Give Me Those Star Wars 18: State of the Star Wars Union 2017

Ryan Daly welcomes law stylist Omar to discuss where Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise stands commercially, critically, and creatively as of January 2017. Also covered: the title of Star Wars Episode VIII and the question of what to do with General Leia in the wake of Carrie Fisher’s untimely death.

  • Introduction begins at 0:00:41
  • Star Wars Current Events (potential spoilers) begins at: 0:04:10
  • State of the Star Wars Union discussion begins at: 0:26:14
  • Galactic Questionnaire with Omar begins at 1:17:16

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Music: "Star Wars Main Theme" and “End Title” by The Evil Genius Orchestra (with Ryan and Shag).

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12 responses to “Give Me Those Star Wars 18: State of the Star Wars Union 2017

  1. While I agree, there is no “good” option re: Leia, I am a 1000% against doing a digital re-creation. It would be tasteless and creepy.

    What do to, then, of course depends heavily on what they had planned for the character in Ep 9. If her part was such that she can be removed entirely and it doesn’t wreck all the other plot points and larger themes, then I would think writing the character out is the way to go.

    But if Leia plays a huge role in Ep 9, then I think the best tribute to the character–and the actress who brought her so vividly to life–is to recast. Get someone so impeccably talented (Meryl Streep? Cate Blanchett?) that they bring the weight the character needs. Sure, it’d be a thankless role for whoever they might get, but if done right it could be looked at as a tribute to Carrie Fisher.

    But like you said, no good options here, just the lead bad one.

    BTW, the whole “Aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper?” line never made any sense to me, because the uniform obviously fits! So Chad Tk-421 or whomever was already shorter than usual. Maybe someone spilled blue milk on the cloning machine that day.

    Great show!

  2. Some really nice discussion in this episode.

    I really think they are going to have to write Leia out off-screen for Episode 9. Recasting her to me is not an option. Thankfully they’ve said they won’t resurrect Fisher with CGI, which would just seem ghoulish at this point. And if Leia suddenly dies “on screen” in an explosion while in a base or on a ship, that’s going to take viewers right out of either episode 8 (if they reshoot) or 9.

    I like the title “The Last Jedi”. It’s evocative. It gets you thinking about just who is the last Jedi. Luke? Rey? Both? Someone else? The “STAR WARS” logo is in red…does that mean something?

    I think Disney has done a far better job with the films than Lucas would himself. I think the prequels are proof of that. It’s sad, but Lucas lost sight of what made Star Wars what it was. The kind of Star Wars he was interested in making was divisive at best. Some diehards will claim to love the prequels equally, but I think they have rose-colored blast shields on. If that was YOUR Star Wars you grew up with, then you probably have a much different perspective than us old fart fans, but most will agree, the original trilogy is superior in EVERY way, now that the excessive CGI in the prequels is looking downright horrible now.

    Kathleen Kennedy seems to have a handle on what really made Star Wars click, and working with Disney, they are producing the kinds of films both diehards AND casual moviegoers can’t wait to see. Mission accomplished.

    And they got a STEAL when they bought the franchise for 4 billion.


  3. How did Rogue One do merch-wise?

    One day, I’ll tell you my Lucasfilm/Star Tours story. It was pre-Disney buyout.

  4. Oh man, I was shouting at my phone I wanted to argue with you guys SO much over Leia. Ok. Let me be the one to say it: the best option is to have her die between movies.

    Yeah, yeah, I know you guys kind of dismissed that one out of hand, but hear me out. Let us accept that there’s no way to truly do this properly because that would have required Carrie Fisher being alive to do a planned exit for the character from the franchise and that just can’t happen. But since Episode VIII wasn’t built to contain her death, trying to crowbar it is likely to throw the whole thing off its axis. Because you’re right, it should be momentous, but even with reshoots it can’t be a major focus for the film because whatever else the story was already doing still needs to be there. Trying to kill her off in Episode IX isn’t much better because then we’re into recasting or stand ins or whatever.

    I honestly think that the best way to give her departure the momentousness it deserves in a way that doesn’t derail either film is for her to pass away between films. Does that mean it’s just in the crawl and we move on? HELL no, you open Episode IX with Leia’s funeral. You start with characters in mourning, you let their grief be the grief of the audience and to mirror it because she went too soon and not how anybody would have wanted.

    AND, this brings it to the part that I really wanted to argue with you on. Ryan brought up how (depending on what happens in The Last Jedi) we may not ever have a confrontation between Leia and Kylo Ren and what a loss that would be. I actually think that narratively speaking this offers a perfect opportunity for a turning point for Kylo Ren. By way of illustration I’m going to reference my favorite anime film: Summer Wars. Without getting into too much detail, the film deals with the reunion of a very large family to celebrate the matriarch’s 90th birthday. One of the plot points deals with the family black sheep, who was raised by this old woman but they now have an extremely contentious relationship and he eventually storms off. Later when she dies he receives a call from his niece and his immediate reaction, thinking it’s just a general plea to come back is to spit venom and go on about the old bat. But once he’s told she died he just stops and all of that built up anger washes away and he melts down. He’s suddenly hit with the fact that for all their animosity, he now longer has a chance to reconcile, no chance to say goodbye, and he wasn’t there. I can see this kind of moment for Ben Solo. The passing of his mother without having had that great confrontation he’d built up in his head or any possibility of getting to say his piece, and realizing what his path down the dark side has truly cost him. I think, done right, this could be milked for truly powerful personal character drama. I think much more effectively than any scene with a recast actress could ever achieve.

    1. The more I think about it, the more I think Nathaniel might have the right idea. Building on this, the story of her death could be told in a novel or comic book miniseries, where it would have the time and space to be told properly. The story could be released in the months leading up to Episode IX. If handled well, it could be a cultural event on par with the Death of Superman storyline, which would be fitting for a princess.

      1. Reading back over my comment, I fear that my comparison to the Death of Superman may have sounded more mercenary than I intended. Especially since the death of the fictional Princess Leia would be tied so closely to Carrie Fisher’s passing. I intended for the comparison to be in terms of cultural impact, rather than financial. My apologies.

  5. Like others I feel strongly about not seeing modern-day Carrie Fisher manifest in CGI, so recasting would be far more preferable. But the more I think about it, the more I kinda want Star Wars to acknowledge Carrie Fisher’s passing. It’s not ideal (but what choice is), but opening Episode 9 with a funeral for Leia would be fitting.

    Great episode, Ryan and Omar.

  6. This got me thinking about what might happen with the Han Solo film. Or films, if successful. As far as I can see, there are three strong Han stories that could be told, linked strongly to the Saga, with obvious titles Millenium Falcon, Life-Debt, and Kessel Run. And it occurs to me that the first might be the story how how Lando acquired the Falcon with Han’s help, letting you keep Lando in the picture for future films since we know they don’t see each other between when the ship changes hands and Empire.

    As far as Leia, I suspect that we may get a couple of scenes added to the end of VIII where Luke and Kylo each feel Leia’s passage in the force, and they’ll leave the details to be revealed in IX. Assuming Luke makes it to the end of VIII.

  7. I’m with the universe that Leia should not appear in CG. I get very queasy about the whole thing of making actors replaceable. (You should check out The Congress with Robyn Wright for that idea brought to life, plus cartoon madness).

    For me, Star Wars has never been better. As you know, I’m a Wars curmudgeon who respects the original trilogy’s achievements, but thinks the franchise is largely overrated, the mainstream pap to the DEEP sci-fi geekery of Trek, Who and the Legion of Super-Heroes. If you don’t need to watch 700+ hours of material to be up to date, it’s just not worth it ;-). But I haven’t had this much fun in the Galaxy far far away since the first SW film I saw, which was Empire. I liked the cast of the episode 7 a lot, and I really like the idea of side-stories. Huh, if you read between the lines, I think my problem was never with the universe itself…

    1. It’s funny, I can’t help but think about The Congress as well in regards to the discussion of recreating her (or any other actor) with CGI. I haven’t brought it up because I know almost nobody has seen it, plus I’m not sure it’s a movie I actually recommend. I think the first half is really beautiful (the scanning scene and Harvey Keitel’s monologue during it is phenomenal,) but it kind of loses focus and just gets meanderingly weird in the second half.

  8. I can’t believe I’m typing this… but I agree with Nathaniel. Not that he convinced me of anything (goodness no, the ramblings of a mad man), but I came to that same decision on my own. Having Leia die between movies allows your imagination to build a better farewell than they can give us now. Think about how much backstory was built in A NEW HOPE that we never saw, yet we imagined big. The same can be built for Leia. Like Nathaniel said, open with the funeral for Leia. Would be powerful.

    Also, GREAT observation that Disney still hasn’t built a stand-alone Star Wars film! I hadn’t come to that conclusion on my own, but you guys are absolutely correct!

    Really enjoyed the “talking through an issue” format of this episode! Looking forward to more!

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