Star Wars' overreliance on familiarity is tiresome

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Rumours broke last week that Disney is planning to reboot the Star Wars series with the child of Rey Skywalker. The supposed rumours aren't from the most reliable source, so take from that what you will.

The news comes a year-and-a-half after the last mainline Star Wars release, The Rise of Skywalker. Rise brought the 40-year story to an end, tying up all the major plot threads and wrapping it in a mostly neat bow. 

According to the leaker, Rey will play an important role in the upcoming reboot. Spoilers by the way, so you’ve been warned in advance. At the end of The Rise of Skywalker, the newly redeemed Ben Solo sacrifices himself to save Rey Skywalker. According to the leaker, Ben will somehow help Rey immaculately conceive a child. 

The child will reportedly be Cade Skywalker. In the comics, Cade was a bounty hunter who turns to a life of crime after rejecting Jedi training as a child. He uses his force powers as a smuggler and bounty hunter, rather than taking part in galactic affairs.

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Star wars Cade Bounty Hunter
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Cade Skywalker Credit: Disney

Cade does sound like a promising character. In the 2006 comics, he worked with both the Jedi and the Sith, displaying a kind of moral ambiguity that we don’t see all too often in the Star Wars universe. However, as interesting as Cade could be, I think it’s time we moved away from the same family and small community of people.

Keeping it in the family 

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The rumour that Disney intends to keep focusing on the Skywalker lineage doesn’t come as a huge surprise, but it is disappointing. Star Wars is a story set on a galactic scale. There are over 400 billion stars and 3.2 million habitable star systems. So why then, do we keep relying on the same group of individuals?

Even with the latest trilogy, Disney led us to believe Rey was an outsider with her own story. A character removed from the ongoing entanglement of the empire and the resistance, someone with their own motivations and narrative. However, by the end of the trilogy we find out that Rey is the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine. How is it that in a universe so inexplicably huge, everyone is related to one another?

I’m not naive, I know creating new characters is difficult. Therefore, linking new and previous characters drives audiences to invest. Writing Ben Solo as a blood relation to Darth Vader, instantly let audiences know he was a evil which provided depth and motivation. As for Rey’s connection to Palpatine, well, the less said about that, the better. 

Time to tread new waters

A reboot of the Star Wars trilogy should be seen as an opportunity to create an entirely new story. The most interesting Star Wars stories in recent years sat outside the mainline films’ branching narrative. Star Wars: Rogue One told a brilliant story featuring an unique cast of characters, and there wasn’t a single Jedi in sight. The Mandalorian added a dark sense of depth and substance to the Star Wars universe in a way fans haven’t seen before. 

What I’m trying to say is, the Star Wars reboot shouldn’t tread the familiar path we’ve walked for 40 years now. This is an opportunity to explore one of the richest cinematic universes in history, so can it not just be another descendant of Anakin? Or Palpatine? 

Star Wars Yuuzhan Vong
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The Yuuzhan Vong Credit: Disney

I’d love to see the reboot introduce a new enemy, maybe even bring back the Yuuzhan Vong from The New Jedi Order. Instead of following a Jedi or a Sith, we could see a galactic struggle from the perspective of someone with no connection to the force. Rather than focus on lineage as a central plot device, we could see a true outsider and nobody, rise through the ranks and play a major part in galactic events. 

What I’m saying is, there’s a universe of endless possibilities in Star Wars, so let’s not create another 40-year saga focused on the same limited group of individuals. 

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