This is by the pundit and occasional film credit James Lileks:
I watched the last Star Wars movie.
How could they have not plotted this out in advance?
Let us imagine sitting down with the people charged with writing the first installment of the new trilogy.
Producer: Okay, what have you got for us?
Writer One: We have a Luke Skywalker except she’s a she.
Great! What’s her backstory?
(writers look at each other) It’s a mystery. We really don’t know anything about her.
Producer: Great! So that’s something we can stretch over three movies. You do know where it goes, though?
(writers all nod)
Producer: Okay, who’s the bad guy?
Writer Two: Get this, it’s Darth Vader’s grandson, the estranged son of Han and Leia.
Producer: That’s awesome.
Writer Three: And he’s a little bit conflicted.
Producer: If there’s a Darth, who’s the emperor?
Uh - (Writer One thinks of how he’d really like a cigarette now) Smoke.
Writer Three: Snoke. He’s the leader of the Empire.
Producer: There’s an Empire?
Writer Two: Well yes and no, we’re working on that. It’s the remnants of the Empire.
Producer: Oh, so they’re now the Resistance - a small, splintered force attempting to come to power? That’s awesome. You know, everyone wondered what happened after the Empire fell. So you set it up with half an hour of character study, life in the newly peaceable systems, and then bang, a terrorist act that shatters everyone’s assumptions, and reveals a new enemy?
(Writers nod quickly, but don’t write it down)
Producer: I’m kidding you! I want fleets, uniforms, banners, English accents, all that ■■■■. How about another Death Star?
Writer One: Well, we have something along those lines. A Death Star is one thing. How about . . . a Death Planet?
Producer: What do you mean? A planet that just roams around eating other planets?
Writer Two: No, uh, it’s a big, big weapon on this one planet, and it manages to take out other planets. Our heroes have to take it out.
Producer: Great, that rhymes. Okay, so I see the first movie. Second one, yada yada, downbeat ending, all is lost, that stuff. But where does it end?
Writer one thinks: “My script has Luke as the hero, he had left public life when the restored Republic furloughed all that Force stuff, but took the opportunity to train Rey, but she was like him, headstrong, and it gets her killed in the middle of the second movie of the trilogy. She doesn’t come back as a Force Ghost either, what is that stuff? Luke has to destroy the Sith at its source, so he has to turn Kylo, and he does this at the end of the second movie, so we don’t have the third movie about some BS redemption arc, we get that out of the way. The third movie is actually about something no one ever expected, and Sith and Jedi and Republic and Empire forces have to combine to defeat it.”
Writer two thinks: “no one liked my idea about Yoda being the real dark Sith, man, that would have been a reveal.”
Writer three, out loud: We’re not sure. But hey, there’s lot of time to figure this out.
Producer: Okay, just make sure there’s lots of chasing and running and quips and cute robots. Here’s half a billion dollars. Good luck!
It did look nice, though.