“A Game of Star Wars”?

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Rumours have been circulating about one of Disney’s upcoming live-action Star Wars projects. Aside from “The Mandalorian” and the adventures of young Cassian Andor, there is the project directed by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. Many would recognise these two as those who have brought George R. R. Martin’s saga onto the screen, under the name Game of Thrones.

Sex and Violence?

There are things that immediately come to mind when one thinks about A Game of Thrones. Among them are unexpected deaths of major characters and brutal scenes, often including sexual violence. None of these are particularly at home within the Star Wars universe.

One could therefore hope that whatever it is that David Benioff and D. B. Weiss are bringing into the saga, it is not the “HBO sex and violence”. Violence in Star Wars, in my opinion, is fine on the level it has been thus far. It isn’t like the occasional amputated hand, Darth Maul chopped in half, or Jango Fett’s head rolling in front of his little son would be very far from GoT standard. It doesn’t need to get any more graphic than that, for sure.

As for sex scenes, I am with those who think that it is far more questionable taste to show a person chopped into pieces than to show a naked human body. The problem is that lot of the time, what GoT showed was straightforward rape. And that is certainly something that has no place in Star Wars. It isn’t that the universe should be so innocently devoid of it, but there is no reason to show it. I am of the opinion that the only reason to show rape on-screen is if it has a point. But most of the time, you could achieve the same result by other means. In GoT (and many other contemporary TV series), it’s often added merely for shock value (even in addition to what is in the books). Which, given how serious a thing rape is in real life, is questionable at best.

That all being said, I somehow doubt Disney would suddenly decide to catch up with HBO in making violent films full of rape. And it would be even less likely to choose Star Wars as a vessel for it. It only leaves one wondering, what is it that D&D’s unique input is going to be.

The Old Republic

The chief rumour that has been circulating claims that the new piece of the saga will be set during the Old Republic period. Now, let’s realise one thing: that is an extremely vague definition (if it’s true in the first place!).

What it almost certainly does NOT mean is that it has anything to do whatsoever with Bioware’s online game, Star Wars: The Old Republic. The game has too self-contained story to allow for much external plot input on the one hand, and on the other hand it is still not mainstream enough to allow for a TV adaptation or a spin-off.

The same could be said about TOR‘s single-player predecessor, Knights of the Old Republic.

Even if it were possible to bring KOTOR‘s characters onto the TV screen, the makers should ask themselves: “Should we?” Bioware’s games are so great exactly because they are like films themselves. They have great, epic, cinematic story. And their point is that the players themselves decide how the story develops.

It would be one thing to take, say, a 3D shooter game and give it a story and make a film out of it. It is a completely different thing to take a fully fleshed-out story with amazing performances of dozens of voice actors, replace them with unfamiliar faces and reduce the story with multiple choices into a few hours of basic sci-fi flick.

“Before the Dark Times…”

The only thing that can be realistically said about the term “the Old Republic” is that it refers to something before the Empire. In the film canon, the phrase is used by old Obi-Wan to refer to the setting of Episodes I-III!

I believe we can assume to go a little further into the past than that. But not necessarily to any specific period of the games or novels. (Likewise, I am not expecting an adaptation of Drew Karpyshyn’s story of Darth Bane. There is simply so much more one can do with their money than to make an adaptation of a book!)

I would expect to go only so far into the past that the authors have enough creative space. Several hundreds of years to allow for epic battles between the Jedi and the Sith while both were still numerous and strong. Maybe only a few hundred to show a young Yoda, but maybe more to allow massive wars of lightsaber-wielding armies of Sith not yet in the hiding, as we are told they had been for a thousand years.

In any case, it would be stupid, not to mention disrespectful, to refer to the characters and events loved by so many fans via anything more than hints. I would hope that the filmmakers take their lesson from The Clone Wars or Rebels, where cameos happen, but they are an homage, and are treated with utmost care.

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Rostislav Kurka
Rostislav is a Protestant theologian and a self-trained Sith, counting Jan Hus, Dorothee Sölle, Darth Revan and Darth Traya among his main influences. He hails from the hundred-towered city of Prague, where he had spent a large part of his life creating worlds and inspiring young generations to roleplay. His involvement in organising children's camps led him to accidentally writing a Lord of the Rings musical, which made him temporarily famous, and a Three Musketeer-Jedi fanfilm, which didn't. He has recently moved to the frozen waste of Finland, because that's it, the Rebels are there.