Squeaky Mouse Droid: The Jundland Wastes (part one)
“The Jundland Wastes are not be traveled lightly.” – Ben Kenobi
Now the Squeaky Mouse Droid rolls his way with much timidity toward the Jundland Wastes, for this treacherous landscape is quite rocky. It’s an unsettling area where rumors are allowed to run rampant. There’s danger every inch of the way. In this dry heat, is difficult to see to far ahead. In the distant horizon, fact and rumor don’t quite coalesce, until desire creates that seemingly perfect mirage. One can only step back and wonder: of all that is visible here, how much of it is an illusion?
So as the mouse droid rolls along in not-so-friendly territory, it notices outlines of structures ahead, sure that those, at the very least, are not mirages, illusions or fantasy. But even those seemingly solid structures seem to lack details. In the wastes there are whispers in the air all around: listen as these voices help to paint in some of those missing details. Look at those structures closer to the horizon, where only desire and rampant speculation can make any sense of what’s barely in view.
The Jundland Wastes, indeed, are not be traveled lightly.
But the mouse droid has entered this strange reason of rampant speculation, and there may be no turning back.
Looking at what’s ahead: First we have a new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. In addition to a cast list, a few minutes of footage, very little has been officially released by Lucasfilm concerning this movie. All that they’ve actually said about this film’s plot is that it takes place roughly 30 years after Return of the Jedi. That’s not stopping anyone from painting in the details based on the bits of footage and other breadcrumbs Lucasfilm has carefully laid out. As it turned out, most of the important details were actually leaked. So: upon examination of what has come out, not only does it seem that most of the leaks seem to be accurate, but that it’s rather easy to piece together a rough outline of the basic story beats the film might take.
The Force Awakens is simply the nearest structure. A little further away is Rogue One, the fist anthology film. Despite the distance, this structure seems seems very distinct even in the intense haze of the Jundland Wastes: Lucasfilm has given us – in no uncertain terms – the very basic plot of this film: a group of Rebel fighters intercept the Death Star plans. Details beyond that are scant, but they are gradually being filled in by rampant fans eager to get a better look at what’s ahead.
But the mouse droid has difficult as it tries to move forward; it has to contend with the unbearable heat as it tries to see what’s ahead beyond Rogue One. Before it, there is an entire franchise, expanding across the great horizon, and the mouse droid is encouraged by all of these voices to try to anticipate what shape those far-away structures will have. Episodes Eight and Nine will have to wait: their impressions will come into greater focus after the the mouse droid has been able to see The Force Awakens. What of the other anthology films. Whispers of the director of the second anthology film being suddenly replaced, combined with faint voices that the film will focus on the enigmatic character of Boba Fett.
Now the mouse droid comes upon the most treacherous part of the wastes, the area where fact and rumor start blur together, and it’s touch separate them and even decipher them. Lots of voices are saying now that this first anthology film will feature both Han Solo and Boba Fett. It’s hard to tell where these voices are coming from.
There are more whispers ahead about an Obi Wan Kenobi film. A mirage forms that seems clear and solid telling the droid that Ewan McGregor has been in talks for with Lucasfilm’s parent company, Disney, for a new project. And what’s this? There’s a storm front ahead, the turbulent winds start giving the mouse droid visions that this Obi Wan film will be a new trilogy in and of itself.
And it’s about here that the mouse droid must stop. It actually can’t move forward anymore, but the conditions in the Wastes do not improve. They worsen. The droid doesn’t particularly like the notion of an Obi Wan film, much less a new trilogy of them Plus, it doesn’t seem to gel with what must be Lucasfilm’s overall goal: to move this franchise forward. It would make sense that the first entries in the new expanded Star Wars franchise, The Force Awakens and Rogue One, would feature hallmarks (be they characters – as in TFA, or time-frames, as in Rogue One) that could serve as touchstones so that die-hard fans as well as casual movie-goers have something familiar they can grasp onto, but it would make sense for Lucasfilm to push ahead with it’s own vision. After all, isn’t that why both teaser trailers we’ve seen for The Force Awakens have featured the new cast more prominently than anything else?
But the heat here in the Jundland Wastes is extreme. Sometimes the rumors never go away, they simply weigh heavier. Some sites – and some fans – won’t let rumors like this go, and instead they opt more and more to fill in the details.
Hey: Do you remember when R2-D2 creeped his away forward across the Jundland Wastes on his own? He was attacked by the Jawas, a scavenger culture that will turn any droid into a slave – or worthless scrap – and sell it for whatever they can.
That’s what could happen to the Star Wars fan eager to peak ahead as to what Lucasfilm has planned. Remember: the haze is telling you something. It’s telling you that it’s too early to see any details yet. Move ahead at a slower speed. The internet is filled with these Jawas ready to create a short-circuit with their rhetoric. Don’t set them up for it.
The Squeaky Mouse Droid will, no doubt, move further into the land of speculation and rumor in future installments.