Now that director J. J. Abrams has moved on from his quasi-reboot of the Star Trek franchise to quasi-reboot the Star Wars franchise, I am inspired to speculate what his handling of the former presages for the latter.
The egregious fanservicing! The clever character role reversals! The not-so-clever race reversals! And Abrams’ signature cinematographicalistic stylings! Are you breathless yet?
So, here’s my take on what we might expect from Episode VII. (Note: If you haven’t seen the original Star Wars trilogy or Star Trek : Into Darkness, you’re probably not going to get any of this…)
Open on a star destroyer being pummeled from above by fire from a larger, bulbous attack craft. Through the copious lens flares, we can barely see an icy planet far below.
On the star destroyer, Republican stormtroopers line up to defend a hallway, the end of which explodes in a barrage of sparks and lens flares. Through the gap steps Darth Angor, leading a boarding party of soldiers in Boba Fett armor. The Republican storm troopers are quickly dispatched, and the Boba Troopers capture Beia Solo (daughter of Han and Leia).
Darth Angor recognizes her and quips: “Only you could be so bold!” to which Beia replies “You are a Sith and a traitor! Take me away!”
Meanwhile, C3PO and R2D2 (still around!) commandeer an escape pod and fly down to the surface of Hoth, as if you didn’t know which icy planet that was. Wandering through the wintry wasteland, they are captured by Snow Ewoks.
Cut to the heat farm of Han and Leia Solo. A young Burk Solo is staring dreamily off into the snowset of Hoth as the Force Theme swells. Every falling snowflake triggers a lens flare. Burk complains to his parents that he should be allowed to join the Republican army (Navy? They are on ships.) and fight against Sith terrorists alongside his sister Beia, but Han insists that he’s needed on the thermoharvesters.
After Burk stomps off, Leia says: “You can’t keep him here forever, Han. He has too much of his father in him.”
“I know that! I’m his father,” Han growls. “I am his father, right?”
Later in the shop, as young Burk is cleaning C3PO, recently purchased from the Snow Ewoks, the protocol droid suddenly begins playing an audio message from Beia: “Help me, Snobi Dee. You’re my only hope.” When asked to explain, C3PO confusedly replies: “I believe I am the property of a Snobi Dee Calrissian!”
BURK, staring into the wall: “I wonder if you mean old Lando Calrissian.”
R2 beeps loudly and C3PO scolds him: “Is that any way to talk to our new master?”
BURK: “What did he say?”
C3PO: “He asked ‘How many f—ing Calrissians are there on this god-forsaken planet?'”
But, when Burk brings up the recording later at the dinner table, Han growls: “That old man is a smuggler and cheat! Wipe that droid’s memory.” Nobody cares to explain how Burk fails to recognize his sister’s voice or how neither Han nor Leia recognize the droids, but what’s a plot hole among fans?
As expected, C3PO runs away into the wintry wasteland to find Snobi Dee. Burk heads out after the droid, riding a tauntaun with R2D2 strapped to the tail, but gets ambushed by a wampa. Lando (played by white guy Russel Crowe for some reason) shows up to scare the wampa away, then cuts open the tauntaun’s belly so they can survive the frigid night.
In the morning at Lando’s igloo, the old man tells Burk that his beloved uncle was killed by Darth Angor. At this point, we all realize that Darth Angor is really Luke Skywalker, having succumbed to the Dark Side, and Episode VIII : The Premise Strikes Back is pre-ruined. (Abrams, however, will repeatedly deny that Angor is really Luke.)
Meanwhile, on the Dreadstar, Darth Angor holds a meeting of the top brass of Sith terrorism to discuss plans to overturn the Rebel Republic and establish a galaxy-wide Sithate. Despite fan expectations and several swipes at his superstitious ways by smarmy underlings, Angor Force-chokes nobody.
Then, he shows Beia the asteroid field that used to be Alderaan, as a demonstration of what the Dreadstar might be able to do once operational, but she is still dubious. He quips, “I find your lack of faith disturbing,” and Force-chokes her. Not altogether clear what he hopes to gain from this exchange, but fanservicing plot holes are Abramstastic!
When Lando, Burk, and the droids get back to the heat farm, Han and Leia are nothing but a pair of popsickles in the snow outside the front door. Han’s frozen fingers are gripping air in a gesture reminiscent of his days as Jabba’s carbonite wall hanging.
(Post-production crew later reveal that a scene was cut in which Han and Leia were put on their knees for execution by Boba Troopers. Han tells Leia he loves her, to which she replies, “I always knew.”)
LANDO, inspecting the snow-covered debris: “You might think this was a wampa attack, but these blaster shots are too accurate for a wampa.”
BURK: “Also, wampas don’t use blasters.”
LANDO: “That too. Clearly this was an attack by Sith Boba Troopers.”
BURK: “Can we just get off this hellhole? I’m freezing.”
Lando and Burk ride tauntauns to the space port, where they are stopped by Boba Troopers who ask about C3PO and R2D2.
LANDO, waving his hand: “These are the droids you’re looking for.”
BURK: “Wait, what?”
BOBA TROOPER: “Hey, these are the droids we’re looking for!”
LANDO, to Burk: “I never did learn how to do that.”
Lando and Burk blast the Boba Troopers and flee into a nearby bar where they hitch a ride with Chewbacca Jr., who is played by white British human Matthew Smith for some reason. As Lando and Burk gather up the droids, Chewbacca Jr. shoots Greedo Jr. in the back without provocation. Then, they all rush to the Millennium Falcon pursued by Boba Troopers and barely escape Hoth.
In deep space, Chewbacca Jr. responds to a proximity alert, and they all rush to the Falcon’s bridge see what it is. At first, they think it is a small moon. After a few tense fan-moments, Chewbacca Jr. confirms that it actually is a small moon, so they land on it to hide while they figure out where the plot is supposed to be heading.
During this break from the action, Burk asks Lando about his uncle’s Jedi faith. Chewbacca Jr. butts in to poke fun at “hokey religions and ancient weapons.”
LANDO: “Ancient weapons? Oh yeah! I almost forgot. Burk, here’s your uncle’s old light saber.”
BURK: “How does it work?”
LANDO: “Umm…” He fumbles with it. “I never did learn how to operate one of these things. Maybe your uncle can show you some day.”
BURK: “I thought you said Darth Angor killed him.”
LANDO: “I did say that, didn’t I … Anyone for holo-chess?”
Suddenly, the Dreadstar arrives in the system to blow up the moon as a demonstration of its power. Flung into space with the debris of the moon, but still not completely destroyed somehow, the Millennium Falcon is trapped in a massive lens flare and dragged into the Dreadstar.
After ambushing the boarding party of Boba Troopers, Burk, Lando, and Chewie Jr. don their armor and set out to find a way to free themselves from the Dreadstar.
However, when C3PO hooks up to the Dreadstar’s computer, it is revealed that Commander Beia Solo is being held prisoner on board. Burk and Chewie Jr. set out to save her, while Lando searches for the power thingy that will shut down the Dreadstar’s lens flares.
Burk and Chewie Jr. locate the detention level, but get into an argument with the station chief there about their armor not being worn according to Sith uniform regulations. After a heated exchange about whether they are tall enough to be Boba Troopers, Chewie Jr. shoots the station chief in the back, sparking a firefight in which everyone but Burk and Chewie Jr. are killed.
VOICE: “Detention level, please report. Blaster fire detected!”
CHEWIE JR.: “Everything is fine, just a small reactor leak. I’ll take care of it.”
VOICE: “Reactor leak? Get out of there immediately! The radiation will—”
CHEWIE JR.: “Everything is fine, I will take care of the reactor.”
VOICE: “But, the radiation—”
CHEWIE JR.: “The needs of the many outweigh the… ah, screw it.” He blasts the comms unit. “Burk! We’re about to have company!”
They find Beia’s cell and release her, just in time for a platoon of terrorist Boba Troopers to show up. Pinned down in a corridor filled with blaster fire, the lens flares from blaster fire, and lots of flying debris, they escape into a random hole blasted in the wall by Beia.
Meanwhile, Lando is fumbling with the Dreadstar’s power switch. He finally shakes his head, shrugs, and whispers to himself: “I never did figure out how to operate one of these things!”
Cut back to the Dreadstar’s garbage compactor, where Burk, Beia, and Chewbacca Jr. are standing homophonically waist-deep in waste water.
Chewie Jr. aims his blaster at the door and fires; lens flares bounce all over the place, awakening some sort of tentacled water monster which drags him under. Burk and Beia shrug at each other, then call up R2D2 to have C3PO open the door to the garbage compactor.
Brother and sister rush to the docking bay. When they arrive, Burk notices Darth Angor and Lando Calrissian staring each other down nearby, in what looks like a dockside yoga studio.
BURK, yelling over: “Did you shut off the power thingy?”
DARTH ANGOR, flaring up his light saber: “We meet again, Snobi Dee.”
BURK, yelling over: “Lando, you need to borrow my light saber?”
DARTH ANGOR: “Only this time, I am the host and you are the prisoner.”
BURK, yelling over: “Is that my dead uncle who’s about to cut you down unarmed?”
DARTH ANGOR: “You have underestimated— Who is that stupid kid who keeps yelling over here?”
BURK, yelling over: “Hey, so I guess we’re going to have to blast our way out of here since you didn’t shut the power down. Only, our pilot kinda got eaten by some kind of space station vermin. (FYI, Darth, you need to call an exterminator.) So, Lando, can you fly the Falcon while I shoot?”
LANDO: “Umm… I never learned how to operate one of those things!”
Darth Angor slashes his light saber at Lando, who turns into a cloak and collapses to the floor of the space yoga studio. The Sith Lord then begins casually walking toward Burk and Beia, but the blast door bonks him on the head, knocking him backward before closing.
Suddenly, Chewbacca Jr. runs onto the dock soaking wet (his survival completely unexplained) followed by a division of Boba Troopers. Everyone rushes into the Millennium Falcon. As Burk and Beia fire up the ship’s guns, Chewbacca Jr. puts in a long-distance space-call to Chewbacca Sr., who is played by Leonard Nimoy.
CHEWIE JR.: “Hey, remember when you were stuck on the original Death Star by a tractor beam?”
CHEWIE SR.: “Yes but, as I told you, I cannot help you change your future.”
CHEWIE JR.: “Wait, what? This isn’t some alternate-universe, time-travel, causality-violation scenario. You’re my f—ing dad! Tell me how you escaped.”
CHEWIE SR.: “Ben Kenobi shut off the pow—”
BURK: “Yeah, that’s out. Lando screwed up that part.”
CHEWIE SR.: “Well, I can tell you this: J. J. Abrams loves absurdly violent action scenes with inane amounts of flying debris. And people being vented into the vacuum of space.”
Closing the comms link to his dad, Chewbacca Jr. kicks the ship into reverse while Burk and Beia fire frantically at anything and everything on the surface of the Dreadstar. Somehow they escape, and none of it makes sense, but there is a lot of cool-looking, computer-generated, free-floating space debris. And Boba Troopers being vented into space. And lens flares.
Cut to the Rebel Republic base on Dagobah where the Rebel Republic army (Or navy? Air Force? Whatever…) is preparing to defend itself from the approaching terrorist Dreadstar. Burk informs Chewie Jr. and Beia that he is leaving and will not be taking part in the battle.
BEIA: “You’re leaving? But, we’re twins!”
BURK: “Yeah, I just wanted to get off of that ice ball you left me on with Mom and Dad. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy you’re free, but now I’m outta here.”
BEIA, turning to Chewbacca Jr.: “What about you? I guess you’re abandoning us as well.”
CHEWIE JR.: “No way. I have some major rape rage, and a tentacled space monster to settle with. The Dreadstar is at the top of my sh-t list, Princess!”
BEIA: “I’m a Commander in this iteration, moron.”
Beia and Chewie Jr. attend a battle planning session, where it is explained that—according to the plans smuggled by C3PO—the Sith terrorists under Darth Angor have built the Dreadstar with the exact same ventilation tube flaw that doomed the original Death Star. Nobody seems to realize how insanely serendipitous this is, and that it clearly must be a ruse, so the plan to drop a torpedo down the tube goes forward.
The Dreadstar arrives in Dagobah space and the battle commences. Chewie Jr. flies the Falcon along the surface, exchanging fire with the Dreadstar, debris and lens flares flying in all directions. Darth Angor joins the battle in a giant, black TIE fighter. Commander Beia watches the battle displayed as a hologram back at the base.
Arriving at the location of the ventilation tube, Chewie Jr. sees no hole in the surface of the Dreadstar. He calls back to the base.
CHEWIE JR.: “I just passed where the open ventilation hole is supposed to be and there’s nothing there!”
BEIA: “The schematics must have been faked. IT’S A TRAP!”
CHEWIE SR.: “Use the Force, Chewbacca!”
CHEWIE JR.: “Use it on what?! There’s no ventilation shaft, you a–hole!”
All seems lost for the Rebel Republic, but just as the Dreadstar is about to come into range to destroy Dagobah, the station’s power inexplicably shuts off. Beia receives a signal originating from the Sith station itself.
BURK: “Hey, sis! I decided to sneak back on board and turn off the Dreadstar’s power thingy.”
BEIA: “That’s great, Burk, But… now it’s drifting right into the planet!”
BURK: “So… we’ll crash-land and then I can fist-fight Darth Angor?”
CHEWIE JR.: “No, you idiot! That thing’s the size of a moon! The collision and explosion and lens flares will destroy everything: the Dreadstar and Dagobah and all of the nearby ships! You’ve killed us all.”
BURK: “Ah well… this franchise was doomed from the moment Jar-Jar and Anakin the Mannequin showed up.”
In an immense fireball of lens flares and flying space debris, the Dreadstar crashes into Dagobah. Darth Angor’s TIE Fighter spins off as if it will escape destruction, but then slams into the Millennium Falcon. Both ships explode, leaving no doubt that all on board are killed.
Everyone watching in the theater feels a great disturbance in the Force, as if a million fans cried out in joy and were suddenly relieved.