As a huge Star Wars fan this is another story I must comment on. So the big Star Wars news is that Disney has acquired the rights to the Star Wars franchise and will produce a new trilogy of films that take place after the events of Return of the Jedi, beginning with Episode VII, due for a 2015 release.
Now, I’m someone who is very interested in and has extensively read post-RotJ literature, from The Truce at Bakura (1 day after the Battle of Endor) to Invincible (37 years after the Battle of Endor). There are a lot of good stories in the post-RotJ literature – better than the ones in the movies, in my opinion – and to me the best option, both from a good storytelling standpoint and to avoid creating continuity errors or alternate timelines, is to simply adapt the post-RotJ books. The logical starting point would be the so-called “Thrawn Trilogy” – Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command – which I think were the first post-RotJ books to come out and are considered among the best.
Cover of Heir to the Empire. Source: Books & Review
And of course, logic and plain old good sense rarely prevail in the cinematic world. According to an anonymous source within Lucasfilm, the trilogy will use “an original story” – see here, here, and here. Of course, this is an anonymous source and everything is in the very early and tentative stages, but given the way Star Wars has been going lately it would be more of a surprise if they did do the right thing instead of coming up with a new and probably stupid story. (For his part, the author of the Thrawn Trilogy, Timothy Zahn, claims that it’s possible for the movies to use his novels as source material without his knowledge, or more likely, bypass the issue by taking place farther ahead in time than the novels.)
In any case, I think the right thing to do is to simply adapt the Thrawn Trilogy instead of coming up with a new idea that will 1. probably suck and 2. totally screw up existing continuity. The rumor mill has it that this new trilogy will take place around 20 years after Endor, which in the books would roughly coincide with the New Jedi Order series. The NJO is one of the most brilliantly dark, unconventional, philosophically-charged, and gripping of the Star Wars series – in a way, it’s like to Star Wars what the Chris Nolan movies are to Batman – and a film adaptation of the series would be totally kickass. It would also probably never happen, given that the NJO books are way darker and more adult-oriented than any of the movies , not to mention that they’re chock full of violence and feature barbaric sadomasochistic skeletal-looking savages as the primary antagonists, so the NJO film adaptations would have to be PG-13 at the very least, if not R-rated. Anyway, it’s gotta be “an original story” apparently, so it’s not gonna happen.
The one good tidbit in all this news is that George Lucas isn’t directing. As long as George Lucas isn’t the director the movie has a fighting chance of being decent, not to mention free of some of the worst romantic dialog imaginable.