An Open Letter to Kathleen Kennedy
Dear Kathleen Kennedy,
I know being heir to the empire that George Lucas created must weigh heavily on your shoulders these days. So I thought I’d send you some ideas for new Star Wars movies that are sure to be critical and commercial hits (and restore the allegiance of the fandom, especially the neckbeard-y dark force rising from the depths of Twitter to demand your head after The Last Jedi).
Just to be clear, I think you’re doing an OK job so far. Your dream of making Star Wars an outbound flight away from the toxic masculinity of modern America is an admirable goal, and I know that you know the choices of one producer in Hollywood can have immeasurable impact on whether kids these days grow up into heroes or scoundrels. Bravo to you!
I just want different stories, which I’ve detailed below.
You don’t have to thank me, you don’t even have to throw me an associate producer’s credit; I’ll just be grateful that your vision of the future includes the stories that we desperately want to see. You made a fool’s bargain by eliminating the rich vein of mythology from the Star Wars Expanded Universe (and no, I’ll never call it ‘Legends’; you can’t escape the specter of the past greats whose stories made up my childhood).
I know the odds are against me; you’ve never met me and the chance that you even see this note are slim. Maybe I’m just shouting into the void, maybe this note is just a foolhardy prequel trilogy survivor’s quest to see the stories he wishes to see on the silver screen, maybe the last command of George Lucas was ‘don’t give the fans what they want’.
But never tell me the odds.
Here’s the stories:
Qi’ra: A Star Wars Story: A Godfather Part II-esque look into the criminal underbelly of the Star Wars universe, alternating between present-day Qi’ra’s political power struggles with the other lieutenants of Crimson Dawn, and her childhood escaping gang wars on Corellia. It ends with a montage of Qi’ra watching the space opera (heh) from Revenge of the Sith with a polite cocktail as her rivals Prince Xizor, Tyber Zann, Zekka Thyne, etc. are all brutally assassinated by a reprogrammed Guri droid.
Boba Fett: A Star Wars Story: A thief with a price on his head struggles to stay one step ahead of the silent, terrifying, and totally unstoppable Boba Fett. Then, the local Moff decides to get in on the bounty and sends an entire legion of troops after Fett, who is forced to fight his way out with shackled thief in tow, climaxing in a massive chase scene involving jet-packing back and forth between rolling juggernauts, TIE fighters dueling Slave I in the air, and Fett disintegrating the power-mad Moff. Fett uses every single gadget on his armor throughout the course of the film.
The Panther in the Mist: In 1633, a Swahili trader blunders through a mountain range and ends up in Wakanda (which has roughly equivalent technology as New York in the 1950s—think a sort of Afrofuturistic dieselpunk aesthetic). Fish-out-of-water comedy mixes with political intrigue as our hero gets caught in a succession crisis for the Black Panther/Wakandan kingship. At the end, everyone puts aside their differences to drive out a massive invading army of Portugese slavers, pitting the Black Panther and his tiny force of machine-gun-armed warriors against a vastly larger force of Europeans with muskets and cannon. Note: I know this has nothing to do with Star Wars, but I assume you and Kevin Feige share a cubicle at Disney headquarters.
Rogues and Wraiths: A Star Wars Story: Aging veteran Wedge Antilles puts together an elite crew of pilots, commandos, and saboteurs to take on the various pre-First Order warlords still scrimmaging against the New Republic after the Battle of Jakku, including a young hotshot named Poe Dameron. Heavy metal soundtrack, undercranked X- and E-wing dogfighting action, long interludes where they sit around drinking/playing sabaac/making up embarassing nicknames for each other. Is this Top Gun in space? Yep. (And then you could do an Imperial-focused spinoff, Guns of the 181st: A Star Wars Story, and hire Otaking77077 to do the storyboards...) [Ed note: I wrote this right before Disney announced their Resistance TV show, and no, that doesn't count]
Pellaeon: A Star Wars Story: A biopic of Gilad Pellaeon, dutiful Old Republic and then Imperial officer, spanning his seventy years of naval command. A thoughtful character study of a man with noble intentions who nonetheless participated in Imperial atrocities, with his friendships with Grand Admirals Thrawn and Rae Sloane in the foreground and notable Star Wars events from the six OT/prequel movies in the background, a la Forest Gump. Pellaeon mans a gun battery during the Battle of Coruscant in Revenge of the Sith, steers his Star Destroyer through the Hoth asteroid field in Empire Strikes Back, orders an evacuation after the Death Star is destroyed in Return of the Jedi, etc. Have Sam Elliot play Old Pellaeon and Old Pellaeon’s mustache.
Lando: A Star Wars Story: It’s Casablanca, but in space.