or a shitty remake, it was completely unrealistic to expect a multi-billion dollar franchise to remain fallow for long. And while I am far from excited about the prospect of the Force being in the hands of Mauschwitz, the one bright spot in all of this is that George Lucas won't be writing and directing any more Star Wars movies.
This presents a great creative opportunity--should someone be wise enough to exploit it--to bring in some top-shelf creative talent and approach the galactic saga from a fresh perspective.
Here are some modest proposals for directors for Episode 7:
Alexander Payne--Luke returns to Tatooine in his 60s, wonders what life is all about. Feels empty and untethered. Has an an affair with an inappropriately young woman (Dakota Fanning).
Lars von Trier--Han and Leia's marriage has settled into a dull, soulless routine as Leia pursues her political career on Coruscant and Han tries to make a living as a novelist. Their love has long since given way to mutual contempt, explored in excruciating detail through the first hour of the film. Then, Han returns from a book tour early to find Leia in bed with Chewbacca, and attempts to kill them both. Chewbacca breaks Han's neck in the ensuing struggle, paralyzing him but leaving him alive. Grieved by what he has done to his best friend, Chewbacca jumps to his death from the balcony of their high-rise apartment. The movie ends with a black hole destroying the galaxy.
Daren Aronovsky--Set in the new Jedi Academy, this taut, often hallucinatory exploration of obsession centers on the extremes the young students are willing to push themselves to in order to fulfill their dreams of wielding the Force. Critics love it. Audiences mostly hate it. The soundtrack is awesome.
Joel and Ethan Cohen--This prequel follows a young Han Solo and Lando Calrissian as they double-cross their way across the galaxy in a desperate attempt to scam a motley cast of characters from Greedo (John Turturo) to Jabba the Hutt (John Goodman).
Eli Roth--Basically just two hours of Jar Jar Binks being tortured to death.