A Long Time Ago….
Guys, it’s happening. More Star Wars films are coming. In a historic move for not only fanboys but also the entertainment world at large, Disney bought Lucasfilm for 4 BILLION dollars. This means that Disney now owns Industrial Light and Magic, Skywalker Sound, Indiana Jones, and of course, Star Wars. But that’s not the only brain busting news released: in 2015, Episode 7 will be released.
Yes, you read that right, Star Wars. EPISODE. SEVEN.
It still hasn’t sunk in. Second (maybe) to Spider-Man and Batman, Star Wars is a HUGE piece of my life and childhood. I distinctly remember being sick at home when I was six years old, and renting the original on my mom’s recommendation. Darth Vader’s revelation to Luke in Empire Strikes Back is forever burned in my brain, probably more so because the rental store didn’t get their copy of Return Of The Jedi back for weeks, leaving me to agonize over the truth behind Vader’s words., and the fate of Han Solo. On my seventh birthday, I received the trilogy set on VHS, a well-worn set that still sits in my apartment to this day. My mom took me out of school to see Phantom Menace, during which I cried during the opening scrawl simply because of sheer excitement (I probably cried at the end too, but for different reasons). I remember skipping school to see Revenge Of The Sith the year I graduated high school, and the feeling the crazy, “what do I do now” feeling that can only come from the fact that not only was something I love over, but I was also graduating high school(which was also kind of important too, I guess).
What I’m trying to say is this: I love Star Wars. While I may bitch about the prequels and complain every time Lucas makes unnecessary changes to the original trilogy, I love the world he created. It brings me back to a simpler time; much like it does for everyone who remembers the originals and that build up to The Phantom Menace.
Lucas created this world, yes, but his walking away from it is the single best thing he could have done. It simply got too big for him to handle, and I believe that the pressure of delivering on the originals with the prequels proved to be too much, causing him to never want anything to do with the series ever again. Giving up his creative control opens up thousands of new avenues for this series that is too vast for just nine movies.
But where will it go? As part of the deal, Disney bought Lucas’ treatment for episodes 7, 8, and 9, but Lucas is no longer directing or writing anything Star Wars ever. It’s stated that he’ll be “creative consultant”, but even then he’s said he’ll be hands-off on the whole thing. With these treatments bought, there’s plenty of room for talented filmmakers who grew up with the series to have their crack at it (when was the last time you heard of a treatment not being rewritten?). The names that first spring to my mind? J. J. Abrams. Christopher Nolan. Duncan Jones. Neil Blomkamp. Del Toro. Tarantino. Joss f&*$ing WHEDON. All of these guys deserve a crack at this franchise (although I’d bet good money that Nolan would refuse the offer), and would do a phenomenal job playing in the world that Lucas built.
George Lucas has done the best thing he could have ever done with his creation: he walked away, and is letting other people breathe new life into it. Thank you sir. For the memories you’ve given me, the stories you’ve shown me, the times you’ve angered me, and most importantly, the characters you created.
Now let’s give some other people a shot.
May the Force be with you.