“For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we…” – Master Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back
Like a number of other long-time Star Wars fans, I have some heated thoughts about a Han Solo film being made that looks at the iconic smuggler’s back story before A New Hope. To save some time I will just say this: Harrison Ford is Han Solo. There, now you know where I stand on the film. My friend Alicia, who will have the honor of being the first guest writer on The Imperial Talker, will have a much more thorough analysis of the Han Solo film announcement soon.
In the meantime, I wanted to take an opportunity to bounce around a couple of my own stand-alone film ideas. Now, I could very easily just start listing off films I would like to see, but that would be pretty underwhelming. Instead, I decided to come up with a synopsis for two stand-alone films based on characters who have been floating around the “will they get their own movie” rumor mill: Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
In the remainder of this post, I will lay out my idea for what I personally want to see in a Yoda film and, in the next post, I will lay out my idea for a Kenobi film. After painting a picture of the Yoda film, I will give a little rationale on why I want to see this film in particular…but only a little. I don’t want to give away everything I have in mind because, well, I want to see if you like the idea without me trying to sway you one way or the other.
So, here it goes…
Star Wars: Yoda
You and your friends arrive at the movie theater on opening night, eagerly anticipating the newest Star Wars film aptly named Star Wars: Yoda. Taking your seats, you each banter about what you will discover about the mysterious green alien and Jedi Master.
Will we finally discover his species? Where he came from? What Yoda was like as a young Jedi Padawan and Knight? How he became a Jedi Master and the head of the Jedi Council? Will the film present his adventures traveling the galaxy with his own Master, or will it delve into his own internal temptation and the lure of the dark side?
The lights dim to signal the beginning of the movie. On to the black screen appears the iconic phrase “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” Silence sweeps across the theater as everyone eagerly anticipates the iconic Star Wars theme song…
…but the theme does not begin. Instead, the sound of a gentle breeze can be heard blowing. The screen begins to fade into an opaque and misty white, a fog. Now, with the gentle breeze remaining a constant sound in the background, other sounds begin to invade your ears: A creature in the distance lets out a cry, water splashes, a twig snaps.
Ten minutes have elapsed and finally the fog begins to break, allowing you to make out the landscape more clearly. A dark swamp is all around, moss hanging from mangled and knotted trees, the muddy ground covered by a foggy haze. A black pond rests in the foreground, bubbles periodically breaking the purity of the water’s surface. In the distance, a reptilian creature flies between trees and disappears into the darkness.
The scene and the sounds persist. 20 minutes elapse, then another 20, and another. It isn’t until an hour and ten minutes into the film that something different finally happens – a light rain begins to fall. The drops disrupt the tranquility of the pond. The rain continues, becoming a downpour that waxes and wanes as storm clouds move above this part of the swamp. Finally, the storm passing, the downpour lightens and eventually ceases.
Out of the distant darkness, a low growl can be heard, and a branch cracks. Then, except for water dripping from branches and vines, there is silence.
A serene sense of calm descends upon the dank forest and marsh. Suddenly, without warning, the scene tilts up and to the right, and you can see into the tree canopy above. Slowly, the scene pans left, and then downward following a nearby tree trunk to the muddy ground it calls home. Returning to the starting point, the same scene you have viewed for the last hour and a half, but you can now hear someone breathing along with the sounds of the swamp.
Something unexpected happens. Moving forward, the camera turns around 180 degrees, bringing him into focus sitting on a decaying log near the water’s edge. He turns his head upwards, rotating from one side to the other.
Looking into the dense foliage above, Yoda takes a deep, relaxing breathe and smiles. Marveling at the swamp around him, Yoda states: “Lovely this planet, yes. Incredible the universe is.”
Yoda’s breathing remains, along with the sounds of the swamp, as the scene fades to black and the credits begin to roll.
I know what you are thinking: A lot of people would be really upset if they paid to see this film. Yeah, you aren’t wrong. I bet people would be outright furious. But the thing is, I don’t want to see a film about Yoda that creates an experience any different than what I just presented. Frankly, I want an aura of mystery to constantly swirl around the elderly Jedi Master, and worry that any work dedicated to him will eliminate that mystery for the sake of profit.
To me, the thing that is most important about Yoda is not what species he is, or what he was like as a young Jedi, or the adventures he has had in the past, but rather, his simplicity, his serenity, his connection to the living Force. Give me a film where we sit with Yoda as he takes in and experiences the beauty around him in a swamp on Dagobah, a film that honors the Jedi Master’s love and respect for life.
This is what I want, but what about you? Would you want to see this film or do you have a different vision for a film dedicated to Yoda? Let me know in the comments below.