I was born in 1974. When Star Wars first came to theaters, I was still a little bitty girl in Venezuela, so my family generally did not enjoy American films in Venezuela when they were first released. By 1981, my family had moved to South Florida, and the world of cinema opened up to us. No one dove into it more than my father. He really loved to read fiction and see fictional stories on the screen. On May 25th, 1983, my father took me to see Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi in the movie theaters. My experience with that franchise was solidified by the long lines of people wrapped around the theater and the many of them who wore elaborate (at least to me as an 8-year-old girl) costumes. My love affair with Star Wars started in that very instance, and yes, I wanted to be Princess Leia!
Throughout the film, my father’s expressions and emotions as I sat next to him really got to me even as a little girl. You see, my parents had suffered an unimaginable loss with my brothers (in a tragic car accident) just 3 years prior, and the story of Darth Vader sacrificing himself for Luke, his son, resonated with my father. I didn’t understand the emotions at such a young age, but later in life, I got it. And it always takes me back when I rewatch these films to that very poignant moment in my life. Star Wars, in many ways, resonates with millions of people because the story is so utterly relatable to so many. It surfaces emotions and helps to work through those emotions, be it good or bad emotions. It’s almost like therapy! Needless to say, my father then bought the first two movies, and we watched them on VHS at home with microwave popcorn.
When the prequels came out in May of 1999, my father had already passed. So the movies took on a new meaning for me. I fell in love with the character of Darth Vader as a little girl and beyond, and now we were being presented with the life story of this character. It was BRILLIANT! Sure, there were problems with the execution of the movies, but the story was magnificent and so vividly told. I was an instant fan! And then there was the backlash from fans around the prequel films, and I couldn’t understand it! I was lost. I often asked, “Did these people watch the same movie?” I couldn’t believe it. After a time, fans came on board with the prequels, and nowadays, the films have even grown on some. That’s just what Star Wars does!
When Disney purchased LucasFilm, LTD, I had some reservations about that, but I understood it. From George Lucas’ point of view, he made stories for CHILDREN, and it made sense to sell the properties to a company that primarily made stories for CHILDREN. So, I was willing to give Disney the benefit of the doubt. Then came Rogue One, and I was floored! What a great movie! I was excited. I loved the idea of telling the story of how we came to get the plans that eventually broke apart the Death Star in A New Hope. The actors were great, the story was great. YES!!! Bring it on, I said. And then we got Solo. I didn’t quite like it. I thought, “Hmmm, I can leave it.” And I expected the story to be good; it was indeed about one of my favorite characters, Han Solo! HELLOOOOO Harrison Ford…. the man that basically turned me into an archaeologist? What’s not to love? Really. But yeah, I was disappointed with that one. But I still don’t HATE IT, and I certainly didn’t rule Disney out.
Queue the announcement of Episode VII, The Force Awakens. Oh… my… god! The fandom lost their collective shit. No joke! I did too. I was soooo excited. I couldn’t wait. And when I went to the theaters to see it, once again, my father’s spirit was with me right there in the theater decades after his passing; I was reduced to tears. I LOVED IT! I immediately thought that Rey was the long-lost daughter of Luke Skywalker, making her Kylo Ren’s cousin. That was my original thought as I was watching the movie in the theater. BUT, as the movie went on, I realized that no, Rey would end up being the love interest for Kylo Ren and the bridge for him to return to the Light. The movie for me was NOT about Rey; it was about Kylo. And I fell in love with Kylo Ren, much like I had with Darth Vader. And I was left with the hope that Luke Skywalker would go and reunite with his sister Leia, team up with Rey to bring back Ben Solo.
After the release of Episode VIII, The Last Jedi, like a lot of our fans, I was PISSED! I was like, what the ever fuck did they do with MY LUKE!?!?!? Right from the first scene, I was PISSED… when he chucked that legacy lightsaber down the mountain… I looked at my husband, and I said, “That’s not Luke!” And I was just out… and then they introduced the love story, and yes, people can call me a “Reylo” fan every day of the week and three times on Sunday, but IT WAS A LOVE STORY! We watched Rey change, grow, and fall in love with the MOST unlovable character in the film! And I remembered that Star Wars was indeed a film about FAMILY, George Lucas said that himself. And thus, TLJ was partially redeemed in my eyes because Rey and Ben saved it for me! When we see Ben Solo SAVED Rey from Snoke by killing the man that had held him under his thumb for DECADES, I knew that man was in love. It was like he was saying, “Torture me, abuse me, enslave me all you want, but you touch her, and I’ll kill you.” And men only do that for a woman they love. Go ahead and tell me I am wrong; I’ll wait. BUT I left the theater going, “Yay, I was right about Rey and Ben,” and at the same time in the same sentence, “BUT WHAT THE FUCK is this shit with Luke?!?!” Most divisive film EVER in Star Wars, for sure! And our fandom was irreparably broken. They couldn’t take the good parts of the film with the bad. The treatment of Luke Skywalker turned everyone against Disney. PERIOD.
When Episode IX, The Rise of Skywalker, came out, I wasn’t feeling it. I prayed they somehow reversed (or retconned) the whole Luke story, but yeah… I knew that wasn’t going to happen. BUT what we got was almost a complete reversal of EVERYTHING set up in TLJ, which is STUPID… seriously! No, own the mistake and WRITE your way out of it as real artists do. We didn’t get that. And they didn’t really retcon the Luke thing either OR explain it! I needed to know why Luke just exiled himself. It was not enough that he failed at his quest to turn Ben Solo into a Jedi and ended up almost killing him (which come on… bro!). I was half expecting him to tell us about Mara Jade and his son (from Legends) and that maybe Snoke and Kylo Ren ended up killing them or something DRASTIC, but noooo…. all this CONTENT in EU/Legends, and you couldn’t be bothered? Bro. PISSED doesn’t even cover it! AND there was little to no development of the only part I liked about TLJ was Rey bringing Ben Solo back and the love story between them. I would have liked to see that be MORE defined and definitive. BUT noooo, J. J. Abrams didn’t go with it, probably because Kathleen Kennedy didn’t want to have Ben Solo take the light… but bro… bro… Adam Driver already made Kylo Ren/Ben Solo the LIGHT of these films. Should have let him flow with it. And a much more interesting story would have been if Ben Solo LIVED and then had to atone for all his sins — we’ve never seen that in film. Don’t just rinse and repeat ROTJ!!! AND DON’T GET ME STARTED ABOUT PALPATINE! Oh my god… I mean, I LOVED Rey “nobody,” that was a powerful message, and kudos (at least for that) to Rian Johnson for crafting that message. But noooo, let’s make her a Palpatine and completely DISREGARD ANAKIN’S SACRIFICE IN ROTJ BY BRINGING BACK PALPATINE! Like… bro!
But here’s the bottom line folks, ALL 9 of these movies are Star Wars movies. And you can like and dislike them all, but they are Star Wars. Why can’t you all take the good parts that you like and be OKAY with that? Why is it that the fandom has to be soooo divisive and either LOVE it or HATE it? That’s so black and white and Star Wars, in general, teaches us that there are GRAYS in everything we do. We, as a fandom, aren’t taking the lessons of George Lucas here. BE IN THE GRAY! FIND THE BALANCE!
That brings me to this project. I am a writer and a researcher by trade, I mean, I was originally an archaeologist (thanks, Harrison!), and I love to tell good stories. I have written many things in my life, non-fiction mostly around Information Technology (which I do now), several short fictional stories, video game characters, and quest development. I have also been writing my autobiography “Gods Don’t Die” for a while. And on this site, you can see my poetry. So writing is natural to me. In the middle of 2020, I got an extraordinary invitation because I have written so much for video games (posted on my TLP Gaming sites) to develop an idea for a trilogy film treatment centered around Star Wars post-TROS. I signed an NDA, was given access to many resources, and was provided a script consultant to work with me. One hundred people were invited throughout the industry, of diverse backgrounds, and would choose 10 of us to write the scripts for their idea. Of that 1 would be chosen to be optioned and quite possibly developed.
And I set out to write a trilogy film treatment around a NEW trilogy of Star Wars films set after the events of The Rise of Skywalker, with a bunch of checklist items that the studio gave us that I cannot talk about. BUT I did submit my idea, and they walked us through how to get our treatments copyrighted by the US Government in the Copyright Office, and the studio APPROVED my copyright request. That means if they ever like my idea enough, they can come to me and option it. In July 2021, the studio let me know that I was NOT selected to move on actually to submit scripts, which is OKAY. But they were so impressed with my story and offered me an internship with their creative writing program. I was NOT able to take it, because as you guys know from my site here, I am also the sole breadwinner for my family. I couldn’t just take off for 10 weeks to go “be a writing assistant.” BUT I am not the type of person that takes a “NO” and accepts it. I am the type of woman that takes a “NO” and then asks what’s next?
I know I am new to all of it, so I wanted to teach myself to be a “proper” screenwriter (just another form of artistic expression that couples with my love of film), and I am a die-hard fan of this franchise, so why not? So, I am in the middle of actually writing the three scripts for my movie idea. AND I will be turning them into a fan film — a graphical narration because making movies is very expensive. Let the fans enjoy what could be if you take some time and plan out a GOOD COHESIVE story, even if it comes from what some fans call a “dumpster fire” of a trilogy that the sequels are touted to be. I am applying here the same thing I said about JJ Abrams writing himself out of the pickle. WE CAN WRITE OURSELVES OUT OF THE DUMPSTER FIRE! There are good characters here, and they just needed to be utilized better. That’s what this project is about, and I hope you all join me to make it a reality!
I can’t wait to get started!
Maria (aka Danitsia)
Diamond Elite – Subscription
Get access to exclusive content, a chance to participate in our monthly live chat, YouTube premium content, and special access on our Discord server, which includes special documents and templates to help you get your own filmmaking career started.