Who Should Play…The Solo/Skywalkers (Part 2)

So…I’m less freaked out/in need of a drink than I was in the last post. This mostly has to do with the fact that Lucasfilm has made their stance on the Expanded Universe very clear. And at first, I was kind of pissed. You all saw the headlines.

“New Star Wars Won’t Use Expanded Universe.”

or

“The Star Wars Expanded Universe is No More.”

or

“The Expanded Universe is Dead”

Yeah. Thanks, that last one made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I spent days fuming, telling myself that I shouldn’t be so upset because it’s just a movie. How dare they jettison everything that fans had invested themselves in for years! Have they no respect for their own fandom? Then I read the actual statement put out. And you know what? That’s not what they’re doing. A lot of people seemed to miss this part.

While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded. Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe. For example, elements of the EU are included in Star Wars Rebels. The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau, and Sienar Fleet Systems are story elements in the new animated series, and all these ideas find their origins in roleplaying game material published in the 1980s.

I mean, isn’t that pretty much what we thought was going to happen? They get an alternate universe where Chewbacca lives but can pick and choose parts of the EU for their new world. I don’t really have a problem with that (Though, I really do hope it’s an alternate universe and not myths told of the Skywalkers thousands of years later like people have been suggesting. That would suck.)

Now, when they say elements they could just mean planets, ships, and easter eggs meant to throw the fervent Star Wars fan a bone. Or they could be talking about characters. That’s fine. I wouldn’t mind having Goran and Medrit, Mirax Terrik, Lowbacca, or anyone from Wraith Squadron around (weird choices. I know.) They should be relatively easy to transplant. But when it comes to the Solo/Skywalker children, it gets complicated.

For instance, let’s assume that Daisy Ridley is playing Jaina. She has Jaina’s name and her abilities but this is a completely different universe she’s been born into. Judging by Ridley’s age (22), Han and Leia would have had their child(ren?) much later in life.  She might not even be a twin (a defining feature of her character early on.) Jaina also would have grown up in a world where there was no horrific alien invasion. A world where she didn’t lose close friends and family at a rapid pace. Where she wasn’t forced to become a grizzled war veteran in her teens. My point is this. If (and this is a big, fat IF) they end up putting Jaina or her ilk in the films, you should prepare yourself for an entirely different take the character. Which is my clumsy segue into…

Ben Skywalker

Okay. So, let me walk you through my thought process when I heard about Domhnall Gleeson getting cast in the new Star Wars movie.

  • Awww. Hey, it’s that guy. Good for him. I really loved him in About Time.
  • He was funny in that movie. I wonder if he’ll be funny in this movie?
  • His hair is really red. It’s a shame they’re not doing the EU, he’d be a good Ben.
  • …There’s not a chance he’s Ben right?
  • :|

People seem to think that Domhnall Gleeson is going to be the comic relief in this movie. And that wouldn’t be a bad thing at all because he’s got a great comic timing. But I’m wondering how he got this comedian reputation. I mean, Konstantin Levin was never a barrel of laughs. And his Bill Weasley was pretty dashing. I think there’s a decent chance he could be Luke’s son. He doesn’t have the chiseled “I’m a Movie Star” look, but neither does Mark Hamill. Most importantly, there’s the hair. The red hair would say, without a single word, that they’re probably bringing Mara Jade into the fold. And then the fandom would explode.

Or I’m wrong and he’s the comedic relief.

Other Choices: For whatever reason, my mind kept going to Rob Kazinsky. This version of Ben would really favor the Imperial assassin side of his lineage. In this case he would be more Mara’s son than Luke’s and I don’t see that happening in the movies. By the way, (if we’re not getting Jacen or Anakin) Karen Gillan would be an amazing Skywalker daughter right? Make it happen internet.

Mara Jade

I’m all for meeting a new character as Luke’s wife (especially if she was a minority. The EU versions of the Skywalker/Solo clan tended not to date outside of their race. Even the exception to that rule had to stress really hard that his bi-racial, interspecies daughter was adopted. Fucking weird.) But let’s be honest with ourselves.

Luke Skywalker will never marry a character more beloved or badass than Mara Jade.

And there is no one that would play her better than Lena Olin. You know it’s true.

Mara Jade was an Imperial Assassin, a Hand of the Emperor who sought revenge against Luke Skywalker after the Battle of Endor. She fell in love with her target, eventually becoming his wife and powerful Jedi Master in her own right.

Olin’s a great, underrated actress who can project warmth and vulnerability while also giving off the air that she could murder you with fork. On Alias alone, she managed to be a steely terrorist mastermind and a loving mother without ever shifting a beat. (Don’t YouTube Irina Derevko though. It’s almost entirely fan videos of her and Victor Garber.)

Speaking of Alias, you know who created that show? J.J. Abrams. It’s perfect (unless she did something to piss him off. It’s less perfect then.) Even without Lena Olin, Mara Jade comes with a built in fandom. The second you tell the world that she’s in the movie, all of those pesky “why are there only two women in this movie? Does this movie hate women?” questions go away.

Other Choices: I’m sure they’ll come up with someone who’ll make me go, “Oh! That’s an amazing choice. Why didn’t I think of that.” But until that day, it’s Lena Olin for me.

Also. You should get Steven DeKnight to do your Boba Fett movie. Here are 3 reasons (I have more but this post is pretty long.)

1. He’s worked with Temuera Morrison before on Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.

2. He’s got experience working in New Zealand with Australian and Kiwi actors. (who are the people you need if you’re gonna do the Mandalorians.)

3. Any Boba Fett movie is going to have to be a bit more brutal than your average Star Wars movie. Steven DeKnight doesn’t pull his punches. He’ll make every death and every hard decision in that movie hurt like crazy.

You say you’re having trouble figuring out what to do with Boba Fett? Go get Steven DeKnight. Seriously, he’d make an amazing Boba Fett movie.

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