Star Wars Episode VII (whose official title seems to be a matter of some dispute at the moment) officially began filming in Abu Dhabi on Friday, commemorating the occasion with a photo of some sand-covered film gear.
This fills me with despair. I don’t want to go back to Tattooine again.
Maybe that’s not what we have in store, or perhaps only a brief scene will be set on the desert planet presented to us in the original “Star Wars” as the forlorn crime-infested backwater nowheresville of the universe (“If there’s a bright center to the galaxy, you’re on the planet furthest from it”) but in fact turned out to be the freaking crossroads of galactic history, the single most important planet in sweeping civilization that allegedly spans a thousand worlds.
We just keep getting dragged back to Tattooine, even though we’ve only been shown a handful of those thousand worlds. (The series also spends far too much time mucking around on the over-developed capital planet of Coruscant, where plotlines are beaten to death in endless council meetings.)
Let’s bring some energy to this project, kids. Let’s see the rest of the galaxy. It still doesn’t make much sense that Darth Vader’s son was cleverly hidden on the planet he comes from, in the care of his relatives. We should put that behind us and do a better job than the prequels did of presenting some interesting new worlds to capture the imaginations of a new generation.
I also wish this talk about a zillion more prequels and side projects would subside. One of the greatest things about the original Star Was films, especially the very first one, was the way it seemed to be bursting at the seams with ideas. Every scene was packed with provocative little details; every bit of backstory was intriguing, and gracefully delivered. It ruins that stuff to explore it at too much length. (And after watching the prequels, it became clear that the man who gracefully delivered so much of that backstory, Alec Guiness’ Obi-Wan Kenobi, was a nearly pathological liar. Seriously, is there anything he told Luke Skywalker during their time together that was unambiguously, comprehensively true?)
I’d like a new trilogy packed with the seeds of a hundred more side stories that nobody ever tells. I know it’s a lot to ask, but this is Star Wars, so we should be asking a lot.