‘Star Wars Episode 7′: Joss Whedon Wouldn’t Have Brought Back Original Characters

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 12th, 2013 at 6:03 am,

 Star Wars Episode 7: Joss Whedon Wouldnt Have Brought Back Original Characters

Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm (and the announcement of new Star Wars films) stands as one of the biggest developments the entertainment world has seen in years. Almost instantly, the debate began on which filmmaker should be entrusted with re-launching the franchise, and while JJ Abrams was ultimately selected to direct Episode 7, one fan favorite name never had a chance at the job: Joss Whedon.

The Avengers writer/director, many fans argue, would have made a brilliant choice to make the film. After all, his work with Marvel (in addition to TV series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly) prove that he knows a thing or two about working with ensemble casts – and dealing with supernatural forces. Plus, those projects also feature the balance of light-hearted adventure, wry humor and character-motivated story that has made Star Wars one of the most beloved film series of all-time.

Nevertheless, Whedon is hard at work overseeing Phase Two of Marvel’s big-screen efforts – culminating in The Avengers 2 in 2015 – as well as the upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series. However, one cannot help but wonder exactly how Whedon would have approached this new Star Wars trilogy, were he available to work on it.

Digital Spy recently got a chance to ask Whedon just that, and his answer may prove controversial to the massive Star Wars fanbase. Here’s what he said:

“I wouldn’t go back. I’d go forward. I would want to create characters that would resonate the way that [the original trilogy's characters] did. Not that I wouldn’t want to see them… I’d be excited to. But I also feel like I would want to explore a very different part of that universe.”

luke han leia 570x380 Star Wars Episode 7: Joss Whedon Wouldnt Have Brought Back Original Characters

The prospect of leaving beloved characters like Luke Skywalker, Yoda and Boba Fett in the past may not be one that most fans will be to keen on exploring. In fact, recent news that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are close to joining the cast of Episode 7 directly contradicts Whedon’s philosophy. The director did say that, should characters like Han Solo play a role in the new film, recasting is not an option he would explore.

“[Recasting] I would never want to do. Some things may not be rebooted.”

Some Star Wars fans think that bringing Luke, Han and Leia into this new trilogy is a necessary step to bridge the gap from Return of the Jedi to Abrams’ film. However, after the Star Wars prequels (in many longtime fans’ eyes) failed to live up to the original trilogy, others would prefer to leave the Skywalker twins and the “scruffy-looking nerf herder” untarnished.

Regardless, it’s becoming more and more apparent that Disney/Lucasfilm is intent on mining the rich mythology of the existing films (as well as perhaps the Expanded Universe of the novels, etc.).

Given Whedon’s comments, would you be interested in seeing his vision of Star Wars (perhaps even in a future film)? Or are you glad that Episode 7 seems to going the nostalgic route?

[poll id="553"]


Star Wars: Episode 7 is currently aiming for a 2015 release date.

Source: Digital Spy via Collider

Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @crookedtable
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. I agree with Joss on this.

    New stories. New characters.

    • I disagree with Joss on this. After the bad prequels, I believe what is needed is a stong connection to the original trilogy. Thus, bring back the original actors in the roles that we all know and love, and to compliment them, have new characters as well. Looking forward to seeing Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, et. al.

      Joss…please just bring back Firefly, or do a sequel to Serenity, and you will have me watching with excitement, but leave Star Wars alone, friend.

      • Yeah, Joss should just shut up and focus on his own properties – make another Firefly movie and leave Star Wars alone

        • He was asked a question on what he would do with the films.
          And why should he shut up? We all have opinions and freedom of speech. :-/

      • I love those three characters they’re talking about bringing back but come on! Disney buying Lucas had bad news written all over it. including those original actors will only make the new trilogy more painful than the prequels!!

        • You are entitled to your opinion…mine is that you are misguided in your belief.

      • I really don’t think it’s up to him to bring back Firefly, quite frankly. Otherwise we would have it already.

      • You can make a connection by referring to Luke and the other characters and let them play significant roles off screen.Like they did in the video games.That way you will preserve the ultimate memory and at the same time can focus on the new.I love nostalgia.But when it comes to Star Wars I don’t want to see a rehash of what has been but new things.Otherwise what is the point.

  2. I’m confident Abrams will do the right thing with the original characters.

    • Me too. They guy is brilliant

  3. I’m glad Whedon isn’t directing it because not only are we gonna get the original characters to help continue the story, I also don’t think Whedon would have made a great movie if I look at his previous work.

    • More of a 90s tv guy,
      showed a lot in avengers.

      • The only thing I love from Whedon’s works is Firefly.
        I don’t like Avengers so much, ya it is good entertain blockbuster, but not so that great for me. I would love to see the coming back of Firefly more than phrase 2 of Marvel.

    • You mean like The Avengers? The highest grossing CBM ever? Or Buffy, which lasted 8 years on tv, spawnd a spin off which lasted 5 years and has an expanded universe which is still expanding? Or maybe you mean Firefly which only lasted half a season, but had enough support from fans they ended up with feature film? That ended about 10 years ago but is still talked about today?

      • So what if Avengers is the highest grossing comic book movie ever. It is still one of the worst ever. Face it, Whedon is a hack who is only still popular because of a few good ideas he had for tv

        • TDKR was one of the worst CBM’s ever. Plot holes, plot holes, plot holes. Bad dialogue, story sucked. Still, I’m guessing you loved that piece of s**t.

      • Just because a movie makes a lot of money doesn’t make it great, or even good. Look at Spider-Man 3, or the Star Wars prequels. Avengers wasn’t a bad movie but it wasn’t anything amazing either. I think it would have been more difficult to make it fail than succeed. All he did was bring together other successful CBMs.

    • And what previous work might that be?
      Have you seen Dollhouse (the full series meaning two seasons).
      He did some brilliant mind blowing things.As he did in Firefly,in Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.So no he would certainly do some good things.

  4. Aaaand that’s why he should have done the film. Right there.

  5. Abrams can do somthing interesting with the original characters, if not, just take a look on Leonard Nemoy, a wise mentor, like skywalker o Leia even Han Solo can be

  6. I disagree with joss, guy makes an okay avengers but I care not for all his decisions.

  7. Okay, you don’t just go this far in and forget about everything that has happened. You work your way into new stories. Thank God he didn’t get this project

    • Exactly. The whole point of a sequel is a connection. Whedon’s ideas would work more towards a star wars spin off rather than being part of the actual set of films.

    • Unless you…want to do something new and fresh. The prequels were so “connected” to the classic films through so many overt cameos, holdovers, and references that it was painful. I am all for bringing the big three back to pass the torch, but not because it couldn’t be good without them. Joss would have been a great director for this, IMO.

  8. I personally disagree with Joss not that i don’t love any of his work i love it to death, but i think that the characters from the original trilogy can be brought back in a great and awesome way but they need to be brought back cautiously like they could make Luke an older Jedi Master and make him look like Obi-Wan with a beard and all and make him take on an apprentice and have tehm go on an adventure with Han and Leia or something that i would like to see or something like that. By the way anybody have any idea if Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker are coming back as R-2D2 and C-3P0?

    • I completely disagree with not bringing back.the original characters. Bringing back an older Sir Alec Guinness type Luke sounds like a brilliant idea. Have him passing the torch to a new genre of actors would certainly bridge the magic over to these newer movies. They should do something suprising too. Like unveiling Princess Lea as Sidious’s mystery Sith apprentice before he was destroyed. Have her revealed as a mystery dark lord. She could even kill off Han

      • “unveiling Princess Lea as Sidious’s mystery Sith apprentice”

        Are you out of your mind!?

        • Yeah, that’s crazy. Jar Jar Binks should be the mystery Sith apprentice. NO ONE would see THAT coming.

  9. I didn’t read anything in his brief interview that indicates he would not be open to cameos from the old characters. He says, “Not that I wouldn’t want to see them… I’d be excited to.” I read his statements as him just wanting to *focus* on the new characters… as well he should.

    • Exactly.

  10. If they hadn’t got the big three back in even a small way, any director would be hard pressed to show that it carries on from VI. The three different set of trilogies should always have been about the Skywalker lineage. If you wanna do separate storylines too that’s fine, but leave the Episode VII, VIII and IX out of the title.

    • Agreed Sir, if you are going to USE the 7, 8, and 9 as episode numbers, the story MUST follow the skywalker family. It did from episode 1 all the way to 6, to use those numbers with completely unrelated story about completely new characters would be awful. I agree 100%

      • That does make sense, although part of me would just like to have them stop using the “Episode X” naming convention. It is logical, but have acquire a rather unfortunate connotation since The Phantom Menace came out. In the old days, we people on the street never used to used to refer to them that way. It was just “Return of the Jedi.”

  11. Thank goodness Whedon is not going to be working on the new Star Wars movie. I haven’t seen the Avengers movies yet, but his Firefly series needed to be cancelled after 12 episodes. Bringing back the original trio will provide continuity for the sequel episodes. They don’t have to be, and should not be, the focus of the new movies, but the possibility of their being in the new movies is incredibly exciting! Too bad (but not surprising)Whedon is too short-sighted to see that.

    • Firefly was amazing. Don’t know what you’re smoking.

      • I didnt like Firefly either.

        • I loved Firefly. The Avengers was entertaining but I would never claim it a great film. Firefly, though, was wonderful.

          • Yes, Firefly/Serenity were amazing, and a much more realistic space opera than Star Wars or Star Trek (and I also love those). Would love for that group to get back together, if not for another series, then a sequel to Serenity.

            • I love sci-fi and had heard about Firefly for some time. I was excited to finally watch it, but ended up being very disappointed. Most of the characters were uninteresting, and the writing left something to be desired, for example, the next time you stab me in the back, do it to my face…Yikes! I admit the show did have potential, it just fell short of the mark in my opinion.

    • His Firefly series needed to be cancelled?
      Could you tell me why?Do you really think that firefly was cancelled because it wasn’t good or was not pushed and marketed enough.Do you know how many quality shows have been cancelled that much later got recognised.Which happened with Firely and Serenity as result.
      Again you can make a connection to the older characters and story in other ways like they do in the video games.

  12. maybe there is a star wars joke i am not in on, but i always thought the line was “nerve hurter”, not “nerf herder”.

    • Its from Empire. Leia gets flustered by Han and calls him a scruffy looking nerf-herder. To which Han replies, “Who’s scruffy looking?” and Chewie proceeds to laugh at Han to which Han replies, “Yuck it up!” Its a great scene.

    • No. It is “Nerf Herder”. It’s an insult similar to calling someone a Goat herder, or country bumkin. Hence the “Scruffy looking” part of the insult that Han took particular offence to.

  13. Just checking here, but is it 100% confirmed that Ep.7 will focus on Luke, Leia and Han, or is it only known that they will appear in some capacity, if at all?

    • Lucas himself has pretty much confirmed the big 3 will be back. In what size roles we dont know.

  14. Apparently they already had a working outline for the new trilogy, long before the Disney think was even finalized. The original cast is part of it, at least for the 1st movie so even if Whedon was directing he wouldn’t have much to say about the script, as the director has had nothing to do with the script. I say the script is in very capable hands as the man who gave us Empire is all over this script.

  15. I want to watch both JJ Abrams make it with the old characters and Whedon make it with new ones! They’re each great directors and have ideas that sound awesome to me. I’d trust either one.

    • Yeah. Both ideas would work. They just need to make a great script and the right actors.

      • Yeah, Abrams could direct the original Star Wars storyline following the Skywalkers, while Whedon could focus more on side projects such as Knights of the Old Republic and Force Unleashed. Sam Witwer did a great job for the latter video game series and I always thought he would be fantastic in a live-action adaptation.

    • Yeah, me too. I wouldn’t mind Joss taking over one of the later episodes, or doing a spin off with his own characters.

      And how awesome would it be if you see Serenity in the background of one of the space shots – kind of like how Abrams had R2-D2 among the debris in Star Trek

  16. Eh, the old characters can be used to pave way for new characters thus opening the curtain for new storyline. I guess that’s what J.J. Abrams will do, and what Whedon really means by his statement (“Not that I wouldn’t want to see them…”).

  17. He was never approached to direct the film. He’s just giving a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question. And if you haven’t seen or read a decent chunk of his work, you have no business critiquing his directing or writing skills.

    • Im so glad they are bringing back tbe original crew. So looking forward to this movie. And i actually liked Episode 2 and 3. Episode 1 was horrible. George Lucas was too caught up in making his kids happy with that Jar Jar Binks. Which in turn led everyone to asssume that the other two would be more of the same.

  18. Totally agree with Whedon on this. The prequels weren’t bad because they didn’t feature Luke, Leia or Han (significantly, anyway) – they were bad because they weren’t well-written. So it’s not a fair argument to say that having an all-new cast for Episode VII would suck because the prequels sucked – in fact you could argue that Lucas’ constant need to tie the prequels into the original trilogy was part of what dragged it down. And if they insist on shoehorning in Luke, Leia and Han into Episode VII, the same may happen.

    • How was Episode 2 a bad movie in any aspect. It was a great movie. Maybe not as groundbreaking as Empire but one cant deny its good points. I think if Episode 1 would’ve focused more on Palpatine and Anakin’s relationship rather than promoting Jar Jar, Episode 2 would have been considerably more appreciated

      • “I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth.”

      • i love star wars, but if you can’t admit that episode 2 was a terrible movie then perhaps you should check out the reviews by “redlettermedia” on youtube. youll find yourself laughing while also agreeing with everything the weiro has to say. start with episode 1. your welcome.

        • Hah! Thank you for that, can’t believe I hadn’t come across it before.

      • No, Attack of the Clones was much better than Phantom Menace, but that is not much of a compliment. It has its significant issues. Not all bad, but not all good. Ewan McGregor saved that film from the horrible fate that it would’ve come to without him.

        • Really? I happen to to think Attack of the Clones is much worse than Phantom, because the annoying things in Phantom were Jar-jar and to some degree Anakin, but in Attack the whole Anakin-Padme romantic subplot just killed me.

          Let’s just be clear, I’m not saying the prequels are all s***, I’m just talking about the general consensus here when discussing Episode VII. I happen to like Revenge of the Sith, and some of Phantom.

    • Fully agree with you.
      It is the writing that needs to be top notch.
      Reusing characters in whatever fashion is a little lazy if you ask me.With a little creative writing you could explain a lot and tie in with the original without having the original characters to be present.

  19. josh is hit or miss. On Star Wars he is a miss and thank God he is not touching it…

  20. hey, here’s a thought – who cares what Joss Whedon thinks about Star Wars? He’s not directing it.

    And no, he shouldn’t direct it anyway. He already has his fingers in the Avengers and quite a big influence in the X-Men world. Enough is enough. Joss Whedon is not God.

    • You could say the same thing about JJ, “enough is enough.” he has his fingers in a ton of different cookie jars right now. Just sayin’.

  21. the old characters need to transition us into a new story with new characters. glad for the continuity and maybe they will have some nice moments, but they can’t be the focus or it will feel forced

    • Im hoping they end it completely with episode 9. It would even be cool if they started 7 in 2017 (40 years after the original) and set 8 and 9, 40 years from empire and Return of the Jedi. I know of no other movie franchise thats spanned this long. From the 70s to likely the 2020s touching every decade in between

      • it really is the story of a lifetime

  22. I think that what seems to be the plan is a good one…have the original actors return in smaller roles in the style of the “mentor” figures from the classic trilogy, such as Mon Mothma or Yoda. But have the film be based in a well-written new story with new characters. I would love a classic SW nostalgia trip at this point, but do that in style and spirit, not tired retreads of plot devices and worn-out jokes.

    I think that Joss would’ve been a great choice for this, and I would love to have him direct a future installment.

    And also…seriously, the SW universe is so rich that it is silly to cling to what has already been done and say “we can’t have SW without [blank].” I just want whatever it is to be good.

  23. I can see Joss Whedon’s concern of not bring back the original cast- this goes back to another post here on Screenrant which outlines some of the pros and cons of having those classic characters to return. So no need to argue the point both sides that much further in detail.

    Although I would like to point that his idea may have worked if prequels never happened. The way Return of the Jedi ended- not matter your thoughts on the faults the film has- it was complete. Going a new direction with brand new characters would make sense and may have been accepted in time (as we see that even now audience and fans still want the core cast back even after many years.) But the prequel trilogy cemented the presence of the core cast by tying it up to a larger story plot about Skywalker lineage. The whole series, for better or worse, became the fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker.

    As much as I, someone born in early ’90s, still only see the Original Classic Trilogy as absolute –even calling them by their theatrical names- (I promise I am not a hipster!) the prequels happened, I own them, There is a sense of that larger story. If new characters and new direction away from that idea would not make sense as a whole. What I am saying is the original cast must return to serve that connective bridge.

    I agree that they should be brought in as a nice nostalgic tie-in and help with the transition state, but new characters connected to these past favorites must be the focus on these next films and I would personally like to go beyond and see other portions of this universe. Or galaxy.

    Cast return in small role to transition to the next phase generation (such as Darth Vader, Obi-Wan, Yoda, and the Emperor); new characters should have connection to these past characters; new direction and plot– I want to see more smugglers and bounty hunters and… WARS.

    Jedi and Sith have to be there of course, it is in the DNA, but there is bigger canvas of mythology to draw on.

  24. Joss Whedon knows what he’s doing, he is doing an amazing job with Marvel and long may he continue to guide the Marvel Cinematic and Television Universe
    JJ Abrams just wants to re-hash old characters and p**s all over other people’s work, he’s ruined Star Trek by trying to make it too much like Star Wars why not go and actually ruin Star Wars too.

    JJ seems to like to star things and then leave them. He gets so much credit for Lost but it was Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse who really ran that show.
    He gets a lot of credit for Fringe but I don’t think he stuck around longer than the first season. JH Wyman and others guided and finished Fringe.
    I’m surprised JJ even finished directing any of the Star Trek films and didn’t just get the 1st AD to step in and do the rest for him beyond the first week on the job.

    • please… He did not ruin star trek.

    • “Credit” for Lost. With the exception of the first two or three years, many cite it as an example of a show gone bad, with a finale that was ridiculous. Don’t get me started.

  25. Well then, I’m glad he’s not involved. I don’t know why he would bother to even say this in public.

  26. They should be side characters not main characters. Look at Indiana Jones. Take out the too much use of CGI, shia swinging with monkeys, That awful nuke scene that defies all logic, and the aliens you still have one Issue that still rubbed off on people the wrong way… Indiana is old!!! You really think people will not have an issue with a out of shape old man luke Skywalker?

    J.J need to keep them as side characters.

  27. Good thing that he’s not doing Star Wars VII then.

  28. Big Whedon fan, but I think he’s wrong on this occasion.
    Bringing back the cast from the original trilogy is a great thing to do.
    Obviously the movie will have plenty new characters (I’m assuming they’ll be the main characters and the original cast will only have small, supporting roles), but having Han, Luke and Leia in it gonna be fantastic.

    Whedon would do well directing a SW movie imo, but I’m glad it isn’t this one.

  29. The original cast will shine in the new star wars