Joss Whedon, and not Kenneth Branagh, should be the director of Star Wars Episode VII: The 2010s’ New Hope. There may be worries that he is too 90s or too Joss Whedony, but he definitely knows how to use archetypes of an MMORPG and thus Star Wars. He makes iconic cult pop culture- Buffy, Firefly. He is not an independent filmmaker of the 70s, being friends of some of the finest filmmakers of then and now, like Lucas was with Spielberg, Coppola and Scorsese but he was definitely a hit in the 2000s and did it against odds after the first Buffy movie with significantly less help from film school assistance. Whedon is the 2000s version of Ingmar Bergman as seen in shows such Buffy, and Angel using valley talk, but from an outsider’s perspective, and Chinese in Firefly. He shows he understands POV and the human condition. Unlike the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Whedon knows how to control between cap and dark, whereas some would have chosen the dark post Nolan or many would choose the campy resulting in a critical mess and that is coming from someone like me who does not like the accessible. Whedon had an idea of the Blade Runner-ish urban areas of the Firefly universe, like Lucas did when creating Star Wars and include little things like holographic paper or details of the ethnicities of the city people, maybe introducing some tasteful Muslims into Star Wars. Whedon could also bring new life into Star Wars as he did with Firefly with unknown mysterious character motivations or even entire entities such as that of the Alliance and unpredictable situations. However, contrast to Firefly, in Star Wars, the ultimate goal of Star Wars is not survival but victory, unless Whedon decides to change that for this trilogy.
Scarlet Johannson, Gina Torres, Morena Baccarin, Eliza Dishku, or Sarah Michelle Gellar as Princess Leia: When Joss Whedon was asked how he could write such great female characters, he responded, if you knew my mother, you would know. Whedon can provide sympathetic sensual inspirational leaders such as that of Buffy and the females of the Firefly crew. Johannson previously played a woman with a close (possibly more than) friend with Hawkeye. He can portray Leia not only as a princess, but a woman warrior, weapon specialist, lover, and woman.
In the introductory episode of Season Four, he establishes Buffy as a superhero, but a superhero with flaws. She is athletic and nice, but does not fit in with the rest of his class, gets lost, applies to the wrong classes, gets lost to her dorm, has trouble with homework, the loss of a freshman friend to seniors, adult sex etc.
Something is just beautiful about a female pal war buddy and husband to a pilot of a ship, as well as a kind hearted sympathetic Companion in the style of Kenji Mizoguchi’s great (and my opinion greatest) final work Street of Shame. Whedon could definitely do his fanfiction smorgasbord relationships and let fan chaos begin. Simple not emotionally dedicated love with emphasis instead on the action and fun.
Chris Evans as Luke Skywalker: The 50s baby boomer American idealistic rural farm boy only to find out the Shakespearean tragedy of his father as is the rest of his family. An old school conservative who likes to tinker, admires the military prospects of his friends. Despite being conservative, has an open mind of the teachings of the Force from the old sage.
Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey Jr or Nathan Fillion as Han Solo: Heck yes. They would play off each other so well and the fan loved Whedon dialogue would ensue. Fillion could play a urban black market pre-smuggling Han Solo or an anti-Empire Luke Skywalker, which is what I believe the space opera inspired Whedon and Fillion were going for. He can play up the Harrison Ford humor, swagger and mix of antihero camp with darkness living in urban poor neighborhood black markets. Renner and Downey could just be Renner and Downey.
Edward Norton, or Mark Ruffalo as Chewie, bringing a sense of class and intelligence to such a simple role.
Ron Glass or Anthony Head as Obi Wan Kenobi: We will know that he is the wise sage, but only speculate through fanfiction his backstory till the later episodes possibly.
Hugo Weaving or Mark Metcalf as the Emperor: He may not be the most three dimensional villain, but he will know how to play his role. Also, they’ll just be fun to watch.
Agent Coulson in place of Wedge: minor characters become not so minor. Nicolas Brendan, was worse off than Buffy, not even having athleticism in his favor. Some may have menial jobs. Some may be red shirts. Some will have no special abilities but magically live through everything, or maybe die when you least expect it.
WALL-E as R2-D2. I just had to as a fan.