I could speculate. I probably will before this post is over.
The mind reels, recoils, quivers in fear, needs fresh underwear.
I did not expect Disney to go for Lucasfilm, but I do have to say that I’m not surprised Lucas was willing to part with the company. In his sixties, he’s become a bit … eccentric. And it could be good for us.
The original trilogy has a nice formula to it. The first film introduces the setting and the characters, the second puts them in the worst possible situation, the third details how they get out of that situation. I think Lucas described it that way at some point, in some documentary … jeez, I’ve seen so many.
So consider then the possibility that the entire series, outside of the actual continuity of the progressive storyline, could follow that same formula.
The Original Trilogy – Lucas introduces to the universe, the characters, the mythology.
Prequel Trilogy – Lucas puts the series in the worst possible situation.
The New films – Someone other than Lucas gets it out of that situation.
Just remember, Return of the Jedi had Ewoks … victory with a price.
Disney gets a lot of credit for what they did with Pixar and Marvel, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not perfect. Phase One was a bold move, but you cannot carve a chunk out of Earth-616 to make your own and not expect painful casualties. The Marvel continuity is EPIC, and the big screen is not big enough – its going to lose steam. I fear for Ant-Man. I bitched because he didn’t even get a mention, a cameo, but Ant-Man alone? I think that’s pushing it – the Ant-Men don’t stand well alone. The Marvel Universe has no leading man, no leading team. I think the opportunity to capture the epic scale of the Marvel continuity would have been to make it a serial, hour-long episode format for television – give yourself room to include the X-Men, Spider-Man, the FF, the Inhumans, the entire multiverse. That’s why I’m reading Marvel from FF#1 – it’s beyond epic. See this.
I think a serial format is the opportunity that’s going to be missed with Star Wars as well.
Star Wars is no longer just the six films, a handful of heroes, and a few planets. There’s the entire Expanded Universe to consider, an Expanded Universe, I might add, that no one has officially denied as canon. Star Wars is epic with content when previously it was not. I think that because of its size and potential, three more blockbuster movies are just too risky.
The separation between the home theater and the megaplex gets smaller by the minute, and there are some fantastic franchises operating solely on the small screen – franchises that make the blockbuster seem like Ishtar the Animated Series. Entertainment is changing, and I feel like Disney has a philosophy ill-suited to the epic universe. They’ll stretch it thin to hit a wider audience, and then they’ll alienate the core fan base. It’s all or nothing with a film that big, with that much expectation.
Lucasfilm had a great idea in turning the live-action Star Wars franchise to the serial format, and it seems like they’ve lost out. Disney will go big with fences. At least with the series, you can adapt as the audience demands. Look at the success of The Clone Wars. Look at the success of any sci-fi series in the last two decades.
They’ve got one shot … or probably three. And to me, that’s not epic enough to get the live-action Star Wars out of the grips of Lucas’s Empire.
I wasn’t around for A New Hope. I was a baby in the theater when Empire came out, I remember getting a Bib Fortuna action figure for my birthday right before going to see Return of the Jedi. I worked in a movie theater and built Phantom Menace and previewed it three days before release. Those were big moments in my geeky little life. I don’t remember where I was when I first saw Episodes 2 and 3. It’s not that I’m older, it’s that I’ve seen or read so much better.
I still enjoyed the prequels. They were thin, but they delivered on the important setups for IV through VI. I love The Clone Wars. I really hope it all works out, and I’m sure I’ll be entertained regardless.
But … I see visions of dark things, things perhaps to come, things not yet set in motion, but possible.
Through all this time, something has always bugged me about the future of Star Wars, and I have one great fear …
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …
The new film has to be a fair temporal distance from the fall of the Empire. Please, no matter what direction this next film(s) takes, for the love of all that is beautiful and wondrous in this universe, do not try and connect Star Wars to our present universe … ever. Thanks.