There’s a report on Pajiba that gives Arrested Development fans some insight into the new season that debuts on Netflix this spring. From the article:
“Arrested Development” is not exactly a full reunion of the cast, as each episode will focus on only one character. Of the 14 episodes, only Jason Bateman will appear in all of them, although others may appear in the periphery of episodes. We won’t see the entire cast together until the final episode, which will lead to a more extended full cast reunion in the Arrested Development movie, if that happens.
This certainly explains how Mitch Hurwitz and the ‘Arrested’ braintrust were able to pull off resurrecting a show with such a huge cast, most of which had gone their separate ways in film and television projects. One of the hangups Hurwitz consistently cited when AD movie rumors surfaced over the years was that it would be impossible to wrangle all of the cast members at one time due to scheduling conflicts.
What a genius workaround.
While scenes with multiple Bluths interacting were certainly the main course of the ‘Development’ dinner party, I could list tons of scenes and story arcs featuring only one or two main characters that carried the show at points in its original run. Showcasing them each separately while building to a collective crescendo is a proven and powerful storytelling tool (see: The Avengers).
So why should Disney take cues from Arrested Development?
Star Wars, at its core, is a story about the Skywalkers. Episodes IV-VI told the story in full. We all thought we wanted more, but once we got it it became evident that we could have lived without it. Now we’re all sure we want Episodes VII-IX, but are we going to like what we get?
As with the Bluths, it’s just as impossible to assemble the original Star Wars cast of characters that we loved. Even if it could be pulled off, would they captivate us like they did in their prime? Furthermore, is there a worthwhile story to be told by those characters together?
Disney should take the Arrested Development/Avengers approach. Create stories based around one (or more) characters at a time and see where it goes. I’ve said this before: creating a Darth Vader standalone film chronicling his adventures during the Jedi Purge (or any other time frame during his life) could easily become the highest grossing film of all time, and it doesn’t mess with his legacy.
No, Buster- I am your father!
Marvel made films about individual comic book characters. The standalone films were so successful that it warranted a team-up picture featuring all of them together. If the upcoming season featuring standalone Arrested Development characters warrants it, they will make an Arrested Development movie featuring all of the Bluths together again for one grand hilarious adventure.
So, hey Disney:
Write a “Boba Fett: Bounty Hunter” story.
Write a story about the young Solo/Skywalker offspring.
Do a Gangster Squad-type film about a band of rogues taking down a Hutt empire.
If they all work (which if done right, they will) it will naturally lead into Episode VII or something else entirely. It has already been said that future SW films will not be based on any current source material.
It was proven through Episodes I-III that no Star Wars characters sell lunchboxes, action figures and Halloween costumes like those of the original trilogy. Disney would be wise to put those characters to work for them, but in an organic way that doesn’t tarnish the characters’ collective legacy.
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