We must create new worlds. The work that has been put into this IP in the past decade is frightening. The sheer size and scope of this franchise cannot be matched. It’s why I can’t figure out why we haven’t heard leaks of directors picking up the helm to create new worlds for Star Wars. (As it turns out, J.D. Dillans & Matt Owens might be working on a future Star Wars film, ed.)
Let’s get this out of the way first – I’m too nervous to hand anyone a three-picture saga. What I’m more interested in are stand-alone films like Rogue One. I don’t think there is anything wrong with telling a story to its completion in 120 minutes. They could drop two original Star Wars films a year if they wanted. Following is a list of directors that I would like to see take on this challenge.
Do you remember that 10-minute unbroken action shot in the first season of “True Detective”? Have you seen the trailer for the new James Bond? Can you imagine this director creating a film with Star Wars money? The shots he would create with space crafts and droids and new planets would cause fans to watch it twice in a single day. I don’t like to throw around the word auteur, but if we use it for just a moment, Fukunaga has a style that could explore aspects of Star Wars that have never been thought of.
Choose an era and a character and give it to him to think about – the story he would create would be worth it. A Star Wars film by him would get a standing ovation at Cannes and sweep every award and accolade in the business.
I want a Tank Girl for the 2020s. An unabashed character with no filter. Maybe the lead is someone with the force, but they have such a horrible attitude that they were thrown out of Jedi training. Also, it was pretty humiliating because it had never happened before, so they had to refer to ancient texts that no one knew how to use so she was just asked to be please go home and forget she had powers. Talalay has directed some of the TV shows that have shaped the past decade of my life. It’s that kind of talent that we need to make new and fresh Star Wars films.
The visceral imagery that Aja brings to the screen could serve to make a thought-provoking Star Wars film. Not that he would make R-rated content similar to his past work, but to have the energy of his lead character in High Tension as an existing or new Star Wars character would be something to see on the big screen. It’s been over 15 years since High Tension was released, but when I see Cecile de France enter the frame on an episode of The New Pope I still get scared. It’s that kind of fear and anxiety that would be refreshing to see Aja create. Could you imagine a Sith origin story or even a Darth Maul stand-alone film under his direction?
Zhang has films that stay with you long afterward. Characters find love and die tragically in his films, but it’s done with poetry where you accept it. It’s painful, but it’s life and he gets you to accept it all sometimes in magnificent grandeur. A Star Wars film with the pedigree of Curse of the Golden Flower used to tell the story of a character like Duchess Satine Kryze. She is the love of Obi-Wan Kenobi; the story of how they met, fell in love and parted ways hasn’t been told, though it’s part of their history. Someone like Zhang could make that love story an epic.
She’s an Oscar winner. Her resume is known. You think I might be thinking of her for The Hurt Locker or Detroit. You would be wrong. I want her for Point Break. Intense action scenes, heavy political zeitgeists that get to the heart of the issue. She can accomplish all of these, but I want her because she has an eye for magic.
She came up with Keanu Reeves sitting on a surfboard lighted only by the moon looking at a girl and talking about love. Quantitative analysis probably hasn’t been done, but the number of people that have caught colds and hurt feelings trying to recreate that scene in their own life is most likely in the seven figures. Anyone that has an eye to grab a young Keanu Reeves and put him on a surfboard can pull the hero we need and put him on a spaceship.
Nicolas Winding Refn
There are eighteen years between when Anakin lost his mind and when Luke Skywalker learns he is a new hope. Eighteen years is a long time. There were more people than just General Kenobi beating themselves up about the loss. The anger, loss, PTSD, those things stay with people and it’s not plausible that the entire galaxy went to sleep for those eighteen years.
There are stories to be told about this time. Not necessarily a Jedi or Sith story, but a human one. Warriors helped the cause, but it didn’t work out. Where did they end up and what did they do? Refn could create this world and give us One Eye for the Star Wars universe.
He’s so cool that he has a full schedule for the next two years, but does he really not have time for Star Wars? I recently binged The Clone Wars and I remember thinking that a live-action movie of Asajj Ventress would be amazing. Something that I will never stop reminding people is that Darth Maul was created by a coven of witches. Why did the witches throw their hat in with the Siths? We don’t know yet, but don’t you think that story should be told, but with a bit of humor? I can see it.