Patton Oswalt’s Star Wars VII
by Chris Miller
Patton Oswalt’s filibuster-cum-plot treatment of Star Wars VII is easily among the funniest things I’ve seen all year. And even though he adlibbed the whole spiel, and did what he did for comedic effect, once you get past the silliness of blurring Intellectual Property lines and merging universes, it’s actually got a number of good things going for it.
I’ve pulled some of my favorite lines from the filibuster, and I think you’ll appreciate some of the surprisingly nuanced interpretations they support, as well as how fun the blend of universes can be. (I’m not the least bit surprised he did it, in other words.)
1. Boba Fett survives and pulls himself out of the sarlacc pit. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t like Boba Fett and his Mandalorian armor? Keeping Boba Fett alive not only appeases the fanboys but also lets us add more tension to Han Solo’s arc–which we’ll get to.
2. Luke and the Rebel Alliance are at Tatooine when Thanos enters their universe. Sure, Mr. Oswalt probably did it so they could get an early action scene, but I think it’d be both believable and more interesting if Luke somehow sensed Thanos’ arrival and ill-will toward Ben Skywalker–who Thanos somehow knows has what he wants.
3. Thanos doesn’t yet have the Soul Gem. It was probably just left it out during the hurried adlibbing, but the Soul Gem wasn’t mentioned when he rattled off the Gems Thanos had along with his Infinity Gauntlet. This fact is what provides–to my mind–Thanos’ motivation: he believes that the Soul Gem has been brought to this reality. Personally, since we’re already crossing Intellectual Property lines and merging universes, I’d love to see that Leonard Nimoy’s Spock had found the Soul Gem, discerned its purpose, and entrusted it to Luke Skywalker’s son, Ben Skywalker. I figure, since the prequels were Anakin’s story, and the original trilogy Luke’s, this next trilogy should explore Ben Skywalker’s ability. And what better place to start than a Vulcan’s conviction that he’d be capable of resisting the Soul Gem’s murderous susurrations.
4. Tony Stark assembles Marvel’s A-game. I’m sure Tony Stark was chosen because we all less-than-secretly want to see Robert Downey Jr. in everything, but we also want to see the best of the best, from Spiderman to the Olympians. I’m not sold on Moon Knight or Daredevil, but since the filibuster was so glorious, I’ve chosen to forgive it. I hope to avoid an Expendables-type ensemble cast–where everyone is basically expendable to the plot–but I’d also be happy to see Hulk, Silver Surfer, and Deadpool. (I know it’s risky to mix Stark’s snark with the Merc’s mouth, but I think the blend of humor could turn out to be Marvelous, if you’ll forgive the punning.) Stark also tries to recruit Wolverine, but Wolverine is busy sorting through gun parts–most of which he says he pried out of cold dead hands. (We know he’ll show up.) I’d even like to see a villain or two on our side. Loki’s the obvious choice, but I could also see Mr. Sinister willing to help (because he’s more than a little curious to experiment on the denizens of a new reality). Magneto might not make the most sense from a character standpoint, but his ability to rip apart starships would be supremely useful.
5. Metallo-Chewbacca. I don’t think we need to save his re-entry for the post-credits tease. I think Han would insist that he be restored immediately, and in fact, while Luke was trying to use the force to track down Thanos, I think Han would sneak off with Metallo-Chewie.
6. Luke is meeting with a ring-less and raging Han Solo. Even grizzled and alone, Han hasn’t stopped being the best thing since sliced bread. He drops his best friend’s head in front of Luke’s feet and expects Luke to help out. Sure, that could mean that they’re just good friends, but maybe Han knows something more than the audience thinks. Maybe he knows about the darkness still inside Luke. Or maybe he knows what’s going on with Ben and has been protecting him. Who knows? Either way it would certainly add some much-needed depth to the story.
7. Lando and Leia embrace. Who would have guessed that Han Solo would lose Leia to Lando? I know I wouldn’t, but maybe being frozen in carbonite takes more of a toll on Han than we thought, and he drove Leia off. I’m thinking Lando would have a pretty decent role in the story: once again someone in power wants something from him, but instead of Vader wanting Luke, Thanos wants Luke’s son. I imagine that we’d see him acquiesce to Thanos’ demands, but I think he’d have learned his lesson from last time and told Han and Chewie immediately. (And that explains how Han and Chewie got involved from the get-go and how Chewie ended up body-less.)
8. Luke uses his father’s lightsaber. Oswalt suggests that he uses Darth Vader’s lightsaber to show how he struggled with but had redeemed the darkness within himself and in his father, but I’d also like to think that it meant he’d passed his own lightsaber on to his own son, Ben Skywalker, to show that the torch had been passed–or will by the end of this story.
What do you think? Anything you’d like to see? Or think that I missed? And for your enjoyment, here is a movie poster based off his ideas….