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For shits and giggles, here is some stuff I wrote about how Episode 7 might have gone. Caveat: its long, occasionally disjointed and borrows from other SF/fantasy franchises. But I think my "back story" for what happened in the years after ROTJ would set the stage for a more interesting final trilogy:

The defeat of the Empire and destruction of the second Death Star was a time of great celebration for the Rebel Alliance, but it was to be short lived. True, in the following years they would eradicate the remaining vestiges of the Imperial army, but Leia Organa would find that not all worlds were enthusiastic about reconstituting the Republic that had once been.

Many were reluctant to again submit themselves to a body such as the Republic and preferred to remain autonomous, despite her best diplomatic efforts. Others, still ruled by the authoritarian governments the Empire had set up, were outright hostile. She had the military strength to liberate these worlds, but there would be much bloodshed, and it would not be Imperial forces dying but indigenous troops. So, as much as it pained her, these worlds were left to gain their own freedom if they could.

The result was a much-diminished version of the old Republic, both in size and in the strength of its central government. Leia as active in building this new confederation of worlds until her eventual death, but she would never see it regain the grandeur of the Republic that had been.

Luke Skywalker's new Jedi Order attempted to aid Leia in her work, but the spectre of Darth Vader loomed large over the galaxy. Force users, even Jedi, were viewed with extreme suspicion if not outright hostility by a great many who had suffered at the hand of Vader and the Emperor. Consequently, the new order chose to formulate itself as an independent body, wholly separate from the government of the new Republic. Its members were always willing to act as advisers, mediators and diplomats, but they were no longer the Knights of the Republic as the former Order had been.

Such is the state of the galaxy some 80 years after the fall of the Empire. It is a much more chaotic place than it was during the waning years of the Republic, or during the dark days when the Empire ruled. Without the hegemonic reach of the Republic to keep the peace, various local wars rage in different corners of the Galaxy, and every once in a while a planet or group of planets attempt to try their hand at conquest. One such group has taken to calling itself the First Order, and has styled itself as the second coming of the Empire...

The new First Order doesn't have a huge mega-weapon. Think axis powers from WW2. It's basically a conglomeration of fascist-controlled worlds that are bent on conquest. The "new" thing in my movie would be that the First Order has chosen to militarize force users. Unlike in the Empire where you had Sidious/Vader at the top but the majority of the Imperial Forces were force-neutral and hostile/skeptical toward the force, the First Order recognizes the absolute necessity of harnessing force sensitives if it's going to combat the Jedi. There's no Sith mumbo-jumbo; force users embrace the dark side, but there's much less emphasis on the mystical. Their training is also less comprehensive compared to what an old-school Sith would have received.

Like the Nazis in the Indiana Jones movies were gaga over the occult, the First Order is in awe of the mystical Sith and the powers they wielded. It is engaged in a systematic search for all things Sith as a means to beef up its force-sensitive shock troops. Unfortunately for the first Order, with Sith techniques come Sith theology, which has begun to spread among its force-using troops. The most powerful of them, their commander, has secretly set in motion plans that should place him in control of the First Order and supplant the existing non-force-using leadership.

The Jedi, for their part, have begun to grow concerned about this new "First Order", slowing realizing that it's considerably more dangerous than the other conquest-minded regimes that have come and gone in various corners of the galaxy. So it has begun to investigate. Despite 80 years of growth, however, the Jedi are still a shadow of what the Order was at the zenith of the Republic. And it lacks the military backing of the Republic, so it must tread carefully.

Much less would "happen" in my movie compared to TFA. We'd need to introduce some characters and communicate all the above history and political stuff in a way that's entertaining, but we wouldn't need a daring raid to destroy a mega-weapon. The creepy ending to my movie would be that some mysterious *real* Sith dude would reach out to the self-styled neo-Sith guy who's in charge the First Order's force-sensitive troops. Basically tells him something like, "You've learned a little; I can teach you a lot." Earlier in the movie, the commander dude will have said something about how "no man is my master!" (in reference to the First Order leadership) because he's such a badass. The movie will conclude with him pausing to consider the mysterious Sith dude's overture, then responding with something like, "Teach me then...my master."

The implication being that he's no longer just an evil force-using badass, but that he's fully embraced the Sith philosophy / religion. And we're left to wonder who this mysterious old-school Sith dude is. (Will be explained in 8 and 9).

At some point the Sith dudes may actually come into conflict with the First order, giving you a three-way conflict. Sith vs. First Order, Sith vs. Jedi, Jedi vs. First Order, Jedi vs. Sith. Etc.

Some possible plot lines:

1. The Jedi are hidden in plain view, working for good behind the scenes. With the rise of the First Order there is an internal struggle to decide whether they should finally reveal themselves publicly. This would be a direct reference to Darth Maul's words in Ep. 1, where he looks forward to the time with the *Sith* will reveal themselves. Now their roles are semi-reversed.

2. Some in the neo-Republic want to call the Jedi back to assist in dealing with the First Order; another contingent is fearful and suspicious of force users and points to the First Order's force-using shock troops as evidence.

3. The First Order, itself being paranoid about a sufficiently strong force user threatening its control, searches out those with the force to conscript, but murders those who are *too* strong. Their original leader is a true believer in the First Order's vision, but he disagrees with the policy of eliminating too-strong force users. He finds a super-strong child and, instead of killing him, secretly trains him. This child enters the shock troops but disguises the true extent of his ability. He is the one who is eventually contacted by the "real" Sith. At some point his conspiracy is discovered by the old dude who spared him and a group of force-using shock troops who are loyal to the existing First Order leadership. Thus the stage is set for a badass Sith-on-pseudo-Sith battle (think Matrix) where badass guy wastes a bunch of the shock troops (and his mentor) in order to preserve his secret. He blames it on the Jedi, putting the Jedi in the First Order's cross-hairs.

4. Maybe the Republic (at Leia's urging) initially attempts to liberate one of the Vichy governments set up by the Empire and "nation build". This would be a transparent reference to the Iraq War. Like that conflict, it goes badly, and the "resistance" that arises in the resulting power vacuum becomes the genesis of the First Order.

5. Resurrect the "prophecy" that Qui-gon Jin believed had been fulfilled in Anakin. Maybe the old dude in the First Order who "rescues" the big badass guy believes is aware of the prophecy and believed the badass guy is "the one". Maybe the Jedi have their own Rey-like character who is also super strong in the force and that they also think might be "the one". Could riff on the Matrix here and have both characters doubt whether they are truly "the one". Or, could riff on Dune where both Paul and Feyd Rautha are potentially "the one" (quisatz haderach). Have a titanic battle at some point between the two of them.


Starships: This is actually subtle. The fact that they're using old ships tells us _that they don't have the resources to use better stuff!_ This hints to us that the First Order isn't the Galactic Empire, they're at best the last vestiges clinging to past glories. More likely they're wannabes. They're not all that strong, but the fact that they're a force to be reckoned with shows us how far the rest of the galaxy has fallen. They're the "Eastern Roman Empire" in 1204 when the Crusaders were able to sack Constantinople on a whim.

Lightsaber duel: You aren't watching space wizards at the height of their abilities honed by training from an order at the pinnacle of its power. You're watching a fight between a runaway apprentice space wizard (who's been shot and is bleeding out) and someone who's literally never seen an activated lightsaber before. Kids hitting sticks together is about where it should be, and the warmup with Finn served the purpose of showing what happens when you can't use The Force to pretend you know what you're doing.


Fabulous. Truly wonderful insight right down the line.

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Peter Russell


Nice discussion, I agree with most of your points. In my view, JJ is the problem. He strikes me as a computer simulation of Speilberg, with all the big-budget storytelling acumen but with none of the creative spark and wonder. In a movie like Minority Report, there are so many interesting small moments of creativity that enrich the enterprise without necessarily advancing the plot. These build a depth that is lacking in JJ's films. As an aside, Brad Bird had the opposite problem with Tomorrowland - it was all of Speilberg's treacly side without the propulsive plot. I'm afraid the reason JJ is entrusted with these franchises is that he can be trusted not to take risks!

Brian Considine


I recall reading the technology of the Star Wars universe is static. There are no new engineering or scientific discoveries to make. Ship design, therefore, is simply an exercise in tradeoffs between speed, shields, firepower and so on. So we can't really tell much by ship design other than to treat it as a 'fashion' to tell us what era we are in. The ships of the prequal era therefore, is no less advanced as a tie from the 1970's is less advanced than one today.

I do think we can tell something about quantity. This 'First Order' appears to have only a few ships as does the 'Resistance'. When they land on a planet they simply destroy whatever small village or bar represents their target. Unlike in A New Hope or Empire, they do not seem to even be applying a pretense of representing the rightful government and law enforcement authority of the galaxy.


I agree with most of your discussion regarding the movie and its shortcomings. One thing I'm hopeful is that the future movies might be better. For one thing, after setting the stage for what appears to be a rerun of the 'hero's jouney' that A New Hope kicked off, the next movies might illustrate how this story will follow a very different track. For example, I think it is interesting that Rey's childhood is nothing like Luke's. She is not whiney or spoiled or living a life of boredom. Instead she seems to be living a solitary life of hardship. She is living a life like Obi-wan's when we first encounter him as a hermit. This might explain why she is not only 'force sensitive' but also seems to be able to master force skills so quickly without any training at all from a 'master'.

Likewise Luke looks like he has grown into the Obi-wan type role in his older age, but again he isn't. He tried to follow Yoda's advice to 'pass on' what he knew but he ended up creating another Vader...but a rather pathetic one. Why didn't Luke just fight him instead of letting him rise up and create another Death Star-like weapon? Perhaps Luke has become angry and dark after seeing his life post-Return of the Jedi turning to failure.

While we are on the subject, let's keep in mind the prequals asserted that all this was the fulfillment of a prophecy of someone who would 'bring balance to the force'. So far we've had gnosticism of endless battle between good and evil. One of the most depressing aspects of this movie is that it begins with what appears to be amazing boredom. After Return of a Jedi, a generation has come and everyone is literally doing the same thing on both a personal and political level. The Empire types are clinging to Nazi like speeches about imposing order and throwing massive manpower at creating various superweapons while the good guys are still playing the role of Rebels. After so many decades of literally the same crap how can either side not simply be intellectually exhausted by now? (I for one found Han Solo to be a disappointment here. I kept saying to myself after so many decades he is literally playing the same game, even wearing the same clothes from the original movie?).

Even Finn could be made an interesting character. One possibility, he is actually a plant by the dark side, meant to be groomed unknowingly as the next great Sith Lord. That would add an interesting twist on Kylo Ren's initial glance at him (something odd about that trooper!), but would be nicely consistent with the cold habit of previous Sith lords who manuvered new recruits to kill weaker masters or apprentices.

The next movies might, if we are lucky, turn things on their head. Perhaps Rae will achieve the 'balance' by rejecting both sides of the force. Perhaps the Republic will be better off rejecting both the rebels ('resistance' now) and the 'first order' in favor of some middle way which will end this cycle.


I'm curious, would you rank this movie as worse than any of the prequels?

I recently saw the prequels for the first time, and I had heard they were terrible, but they were even worse than I could imagine. Given that George Lucas had so much money, resources, time, and support to make those movies, I think they are uniquely awful within cinema- even if the world-building he did was creative in them.

Since Disney has essentially said they will make a new Star Wars every year for perpetuity (until they are no longer profitable) - I think the disappointment that this movie doesn't create new mythos or expand on old worlds shouldn't be too alarming, since we are basically guaranteed to get more Star Wars movies in the next decade then we did in the last half century.

Alice Barad

I'm disappointed with modern Fantasy movies. As for me there is no equivalent like classic STAR WARS. I liked http://aflam.io/movie-crimson-peak-2015 But still it is much lower level. The graphics and all the equipment develop but the soul reduces

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