Purchased, Star Wars has been
Normally, I reserve my Tuesdays for talking about upcoming movie trailers. This Tuesday, my world was derailed.
Batten down the hatches, hoard water and hug a wookie: they announced a seventh Star Wars movie will be out in 2015.
I like to think of myself as the most well-adjusted Star Wars fan alive. I don’t attend conventions in full Storm Trooper regalia. I’m not naming my first-born Han – I’m waiting until at least the second kid. I’ve never even read any of the roughly 1,890 books that have been written trying to capitalize on the phenomenon, and I read everything. I just like the movies, and I like them enough to drop just about anything I’m doing every time they come on. Even the stupid one where Liam Neeson has to play a sage, wizened Jedi next to a rejected Alice in Wonderland character named Jar-Jar Binks has a soft spot in my heart, if only because it makes me appreciate the other five movies even more.
And now Disney has bought the whole shebang for $4.05 billion (with a ‘b’ as in ‘Boy, does Disney have more money than God or what?’). And in the first act of what will almost certainly BURN THIS FRANCHISE TO THE GROUND, Disney has announced a third trilogy – movies seven, eight and nine chronologically – set to begin in 2015.
A few problems here…
- This series has reached a satisfying conclusion on two separate occasions now – in Return of the Jedi when Luke overthrew the Empire and in Revenge of the Sith when we all got to see how Darth Vader came to be. I’m not banking on them doing that a third time; there’s really no precedent for it.
- I love Disney more than is probably healthy for a 25-year old. That being said, the Star Wars franchise is not something I would consider to be in Disney’s wheelhouse. Every fan-boy out there may as well get ready now; this won’t be the Star Wars you eschewed female companionship, hygiene and extended exposure to the sun for.
- No George Lucas, except as a ‘consultant’. Could be great – he did give us the fourth Indiana Jones movie, after all. But a Star Wars without George Lucas? Do we even want to go there?
- Speaking of, are you ready to see Harrison Ford as a preposterously old Han Solo? Will Carrie Fisher gracefully slide into the role of Jabba the Hutt – she’s worked very hard at it over the last 20 years. And if you’ve somehow befriended Mark Hamill and can tell me how excited he was to get this news, please do. He’s been waiting on this announcement since 1986.
- In Tuesday’s announcement, Disney indicated that these movies could continue to be made ‘indefinitely’.
Star Wars is and has been one of, if not the, biggest cultural phenomenon’s of my lifetime. EVERYBODY knows about it, and can sprinkle casual Star Wars jargon into everyday language. Now Disney is going to turn it into a punch line; it’s going to be everywhere in Disney’s empire, every time a new movie, book, miniseries or TV series is green-lit; probably every three to six months. Yoda guest-judging Dancing With the Stars. Boba Fett doing stand-ups on SportsCenter. Nobody knows how to beat a good thing into the ground like Disney.
George Lucas has every right to sell his company to the highest bidder and Disney has every right to do whatever the hell they want with those rights. As the kids say these days, ‘Merica. But George Lucas has enough money, and God knows no one associated with Disney is begging for spare change. I don’t begrudge them the ability to make more of it; I just wish they’d leave my childhood memories alone.