When you look back on the Star Wars prequels, there is one thing that doesn’t stand out as very obvious at first. There weren’t many introduced mysteries that we absolutely had to get the answers to. Instead, most of the mysteries were laid bare for us to see as if we were the ones writing the screenplays. This wasn’t true all the time, of course, but in those cases, the mysteries weren’t character driven enough, or sweeping enough to cover the trilogy.
Mystery Boxes are those mysteries that occur when you’re watching a movie or TV series brings up a bunch of questions that you feel the need to know the answers to. They happen very frequently at the beginning of the original Star Wars film, A New Hope.
First, some background on the Expanded Universe
Since 1991′s release of Heir to the Empire, new Star Wars stories have been released pretty consistently. Books that cover, so far, about 44 years of adventures after the Battle of Yavin (which is the battle that takes place in A New Hope). This territory includes many adventures with the primary cast from the trilogy, as well as their children, the Empire, and changes to the known universe. A lot of great adventures that land all over the timeline. If a character dies in a particular book, any book that happens later on cannot have that character suddenly living as if nothing has happened. What people that don’t know, or understand, that haven’t looked into the Expanded Universe, is that it all happens on the same timeline. This means that a book that happens on the timeline between two previously written books can’t change things so much that the following story doesn’t make sense, so that there’s a logical progression.
Now, with new Star Wars sequels coming to film, how does that effect the Expanded Universe?
The sequel to 2011′s The Muppets, called Muppets…Again! (aka The Muppets 2) has begun production in London. It will be in theaters on March 21, 2014. The Muppets was one of my favorite movies of 2011, so I’m very excited for this one, even though I’m not a very big fan of the human cast members this time around.
It finds the Muppet repertory company enjoying a triumphant world tour, only to become tangled up with a criminal mastermind named Constantine, who is out to steal an enormous diamond—and who happens to be a dead ringer for Kermit.
“I always loved those classic jewel-heist capers from the ’60s and ’70s, so I was very keen to do a movie that had elements of that [genre] featuring the Muppets and comedy and songs,” says returning director James Bobin, who co-wrote the script with Nicholas Stoller.
J.J. Abrams has a very good understanding of what made the very first Star Wars film, A New Hope, work. Right from the start, that film had mystery after mystery, and took you on a ride. It answered some questions while raising more.
Watch this video from a Ted conference a few years ago, called The Mystery Box. It’ll give you a very good idea of what drives the stories that Abrams tells, and what’s behind the choices he makes. In it, you’ll also see a scene that he considers to be one of the greatest scenes of all time, from the movie Jaws. And it’s not a scene that people normally think of when they think about that movie.
J.J. Abrams is directing Star Wars: Episode VII
What many considered to be an impossible situation has actually happened. J.J. Abrams has quickly become one of my favorite directors, having created some of my favorite TV series, and actually did the impossible: got me to watch a Star Trek film based on his name alone. And I’ll be watching my second Star Trek film with his second film in the series: Star Trek Into Darkness. I have heard that he’s signed on for three Star Trek films, so I’m pretty sure that after he completes work on Episode VII, he’ll likely meet up with his writing team to start scripting and ultimately direct Star Trek III.