With 'The Expendables' Success, Why Not Try 'Grumpy Old Star Wars'?
As I read the stories, I had a major case of two great tastes melding together. You got your 'Star Wars' in my 'Expendables!' You got your 'Expendables' in my 'Star Wars!'
Listen, if a bunch of old guys kicking ass can rake in a bundle at the box office, why can't Lucas reunite the cast of his original trilogy while Mark Hamill can still lift a lightsaber? Yes, I'm talking 'Grumpy Old Star Wars' here, with Hamill, Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams getting the band back together to blow up one more Death Star. Ford already put the dusty fedora back on for 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' in 2008 -- why can't he pull that old vest out of the mothballs and strap on a blaster for another trip through hyperspace as Han Solo?
Besides Luke, Han and Lando, the new movie can feature an older Chewbacca with grey hairs mixed into his brown fur; it'll make him look rather distinguished. Carrie Fisher is also still kicking around, so why not have Princess Leia curse out Han for leaving her stranded at the altar? (C'mon, you know he did this.) And of course we can't have 'Grumpy Old Star Wars' without C-3PO and R2-D2, though 3PO will complain incessantly about how hard it is to find replacement parts for himself. We can even show Luke visiting elderly Jawas in robotic walkers in order to score some old school power converters to keep R2 beeping away.
We don't need to think long term with this thing by planning any prequels or sequels; Han or Luke's kids don't need to show up to start a new franchise. Think how awful 'The Expendables' would have been if they tried to introduce a wee Sly or a Mickey Rourke Jr. to give the movie more youth appeal. All we'll really need is two hours of that original 'Empire Strikes Back' cast hopping into an even more jacked-up Millennium Falcon to stick it to the Empire one last time.
For villains, we can yank Boba Fett outta that Sarlacc Pit to give Han more guff. Hell, they cloned Boba Fett's dad in the prequels, why not replicate Darth Vader for this movie? We can even get Hayden Christensen to play Anakin's clone so fans can finally see Luke kicking his ass with the Force. We're talking biggest movie of all time, with that match-up. Oh yeah, and it could be in 3-D. Don't forget the 3-D!
The prequel trilogy left fans bitterly divided into two hostile camps: Those who loved 'em and those who wanted to stomp Jar Jar Binks into putrescent goo. 'Grumpy Old Star Wars' can bridge these factions by giving the people what they really want. It's just 'Star Wars' -- let's have some fun with it!
Bob David Calhoun is the author of the punk-wrestling memoir Beer, Blood and Cornmeal: Seven Years of Incredibly Strange Wrestling. His coverage of Comic-Con and WonderCon has appeared on Salon.com, and he is currently working on a book about conventions, trade shows, and other gatherings. Read his blog on Red Room!
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