Here’s the thing.
In my opinion, Force Awakens doesn’t do right by Luke, Han and Leia and takes away their happy ending.
When those of us who feel that way post comments to that effect, we have the inevitable comments…
We’re taking away people’s fun and gatekeeping. We don’t want conflict. We’re being unrealistic, because OF COURSE Luke would go be a hermit and Han and Leia wouldn’t last and a Skywalker would turn dark. OF COURSE. What were you expecting? We need to have conflict for the new sequel series, so our shiny new heroes can “fix their parents’ mistakes.”
Well, no, it didn’t have to be that way. There’s no reason it had to be that way.
The movie has to have conflict, yes, we all know that. So sure, bring on the First Order and Snoke.
But don’t destroy Luke, Han and Leia to get there.
Because you see those actors at the top of the post? We wanted to see them together. We were expecting something like the lovely cover art from Crucible that is the second picture.
You could have had your First Order and your Snoke. Hell, your Kylo Ren. Just don’t make him BE Ben Solo, - if you want, make him have KILLED Ben Solo and the rest of Luke’s Jedi. I’m sure we’d have the same swooning fans for him, considering how Hux has turned from 8 seconds to a superstar.
Want to have them at opposite ends of the galaxy? Easy. Luke is looking for new Jedi - he’s rallying his old grads, looking for new talent to stop the First Order, trying to discover why it all went wrong. Leia is on the outs with the New Republic because they’ve betrayed everything she fought for - and she’s started the Resistance. Han and Chewie are out in the galaxy, finding intel, trying to find Jedi for Luke, working with Lando (hey, remember him???) to find out the underworld sources of the First Order’s funding and turn it to their side.
Lor San Tekka, Luke’s friend, has information vital to the survival…wait, whatever the McGuffin is. Where the First Jedi Temple is because it has something special and Luke’s been looking for it, he can’t find Luke, so he’ll send it to his sister. The First Order lands, Finn defects and meets Poe and BB-8 rolls into the desert and meets Rey. Han and Chewie in the Falcon come to find out what happened to Poe, the First Order arrives and hey, there’s Rey and Finn, jumping into the first ship they see, along with the smugglers.
Oh, look, there’s your conflict.
They get Luke back DURING the movie. They have to find him before the First Order does.
At the end, we see these three old warriors, who have fought and sacrificed so much, having to fight one more battle TOGETHER. These three warriors we last saw young and happy, now old and worn but…
Here’s the CRUCIAL bit.
They’re still the same team of legend. Han and Leia are still together, Luke is still with them. The Princess (and yes, damnit, THE PRINCESS), the Jedi Master, and the General, together and fighting because one more time, the galaxy needs them. They’ll rally the new troops - the scavenger girl, the Stormtrooper who defected, the dashing pilot - to stop the new horror in the galaxy.
And if they go down in the attempt? They go down together. Their characters aren’t ripped apart - their galaxy might have been, they might have been unable to stop the rise of the First Order, betrayed by the very government they helped put together, but their honor, their friendship, their love for each other isn’t tossed into a heap because it’s “real and relatable.”
How isn’t constant struggle “relatable,” that they can’t stop fighting, they won’t stop fighting? How is it more real to rip them apart than keep them together? Why is anyone happy with that explanation? When every GIF set I see of those three coming by my dash is them smiling and hugging each other? When they’ve risked their lives for each other over and over in the OT. Suddenly it’s “real” that they’ll just tear apart - that Luke will hide away and not tell Han and Leia where he’s gone? That Han and Leia would raise a dark lord child? That none of them would tell their child of his parentage? After they were lied to for years? That’s real and relatable? No.
Look at that top picture again. You’ve got forty more years of acting, writing and knowing each other to play with. You know how rare that is? What writer wouldn’t salivate at the prospect of getting to play with one of the iconic sets of characters in all of cinema? Write for three actors who can ACT? What director wouldn’t want to shoot the scene of them reuniting?
People had been waiting 32 years to see Luke, Han and Leia together again!
Yeah, I know the names of those writers and director.
But I will NEVER understand why.