A new Star Wars trilogy is announced. The internet melts.
As the dust settles and our collective nerd minds re-gather after exploding all over our computer monitors, I think it’s worth the time to look into what, I believe, is a great moment for all Star Wars fans. Think about it, we get all the greatness of Star Wars without the limited talents of Mr Lucas. Of course, this is a purely financial move on Disney’s part, but what it leads to is a situation of endless potential, one that science fiction geeks should welcome with open arms.
So the prequels didn’t quite pan out, unfortunately failing at capturing the imagination and innovation of the original trilogy. Personally, I think Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith were adequate installments, but that could just be me. It’s just that fact that, under the complete control of George Lucas, it quickly became evident that he, in all honesty, is more of a creative producer than a writer/director. He’s got the ideas and the drive but struggles to translate that to the screen. And this is the exact reason why this news excites me.
No. George. Lucas.
New direction. New creative team. New Star Wars.
However, it does need to be said that the limitations the mythology placed on the prequels nullified something that could have had great potential, with the already known outcome ending up feeling more of an unwanted weight rather than a catalyst to explore. So, with it rumoured we’ll be getting an entirely new story (thank god! Could you just imagine the news websites with recasting rumours for Luke, Leia and Han?) we finally get the chance to venture off into different areas of the Star Wars universe that the strict storyline of Episodes I, II and III didn’t allow.
But mostly, and I think this is key, as it’s the main reason how the franchise stamped down its legacy back in 1977, just after the pre-scrolling text and the star destroyer entered the top of frame and just kept going – it has the chance to give us back some wonder. A real challenge, obviously, because we don’t live in the era where models and glue will satisfy an audience on a visual level. For the last 30 years, films have got bigger and bolder –including the prequels – and technology has advanced to the extent where ‘anything you can dream can be put to film’ and movie goers have evolved with that transition. Spaceships, aliens and Lightsabers aren’t new territory anymore. I’m not quite sure how, or even if this something Disney will be interested in, but it’s one hell of an opportunity to take something that’s an already confirmed financial juggernaut and try to make the audiences jaw drop.
And I don’t care what anyone says, we can’t use the prequels as a barometer on these future installments, not only because of Lucas’ lack of involvement but because, in some strange way, it doesn’t have the shadow of the IV, V and VI cascading over it like a disappointed parent. We get a new journey, a new hero, new villains, worlds, sidekicks, it has the chance to be fresh and new and, with a destiny that is not already set, surprise us – just like the original trilogy!
Ever the optimist, I have faith. Faith that what we’ll get in 2015 will be exciting and enchanting, that Disney will take the franchise and flourish, guiding it to places that will not only satisfy but leave us smacking our lips for more. However, of course, fanboys have lived through a lot. And how much potential this has to be great, it has the exact same amount of potential for Disney to well and truly shit the bed. I know this, I really do, so please don’t think I’m some deluded fanatic that can’t sit up and smell the roses, I just – with everything still in that time of beautiful possibility – choose to believe that this will be a great thing for both Star Wars’ legacy and its future.
May the Force be with you, Disney. Don’t fuck it up.