The legions of Star Wars fans that wished upon an infinite amount of stars are finally getting their universal cry granted: The Star Wars saga will continue on the big-screen.

According to every web site in the internet galaxy, 2015 is when Disney plans to unleash “Episode VII.”

Naturally, everyone is now chiming in on whether Disney will botch their latest $4 billion dollar new toy (Lucasfilm library), and, what direction the story should go.

Before we get to what yours truly believes is the only way (hope) to continue on with the feature film editions of the Star Wars Empire, here’s a couple facts:

-The book right after Return of the Jedi, “The Truce at Bakura,” is very uneventful (as are a few others that follow the coveted storyline of Luke Skywalker and company).

-The original cast (Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and anti-social Harrison Ford), well, let’s just say they’re not aging like a fine wine.

Knowing those tidbits, and with Disney being armed with an assortment of plot points and/or time periods to attack a script with, here’s where the Mouse Council should direct their efforts:

Knights of the Old Republic (video game)!

The 2003 story intensive role-playing videogame created by BioWare, screams movie adaptation. And you could probably squeeze out two installments with all the material covered in this Jedi vs. Sith multi-planetary battle. It’s one of the richest stories since Episodes IV-VI (yeah, prepare for a minor nerd rant), and encompasses every aspect of what Star Wars admirers yearn for (vast worlds, lightsaber duels, charismatic inter-personal drama with eclectic characters, etc.).

While this guy is a Star Wars fan, I am by no means an expert; and in the grand scheme of things, I’d consider myself a slightly above casual admirer when compared to the passionate global fan base. Still, the storyline forged in the KOTR videogame, which takes place 4,000 years prior to Episode I, is one of the more engrossing tales articulated in the Star Wars catalog. And I’m not even a big video game connoisseur, yet ended up closing off my world for about a month playing this around-the-clock in a dark room surrounded by empty boxes of delivery pizza, incomplete job applications, and a bedpan.

Going through all the intricacies of the game to explain why this would not only please the Star Wars loyal but also attract general cinematic fans, and restore faith in the ones who are still bitter about the last three installments (Episode I – III), would take multiple pages. The best bet, and inevitable scenario, is to have the fans sound off in the comment section and either support or refute my humble position about KOTR (because that’s what Star Wars folks do better than any pop-culture contingent).

Either way, trying to recast Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia just seems like a fool’s errand. And to progress a story that ended to near perfection, just seems as if they would be forcing (no pun) the issue so to speak (just look what Disney did to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise).

As for who or whom should be the chosen one(s) to helm this new era of Star Wars lore, specifically the KOTR adaptation…wouldn’t mind seeing Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class), J.J. Abrams (Star Trek reboot), and Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) take a crack at it. Matt Reeves (Let Me In remake) should chime in on this as well. And although the following is one of my favorite directors of all-time, Christopher Nolan should definitely be kept away.

Bottom line, whether you agree with the above opinions or not, Disney has to have critical and audience success with Episode VII. For if they create a dud, they will take this treasured franchise down a path that is traveled by many horror franchises…a.k.a. less-and-less people will venture out to see VIII, IX, X…

So with today being Election Day, let’s vote for Knights of the Old Republic to get the big-screen treatment.

Star Wars, Disney Era

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By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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