The internets were abuzz at the announcement that Disney was going to film a new trilogy following on from Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi. We know very little about the plot and if episodes I, II and III are anything to go by, then it will stay that way up until the weeks before general release. All we do know is that it is set 30 years after ROTJ and will have three main characters and possibly some returning from previous episodes. Here’s a list of potential openings, some plausible and others more fanciful
1. Grand Admiral Thrawn
Though the makers have said they would pass over this popular character from the follow-up novels, that fact hasn’t stopped grumbling fans wanting the character to at least be part of the mythology, perhaps showing in the opening his eventual defeat. In the Empire Trilogy books he united warring factions, stopped the infighting and self-destruction and oversaw a resurgent Empire to provide the first serious threat to the New Republic. He also appears as a clone in The Hand of Thrawn duology when peace finally brokers between the New Republic and the Empire.
2. Jedi Academy
Another concept from the follow-up books that are part of the canon is that Luke Skywalker has set up a Jedi training centre on the Yavin 4 moon where the rebels had their base in A New Hope. Though it is unlikely that the plot will copy the ideas here, and will sadly not feature another popular character in Admiral Daala, it is arguably quite reasonable that Luke Skywalker will have set up an academy. The new characters may be graduates just going out on their first missions with the opening scene them leaving Yavin 4 for their new lives a Jedi Knights
3. Republic Builds a Death Star
In a clever bit of reversal, some fans have commented that the story could centre on the use of former imperial technology to defeat the remnants of the empire ‘ particularly the Death Star superweapon being built for ‘the greater good’. Now, as before, the greatest threat comes from the enemy within in a shrewd bit of social commentary mimicking Orwell’s Animal Farm. In this opening scene, the Senate has narrowly passed building of the weapon
4. Darth Plaguies
In Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Darth Sidious / Senator Palpatine refers to a Sith Lord who had managed to slow the onset of death. He went on to suggest that he had been the apprentice who had killed Plagueis. Though this is set in the distant past and Plagueis is a popular character from the expanded universe, to show this event could slowly become relevant to the film ‘ perhaps the spirit of Plagueis could eventually reveal itself to a young Jedi, perhaps within the confines of Luke’s Jedi Academy
5. Death of a Major Character
Excitement about the return of Luke Sky Walker, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Princess Leia Organa Solo would quickly give way to shock if one is seen dying in the opening scenes at the hands of somebody unexpected. Perhaps the plot could then go back in time to gradually give the context of this death or slowly build up the story over the course of three films. This wouldn’t preclude the major character appearing in the trilogy so fans would not feel cheated out of an appearance
6. Return of Mace Windu
Let’s face it, we didn’t see him die and there’s nothing that happened in his ‘death’ scene that was not survivable for such a hard Jedi, especially one played by Samuel L. Jackson. In this potential opening, an elderly and frail Mace Windu has come out of hiding to warn that the death of Sidious / Palpatine had made him stronger, just as it had done to Obi Wan Kenobi. He further warns that Sidious is growing in power and is influencing a young Jedi in training by the name of’¦ and there he dies.
7. What is Luke?
Disney continues to insist that they will completely disregard the expanded universe but with so many books, graphic novels and animated series to choose from it will be very surprising if they take no inspiration from the extra material. Luke Skywalker disappears for a time between ROTJ and the Empire trilogy and almost becomes a Sith. Episode VII could open with a frantic search for the galaxy’s only Jedi only for him to return a changed man and everybody asking ‘where has he been and what is he now, Jedi or Sith?’
8. The Jedi Twins
In the expanded mythology, Han and Leia had children: twins, one boy and one girl. Seeing as ROTJ ended on the pair expressing their love for each other, it is likely that they married and that they had children. Whether these children will be the Jedi Twins remains to be seen but one thing is for sure: they are highly likely to have Jedi powers which will be fully developed at the time Episode VII opens. They are about to begin the process of becoming Jedi Masters at the start but have different ideas which will mean the eventual intervention of Uncle Luke’¦
9. A Monologue
With thirty years having passed between ROTJ and episode VII coupled with the fact that the expanded universe will not be used, fans of this expanded universe are going to want to know what happened next, to at least understand the context of the three films that are to follow. A Lord of the Rings style voice over with video clips may be the most effective way of doing this
10. Boba Fett’s Son?
Consul Leia Organa Solo is overseeing a public celebration of 30 years of the New Republic when a young man attempts to assassinate her husband. The man is arrested and imprisoned but soon reveals himself to be the son of Boba Fett and he is here to complete what his father started. What’s more he reveals that pirates, smugglers and assassins are uniting to challenge the New Republic but there is a dark power behind this rebellion
It is always interesting to guess at what might happen. Even if none of the above propositions turn out to be true, it has become a sign of internet culture to speculate, analyse and theorise. Everybody has a theory and until we get a full synopsis they will remain hopes and ideas in the worldwide fandom that is Star Wars. May the force be with you’¦ until December 2015 when the film is released!