Perhaps you’ve heard that JJ Abrams, the trendy go-to director for any movie with the word “star” in its title, is launching a contest. Donate $10 to Abrams’ Force for Change charity, and he’ll enter you in a drawing where the winner becomes an extra in Star Wars VII. He gives no details about the role, only that it’ll involve a costume and makeup. OK, so no gratuitous nudity, but what else? For all we know, the winner will just lay there and play the pivotal role of “Jawa that the Sarlacc chewed on for 500 years before spitting it out because it wasn’t tasty enough.”
That, or any walk-on role, is not good enough. Not for me anyway. I feel that, if you’re going to let somebody play a part in Star Wars, make it THE part. Consider this the official Holy Taco petition for JJ Abrams to give whoever wins this thing their very own movie. Yes, the whole damn thing. Devoting 150 minutes of storytime to some nobody who literally bought the role will not affect Disney’s bottom line much at all.
In fact, nothing will. Just look at Episode III. By that point, we had all been burnt very, very badly by the first two prequels, and shouldn’t have given the third one even two nanoseconds of thought. $850 million later, it became perfectly clear that we will happily swallow anything that begins with “In a galaxy far, far away.” Even if they subtitle the next one Endless Ewok Orgy.
ESPECIALLY if they title it that.
And speaking of nobodies, wasn’t that pretty much the entire cast of Star Wars IV? Mark Hamill had done nothing but bit TV parts before discovering the Force. Carrie Fisher boasted literally nothing but tenth or eleventh billing in Shampoo, some pointless comedy nobody’s watched in the past 35 years. Harrison Ford became Han Solo thanks to his carpentry skills, not anything he had done as a failed actor prior.
Hayden Christensen, meanwhile, was an accomplished and successful thespain, with many great roles on his resume before forever becoming the face of Annie.
Forever and ever.
Clearly, making an anonymous schmuck the star of your vehicle is the way to go, if you want to create something good at least. But what if Abrams’ choice ends up being the drizzling shits? No problem — Disney’s planning to make A LOT of these movies. They’ve got three main films in the pipeline, at least as many spinoffs, and eventually they’re just going to come out with it and say, “remember a long, long time ago, when Lucas said he might do twelve movies? Well, give us your money you will – Episodes X-XII are coming soon, motherfuckers.”
If one film fails because the star barely knows how to read, no biggie. Just kill off the character, move on to the next film, and try again. Disney and Abrams are playing with more house money than Vegas and Atlantic City combined, so why not roll the dice? Lucas did in 1977, and I’d say that worked out pretty well for everyone.
Still, there is ONE minor role I would gladly accept: a guy who slowly and methodically eviscerates, draws, and quarters a conscious and terrified Jar Jar Binks. Mesa salivating just thinking about it.