Thursday, December 25, 2008
Gotthammer's Star Wars
Here's my Gotthammer Christmas present to everyone. My version of Star Wars: A New Hope, done in old-school space opera style, with a little Steampunk thrown in for good measure (I'm working on some papers for my PhD work right now concerning the Steampunk Star Wars art, so I have this on the brain). I won't be changing much about the plot for this first film, except that Biggs, Wedge, and Porkins are the stormtroopers who come aboard the Falcon on the Death Star (remember how Biggs said he'd go off to join the Empire, learn how to be a pilot, and then jump ship as soon as he could? Well...this is the 'soon as he could.') They would assist in the rescue of Princess Leia and escape from the Death Star.
In casting, I've gone out of my way to redress some of the caucasian ethnocentricity of Lucas's originals. If you were black in the originals, you were a marginal character, and in Lando's case, a traitor. If you were asian, you were...well...an alien. This isn't about being PC, it's about making the Rebellion reflect in reality what it purports to in concept, as well as being the sort of people who would oppose an Empire made up of people with British accents.
Han Solo: Will Smith - he's got the cocky action hero down pat, and it will make for a very cool scene in my version of Empire when Han introduces Leia to Lando, as played by...Jada Pinkett Smith. "That's Lando?"takes on a whole new meaning. Let's face it, a lover scorned would turn Solo over to the Empire. But I digress: Will Smith is one of the best leading men in Hollywood, and while it worked for Lucas to use nobodies the first time around, if I had a chance to remake the series, I'd do it with big names like Smith. Hey, if you're going to pipedream, you might as well pipedream big.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Pierce Brosnan - his British accent ties him to the power structures of the past, but his beard and long hair tell us he's badass. James Bond with a lightsaber, baby.
Luke Skywalker: Johnny Nguyen - sure, he's a lot older than Hamill was for the original New Hope, but I was pondering the idea of an older Luke, who actually wanted to stay on Tattooine. This is a guy who didn't want to get involved in the Rebellion, but has no choice when the war finally comes to him. He's a farmboy who likes the farm, and racing that T-16 Skyhopper and his landspeeder. Who knows, maybe he does pod-racing, which would foreshadow the Death Star battle. In addition, Johnny is a kickass stuntman, so he can handle the physical side of the role.
Princess Leia: Lara Dutta (if she'd even agree - she turned down roles in both the Matrix sequels). I want an Indian in this role because India represents one of the areas of the world the British Empire occupied, but never crushed. The entire twins idea was superfluous. It added nothing to the original trilogy save to defuse the ostensible love triangle potential between Han, Luke, and Leia. It would take nothing away to remove it, so I'm going to. It avoids the need to give her Force powers, which being Luke's twin demands in the films, not just in the sequel novels. To underscore her agency as a strong female lead (which Lucas started out with and then seemed to completely abandon), I would also have her escape on her own before Luke, Han, and Chewbacca show up, just to underscore her plucky bravado even more.
Grand Moff Tarkin: Bill Nighy - we've loved him as a villain in both Pirates of the Caribbean and Underworld, plus he's got the right accent for the Empire.
Chewbacca: Lawrence Makoare - the most kickass big guy in show business as far as I'm concerned, who is long overdue for playing a hero, after having played three of the villains in Lord of the Rings.
C3P0: Anthony Daniels - the man still needs work, right?
R2D2: No actor required, really. No, really.
Darth Vader: It really doesn't matter too much who is in the costume, so long as they're tall. And let's face it, Hayden Christiansen being in the suit at the end of Ep. 3 proved even that premise wrong. But for the voice, given his performance as the Firelord on Avatar: the Last Airbender, I
think it would be really cool if Mark Hamill voiced Vader.
Biggs Darklighter: Ryan Reynolds
Wedge: Owen Wilson
Porkins: Jack Black
Okay, maybe this is a really bad idea, but I think there's some good potential for a subplot with these three, who go away to join the Empire with the hope of jumping ship and joining the Rebellion. Trouble is, once they get assigned to the Death Star, jumping ship is impossible, given that any planet the Death Star gets close to which even smells like it's part of the Rebel Alliance gets blasted! I think there's potential for webisodes leading up to the major release with this.
I want Greg Broadmore of Weta Workshop to do the design work for the film, based upon his excellent Rayguns series.
Who to direct? Why, Guillermo del Toro, of course!
Just as soon as he's done the Hobbit. Or so he tells me...
Merry Christmas everyone!