So we got some pretty random, unexpected, and potentially upsetting news yesterday! With very little warning, Disney has bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. The Mouse House is edging toward world domination, having acquired Marvel in 2009 and Pixar in 2006. Having handed over the reins to Kathleen Kennedy, George Lucas released this statement:
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.
“I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”
But perhaps the most jarring development is that Disney intends to release a new Star Wars movie every 2-3 years… which means that Star Wars: Episode VII is slated to come out in 2015. I believe that my knee-jerk reaction was “…the fuck?!”, and the Facebook thread that resulted on my wall wasn’t much more eloquent than that. However, I woke up with a clearer head and decided to tackle several questions bothering me, and maybe you, too.
1. Will it feel weird to see the Disney logo associated with sci-fi? Yes, probably for a while. But hopefully it will be subtle, and the only time it’s obvious are on all the joking images we’ve already seen circulated online.
2. Will George Lucas continue to direct? With the original three prequels doing so badly that people often crack jokes about them never having been made in the first place, I can see fans being wary about Lucas taking the helm yet again. Especially since he has a tendency to tinker with his creations and piss a lot of people off. (Han shot first. No argument.) But in this video below, Lucas makes it clear that just because he’s not up for creating a whole new trilogy doesn’t mean he won’t welcome a successor. Vulture suggested David Fincher as a candidate, which I really like!
3. What will the new trilogy be about? This one’s a doozy! Personally, I’m gunning for Episodes VII, VIII, and IX to center on Han and Leia’s twins Jacen and Jaina Solo, plus their poor younger brother (and Darth Vader’s namesake) Anakin.
Of course, I’m biased because I grew up reading the Young Jedi Knights and New Jedi Order series, but I loved what they did with the Expanded Universe. It’d be the perfect opportunity to incorporate up-and-coming young actors — is it crazy that Emma Stone or Lyndsy Fonseca just popped into my mind to play Jaina? — without fans feeling like existing characters were recast. Plus, it’d be cathartic for all of us who sat through Hayden Christensen‘s awful performance as Anakin Skywalker to see a more nuanced take on Anakin Solo.
However, people have also suggested Timothy Zahn‘s Thrawn trilogy, which introduced characters like fan favorite Mara Jade. Of course, since it’s set shortly after Return of the Jedi, they would need to recast Han, Luke, and Leia. Still, I’d prefer some continuity as opposed to a story set in the same universe but with completely unrelated characters.
4. Will the original stars come back? Only in cameo form, I hope. Like when Carrie Fisher popped into Fanboys, which was brilliant but not overdone.
5. Could it actually be good? Now that I’ve had twenty-four hours to process this, I have to remind myself that I didn’t give a crap about Marvel movies before The Avengers came out. And that I have secretly always hoped that 2005 wasn’t the last time I would watch a new set of credits crawl up a movie theater screen. And that if people are gonna play around in George Lucas’ universe, they might as well go all out, right?
Where are you at—still horrified, or slowly warming to the idea?
Photo: TheForce.net Facebook page