Friday, October 4, 2013

Star Wars Episode VII: Resurrection of Evil - The Sequel You will NEVER See.

The time is early 1990. Star Wars is nowhere to be found. Aside from West End Games' role-playing game, there was nothing to sate our hunger. No movies. No comic books. No novels. Nada! Fanboys like myself are hurting big time. Much as we love Episodes IV, V, and VI, we want more. George Lucas had promised more movies, otherwise why would he have numbered them the way he had? Something needed to be done. Soon!

Then, one day it hit me. I like to write. I love Star Wars. Why not write the next chapter in the saga myself? I could both kickstart my career as a writer and revive the franchise, earning the praise and adulation of millions of fans worldwide.

I set about my task with a fervor second only to religious zealotry. I re-watched the films, read the novelizations, the spin off novels, all 107 issues of the Marvel Comics series. Hell, I even bought a copy of The Star Wars Holiday Special at a convention. As I researched, my tale began to take shape. I invented characters or incorporated some from the (at that time) Expanded Universe. I worked out scenes and action sequences, even going so far as to storyboard some as though I were planning this as a cinematic feature. This was going to be EPIC! With all the elements in place, I began writing the first chapter.

Jump to spring 1990. I find this on the shelf of a bookstore I frequent:
Curses! Foiled again! Not only did Timothy Zahn beat me to the punch, but he did it brilliantly, setting the bar so high that only a few of the many novels to follow would even come remotely close.
Resurrection of Evil not only failed to get near that bar, it missed it entirely. I wasn't even in the same solar system. In a deep funk, I decided it was best not to try playing in the big kids' yard. I went on to other things.
But now, here for the first time, revealed once before to only my best friend and my girlfriend of the time, is the plot for my vision of Episode VII. I no longer have any of the notes that I made, so this is all coming from memory.
Episode VII begins with it's own title crawl, the first line of which borrowed from the blurb on the back of the Return of the Jedi video cassette, stating that The Galactic Empire has been brought to its knees. As with the original trilogy, and Zahn's novels, we start with a Star Destroyer on the run from a Rebel hunter-killer task force that stumbles across an abandoned space station, on which a lost apprentice of Darth Vader's lurks. Commandeering the Star Destroyer, the apprentice sets out to avenge his master's death.
On Endor, Luke is continuing to hone his mastery of the Force. He receives a vision of Obi Wan that warns him that a new dark force is rising. He learns that his friend Halla, keeper of the Kaiburr Crystal, which enhances one's mastery of the Force, has gone missing. (Both of these first appeared in Alan Dean Foster's novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye.)
At the same time, Han and Leia are sent on a mission somewhere (Sorry for the vagueness. Remember, working from memory.) to bring in an operative from the rebel base there. They find the base under attack by a group of Imperial AT-ST walkers, remotely controlled by a master AT-AT. Using a commandeered landspeeder and Leia's newly acquired lightsaber, they manage to thwart the attack by cutting the lead walker's front legs off, effectively killing the drone AT-ST's in the process.
Boba Fett returns as well, having escaped from the Sarlacc and journeying on foot across the Tatooine wastes, fighting a band of Tusken Raiders along the way, to Jabba's palace, where his ship is docked. He then sets off on a vengeance quest for our heroes.
Numerous incidents occur within the middle of the text, none of which really stand out in my memory.
The story ends with a climax on two fronts. Han, Chewie and Leia in the Falcon square off against Fett. Fett is kicking the snot out of the Falcon and taunting Han for his decision to run. Pissed, Han turns the Falcon around and charges Fett, both ships firing wildly as they play a space-based game of chicken. Wanna guess who wins?
As for Luke, he has tracked Halla back to Mimban, where the Kaiburr Crystal was first discovered. She had been trying to return the crystal back to where it belongs, dying in the process at the hands of Vader's apprentice. Luke and the apprentice duel, during the course of which the crystal is smashed upon the ground. A huge vortex erupts from the shards, destroying the apprentice. Luke barely gets clear in his X-wing as the vortex grows larger, eventually reaching to space and destroying the orbiting Star Destroyer as well.
Heroes reunite, all is well, and as John Williams' music swells in our heads, we fade to end credits.
Not exactly as epic-sounding now as it was in my head 20+ years ago, but there are still a lot of elements in it that I still like, and though the wonder of recycling, will be reusing in future tales.
And who knows? Maybe now that this is out there for the general public to read, maybe I'll get a call from Disney/Lucasfilm to negotiate writing Episode VIII?
Yeah. Not gonna lie awake at night waiting for that call.