2016: [See the plot of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope]
Setting: JJ Abrams’ throne room. Nubile young women carry sparkling wines, gourmet cheeses, and exotic fruits on golden trays. One man, Writer 1, kneels reverently at Abrams’ sandal-clad feet. Another man, Writer 2, stands further back and seems perplexed by the entire scene.
Writer 1: Oh great JJ Abrams, creator of Alias and LOST, we come before you to hear what new creations you prepare to reveal!
Writer 2: …Yeah, hi JJ. You did say to be here at 1:30, right?
Abrams: Arise, my servants. Just as Felicity unleashed my greatness upon the Universe, so shall I now unleash a new cinematic vision upon the unsuspecting populace!
Writer 1: Glory be!
Writer 2: …We’re here for the specs on the new Star Wars movie. You know, fans have waited a long time for a good Star Wars – since 1983, in fact. We’re hoping you can deliver.
Abrams: Can I deliver! You’re speaking to the mastermind of Super 8 and Star Trek Into Darkness! Does that answer your question?
Writer 2: It actually raises more questions, for me.
Writer 1: Don’t pay him any attention, JJ. Just blast a hot load of Star Wars plot on us and we can die happy men.
Abrams: And so it shall be, my friends, and so it shall be. Envision, if you will, a strange alien galaxy full of adventure and magic, full of heroism and villainy, full of wonder and whimsy and romance and daring-do!
Writer 1: My God! It’s beautiful!
Abrams: But all is not well with this galaxy.
Writer 1: (gasps)
Abrams: Yes. The Empire has fallen, but a virtually identical force has replaced it, and the only things standing in its way are the New Republic and the Resistance!
Writer 2: Wait, hold on… the New Republic and the Resistance? What’s the difference between these two groups? What happened to the Rebellion?
Abrams: SILENCE! You’ll miss the best part… the Resistance obtains valuable plans that will help defeat the forces of evil. These plans are concealed in an adorable, spunky little droid, who ends up on a desert planet in the hands of a most unlikely hero.
Writer 1: It’s a triumph of the imagination!
Writer 2: I’m sorry… are we discussing the new movie? Because this sounds an awful lot like –
Abrams: SILENCE I SAY! Clench your buttocks, because you might lose control of your bowels when you hear this next innovative twist! Our heroes will be stalked by a black-clad masked menace who is skilled in the Force!
Writer 2: So, like, a Darth Vader-type character?
Abrams: Oh, God, no. Who wants to see that? This character will be a wispy young thing portrayed by some big-nosed long-haired emo-looking douche, and instead of choking people he’ll get all pissy and smash stuff when he gets upset.
Writer 1: My spine is tingling with fear!
Writer 2: I have to say, this villain doesn’t seem like he’s in the same class as Vader or even Darth Maul… will we have some really strong heroes to oppose him?
Abrams: Your hopes have been realized, for I have devised heroes destined to be just as legendary as Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi!
Writer 1: Oh my…
Abrams: BEHOLD! I give you… a girl and a black guy! KAZAAAAAAAM!
Writer 1: Holy SHIT.
Writer 2: This sounds kinda pandering, to me. I mean, what next, this random girl will turn out to be so incredibly bad-ass that Han Solo will say something like, “Kid, you’re a damn fine pilot, why don’t you join me on my ship even though it’s always just been me and Chewy…”
Abrams: Excuse me, “this random girl”? I put a scene in there where she fixes something on the ship! It’s like, “Oh, I re-routed the capacity through the auxiliary drive matrix” or some shit. Boom, instant street cred.
Writer 1: Oh, you’re the king, JJ, you’re the best there is, best there was, best there ever will be!
Writer 2: (Sighs) Alright, so the unlikely heroes are on the desert planet with the robot, what next?
Abrams: Well, you’ll never see this coming, but it turns out the evil militaristic space organization –
Writer 2: – like the Empire –
Abrams: – NOT AT ALL like the Empire – is commanded by a sinister, robe-wearing figure whose mind is as twisted and corrupt as his body!
Writer 2: …like the Emperor.
Abrams: NOT AT ALL like the Emperor! In fact, this evil mastermind’s name… IS…
Writer 1: Here it comes.
Abrams: Supreme Leader SNOKE.
Writer 2: You’re kidding.
Abrams: SNOKE. Doesn’t that name just inspire fear and awe? Say it with me. Say, “SNOKE.”
Writer 1: I can’t! I’m that afraid of this guy!
Writer 2: It sounds like a sock puppet from a kids’ TV show.
Abrams: Perhaps your impudent tongue will be silenced when I tell you that Snoke will be an entirely CGI character! Oooh, aaah, the magic of film-making!
Writer 2: Who’s going to play him?
Abrams: Well, he’s an all CGI character created after 2003, so…
Writer 1: Andy Serkis?
Writer 2: Oh, come on. You know, JJ, the Star Wars franchise used to be a bastion of unrestrained imagination and creativity. This sounds like a tired old re-hash of every trope that we’ve seen a thousand times before. I’ve read Star Wars fan-fic more creative than this.
Abrams: Oh ye of little faith! Was it not I who rescued the Star Trek franchise via the never-before-explored avenue of TIME TRAVEL? Wait until you hear my finest plot innovation yet!
Writer 1: I don’t know if I’m worthy to hear this.
Abrams: It turns out that the non-Empire has… a gigantic space station capable of destroying entire planets!
Writer 2: …So, the Death Star.
Abrams: No, bigger than the Death Star. Like, colossally bigger. And, therefore, different and better.
Writer 1: That’s a fact.
Abrams: In a thrilling race against time, our heroes will have to infiltrate this massive space station, disable its shield, and attack its weak point for massive damage!
Writer 2: Wait, wait, wait… wait. This is literally the plot of both Episode IV AND Episode VI. You can’t be serious.
Abrams: Oh, can’t I?
Writer 1: JJ, I’m not blowing smoke up your ass when I say this… but you are literally the Jesus of franchise resurrection.
Abrams: And the best part is, all of this is set 30 years in the future, so we get to see the stars of these magical films of our childhood as haggard, wrinkled old sacks who can barely run for two seconds on screen! Remember hot Princess Leia in the slave costume? Well now you get to see her visage wracked by age, and hear her old lady denture voice!
Writer 1: It’s like all my dreams have come true at once!
Writer 2: In what world would anyone want to see the exact same story played out with vastly inferior new characters and old, sad versions of the original characters?
Abrams: You’re so short-sighted. You’re forgetting how legendary these original characters will be. They’re like mythical heroes now. Some people don’t even believe they exist. They’ll be like living legends, something out of a fairy tale.
Writer 2: 30 years in the future people don’t even believe they’re real? 1986 was 30 years ago. That’s like saying people today think Jack Nicholson and Ronald Reagan are just legends or fairy tales. How short are people’s memories in this universe?
Writer 1: Man, don’t you have anything positive to say?
Writer 2: Well… maybe it’s just growing pains. I’m sure the second installment will be better.
Abrams: I’ve already got an idea! It begins in this frozen wasteland…
Writer 2: I quit.