Friday, 8 February 2013

Mystery Versus Certainty

Star Wars standalone spinoff films are on their way, besides the central Episode VII, focusing on things like Han’s origin, a Boba Fett adventure, and perhaps the story of Yoda.

On one level, that could be fun, depending on how they’re done. Space adventures with beloved characters, and all. (Although unlike Iron Man et al leading to The Avengers, they’re leading to films that already exist...)

But we don’t need to know Han’s origin, and I don’t really want to. More adventures with Han, sure. An origin, no thanks. Not because he’s particularly mysterious - he’s not, really, I know all I think we need to.

Boba Fett, on the other hand, was a lot cooler when he was this mysterious guy we knew next to nothing about. He was a bounty hunter, he was good at it, he looked really cool, he may have worked with Darth Vader before and he treated him like a peer (!) and that was a recipe for mystery and coolness. (Particularly before Han knocked him into the Sarlacc by accident.) I could get behind crazy action adventure stories about a laconic bounty hunter IN SPAAAAACE. But hopefully no origin, because after Attack of The Clones he’s already origin-ed out.

Yoda is still somewhat cool (despite what he got up to in Attack of The Clones) because he’s still got some mystery to him.

I understand wanting to go with popular characters for standalone movies, but how much is too much?

(For the record, in my opinion “Yippee!” is too much.)

Some characters are enriched with origin stories and flashbacks, some don’t need them and some are actively weakened by them.

Looking back in an ongoing narrative, affecting how the other characters see them as well as the audience, is also different from a standalone spinoff that only the audience is privy to. The learned mentor facing demons from his past is more interesting if his students get to see the results, to pick an example purely from Buffy. That might be the basis of an interesting adventure, which is part of the ongoing story rather than a moment in the past.

(Dedicated to Robin Sachs, who brought those demons and so much other great fun.)

No comments:

Post a Comment