Brad Bird might not be making Star Wars VII, but he's still got some great storytelling thoughts for the franchise.
Bird, who made his live-action bones with 2011's Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol after a long career in animation that gave us classics like The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, was one of the top names on fan wish lists when it came time to choose a director to carry on the Star Wars franchise. The job ended up going to J.J. Abrams, and Bird's now off building Disney's Tomorrowland with Damon Lindelof.
But Bird is still a Star Wars fan, and like all Star Wars fans he sometimes thinks of how he'd have done things differently if he'd been in George Lucas' shoes. According to comedian, actor and nerd lord Patton Oswalt, who worked with Bird on Pixar's Ratatouille, here's how the director would've changed the opening scenes of Return of the Jedi:
I was talking with [director] Brad Bird one time, and he said it's like the beginning of Return of the Jedi. Luke shows up and he's a badass. He said they should've opened it with Luke in the swamp saying to Yoda, "You said 'Don't go.' I said 'F#@& you, I'm gonna go help my friends.' I went and got my hand cut off and my friends are in even worse trouble because of what I did. I f#$@ed up everything." And then Yoda should have gone, "Now you're a Jedi. Now you're beyond the fear of failure. Now you're ready." That would have made it even cooler.
Oswalt told this story during an interview with Esquire's Scott Raab. The point was to illustrate how important failure is to becoming good at something, but it also wound up illustrating once again that Bird has a mind built for great storytelling. Maybe he'll be interested when it's time to make Episode VIII?