The 'Star Wars' Sequels Keep Recycling Scrapped Ideas
As has been shouted by nerds (us) running in the streets like Charlton Heston warning people about Soylent Green, J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens was a thinly veiled remake of the original Star Wars. But even many of the seemingly new bits were themselves pulled from decades-old scrapped ideas -- most notably, the work of Original Trilogy concept artist Ralph McQuarrie. Rey, for example, had to have been modeled off of McQuarrie's sketches of a young female protagonist, whom Lucas eventually turned into Luke.
Elaborate sets were directly styled after McQuarrie's unused artwork, from the marketplace on Jakku ...
... to Maz Kanata's castle, which resembles McQuarrie's painting of a Jedi Temple.
And McQuarrie originally envisioned R2-D2 "running on a giant ball bearing -- just a sphere, a circle, wheel-like." Sound like any adorable droids you know? The point is, Abrams mined all of these unused ideas for his Star Wars movie. Which is fine. But since he likely burned through all of McQuarrie's abandoned material, now he's apparently utilizing rejected ideas from ... The Force Awakens?
Since we've all been poring over the first trailer for The Rise Of Skywalker like it's the goddamn Zapruder film, we don't have to tell you that right before it ends (scored by the ominous laughter of ol' "Chuckles" Palpatine), Rey and the gang look upon the half-sunken ruins of the second Death Star.
Which is suspiciously close to one of screenwriter Michael Arndt's early ideas for Episode VII, involving "a quest to the underwater wreckage of the second Death Star to recover a key piece of history about sacred Jedi sites in the galaxy." Yeah, spilling soda on the keyboard will fry your laptop, but being submerged in a goddamn ocean is no problem for Imperial computer systems.
It's a little odd that Abrams seems to be pulling from a storyline that wasn't considered up to snuff five years ago. But then again, Arndt's story didn't include the reappearance of Palpatine, who we're guessing has been happily living in the Death Star ruins for the past 30 years, not unlike Ariel and her pals under the sea.
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