Earlier this week, a photo of the Millenium Falcon being built for Star Wars: Episode VII was leaked onto the Web. This morning, J.J. Abrams sent out his own shot from the set, which cheekily confirmed that Han Solo's ship would be making an appearance. The director won with the true geeks, of course, because his photo involved a more obscure element from the original trilogy: the Dejarik board (or simply holochess board for those of you who aren't complete nerds for the franchise). It's made other appearances in animated series and novels and such, but really that prop is a nod to one particular scene in the very first movie.
We can probably expect a bunch of callbacks in Episode VII, some of them for the sake of fan service and others as signs of a genuine appreciation for the original trilogy. Hopefully not so much that the winking looks more like a twitch or to where the movie plays like a Star Wars fan film comprised of pastiche and homage. No need to draw too much focus on a board game just to do it, for example. But if it's there in the shot and we see it, that's cool. And then there are other elements that ought to just be there out of reason, such as the Millennium Falcon.
You can compare the prequels to the original trilogy in order to figure out which elements work best and which don't work at all, and the former is what you'll want the new movie to include. That can be themes or manner of speech or humor or specific characters or settings or even type of special effects. One thing that has appeased fans with both official and leaked images from the production is the on-hand creatures, evidence of how not only Abrams but all at Lucasfilm want there to be a mix of old-school puppetry and other practical creature effects as well as some that are computer generated.
With Episode VII already filming, it's not likely that we'll have any influence over that one, but who knows what kinds of small elements could be thrown in last minute if there's enough support behind it. Otherwise, we can also hope for these favored elements to appear in the subsequent sequels or even the stand-alone spin-off movies. For instance, a big one for you might be the presence of Boba Fett. Well, he isn't likely in Episode VII but supposedly one of the spin-offs is totally focused on the fan-favorite bounty hunter.
Here's one I think would be a triumph for a lot of the audience: Han Solo, who we know is returning, should shoot someone first. Sure, that act was representational of what an antihero the guy was before meeting Luke, Leia, etc., but maybe he's back to his old mentality in old age. I'd also love a memorable musical moment, a la the Cantina Band in Star Wars and the Max Rebo Band in Return of the Jedi (but not "Jedi Rocks"). Finally, I'd love some little scenes that aren't so integral to the forward movement of the plot, both extraneous thrills such as the garbage compactor and quiet moments as in the part of The Empire Strikes Back when they're hiding out in a space slug and just talking.
Along with the answer to today's discussion question, let me know if you'd rather know ahead of time, either with a tweeted or leaked photo like we saw this week or in the trailer, or if you'd like the element you name to be a pleasant surprise.
What one element from the original Star Wars trilogy needs to be back for Episode VII?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter:
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