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'Star Wars: Episode 7': How Disney could avoid ruining 'Star Wars'

'Star Wars: Episode 7' is coming, whether we like it or not. I don't – but the news about 'Star Wars: Episode 7' may not be all terrible.

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Part of the problem with them, at least in my mind, was too many callbacks to the older films. Yes, we all love C-3PO and R2D2, protagonist Luke Skywalker’s robot sidekicks in the first three films. Did they need to be shoehorned into every important event in the prequel trilogy, though? No. Some are okay – seeing a younger version of the villain Jabba the Hutt before the “Phantom Menace” podrace isn’t terribly distracting. But throwing in old characters and references to the future films all over the place gets old and doesn’t let the new story you’re trying to build grow on its own.

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Staff writer

Molly Driscoll is a Books and the Culture staff writer.

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(Also, George Lucas needs to reread his own scripts, because in “Return of the Jedi,” Leia says she remembers her mother, something that one would assume to be impossible if her mother died minutes after giving birth to her. But I digress.)

The extent to which the prequel trilogy relied on the beloved older films is precisely what gave me a spark of hope (a New Hope, if you will. Sorry.) when I heard the news about the upcoming movies.

While some fan sites speculated that the new movies would be based on stories already tackled in the novels written about the “Star Wars” universe after “Return of the Jedi,” E! News said a Lucasfilm source told them that the plotline of the new movies would be “original.” E! writer Leslie Gornstein writes that according to her source, the new films “will literally be nothing you've ever seen or read before from the Star Wars universe.”

So, one would assume, that means no Luke. No Han Solo. No Princess Leia. No Mara Jade (the assassin Luke falls in love with and marries in the novels, in case you were wondering). It sounds like it would be all-new characters, an all-new plotline.

Get a good director like Joss Whedon or J.J. Abrams behind the camera, take the time to work out a good, imaginative plot that isn’t retreading what you’ve done for the last six films, and this could be… not terrible.

My preference, of course, would be for everyone to drop the “Star Wars” property and back away slowly and leave fans, including me, with the memories of the fantastic first three films (and let them try to forget the last three). But if you have to make another three movies… there are worse ways to do it.

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