Disney Bought Star Wars… And There Are Feelings
So if you hadn’t heard by now, The Walt Disney Company bought Lucasfilm and therefore owns Star Wars. The internet basically exploded for the hour after the announcement. But now that the dust is slowly starting to settle down, everyone’s starting to ask a few more questions and wonder what this means for the Star Wars universe as a whole. If you are interested, our friends over at Tosche Station are doing a live podcast to discuss their take on things. However, I wanted to take a few minutes to share my own thoughts and feelings about this news.
Now that I’ve had time to think about it, I’ve determined that I have mixed feelings. Don’t get me wrong. I think this is a good thing but I have a few reservations in regards to some of the information I’ve heard but let’s start with the good things first.
Firstly, I have no doubt that Disney has nothing but respect for the Star Wars universe and I sincerely believe that George Lucas would not sell it to a company that did not love and respect it. Say what you may about the Prequel Trilogy or anything else he’s done but you cannot deny that the man actually cares about the franchise that he built. Furthermore, he is staying on as a creative consultant and will therefore be involved.
Secondly, this will also undoubtedly help bring in a whole new generation of Star Wars fans. While I think that kids would have become fans of the films regardless, this will certainly bring in more of them and help invigorate the fan base. (I’ll come clean and admit that I’m 22 and was a fan of the films from before the OT was re-released in the theatres so I might be a bit biased here.)
Third, I think we now have an opportunity to get more of a Star Wars theme park or a larger section at Disney World now. Come on: how cool would it be to have an entire park with Star Wars themed rides? Someone suggested the Kessel Run Roller Coaster. How cool would that be? We could have a Mos Eisley Cantina! A real Pod Racer ride and not just that arcade game! Thrawn’s Art Gallery! Okay, maybe that last one went a little bit crazy but think of the possibilities!
A lot of people have been bringing up Disney’s handling of Marvel as a reason to be positive about this new change and while I certainly won’t disagree with them about Marvel flourishing under Disney’s reign, I wanted to bring something up. Marvel and Star Wars function in two very different ways. On the one hand, we have Marvel which positively thrives on its multitude of universes. In other words, with a handful of exceptions that exist as promotional tie-ins, what happens in the comics does not effect the films nor the television shows. They all exist separate of each other. This is not the case for Star Wars. All of the stories across all of the mediums exist as part of the same story. Obviously, there have been issues over the years with continuity and with different “levels of canon” but it’s all part of the same universe. Therefore while no one can disagree that Marvel (and by extension Disney) did a masterful job with the MCU, I do not find it to be the same situation.
This brings me to my main apprehension and the giant elephant in the room: Episode VII. Part of the announcement today also came with the news that Episode VII will be released in 2015 and that there are plans to release a new film every two to three years afterwards. For me, this came completely out of left field and my gut reaction was ‘NO’. I’m slowly beginning to warm to the idea of another film but I have a TON of reservations about it that all basically boil down to it potentially erasing 20+ years of Expanded Universe canon. I’ve had my share of issues with some of these books but at the end of the day, I love them as a whole and it would absolutely break my heart to see all of that pushed out the door because as much as I hated books like Dark Nest and Crystal Star and plot lines from the latest two megaseries, I ultimately love the X-Wing books, the Thrawn trilogy, and everything that Matthew Stover contributed so much more. Some people have suggested the cafeteria approach where you take some good canon and leave behind others but I would personally have a hard time reconciling this in my mind.
My biggest fear about this Episode VII is not that it will be a bad film because I mostly trust Disney and Lucasfilm to do the right thing but that they will do a film that either adapts something like the Thrawn Trilogy and recasts the actors or that they have a trilogy that completely wipes the aforementioned canon off of the map. Other people have talked about a film that could take place in the current timeline which is approximately 40 years after the Original Trilogy but I honestly don’t see the actors agreeing to come back which brings us back to the issue of recasting. Any of these options would upset me a ridiculous amount. I’m trying to stay optimistic but it’s hard because of this overwhelming sense of paranoia.
I do, however, fully support a live action television show that could potentially be set in the post-Return of the Jedi era. Ideally, we would get an X-Wing sort of series that focuses on either Rogue or Wraith Squadron. Another idea I heard was the possibility of an animated television show or film series of the Thrawn Trilogy. I could also support this ESPECIALLY if they are able to get the main actors to come back and do a bit of voice acting. (I could see Mark Hamill readily agreeing, Harrison Ford not so much.)
As far as films go though, I think that my ideal film would be set in the Legacy comic era where all of the Original Trilogy are dead but you can still maintain stories about the Skywalker family. I have no idea how likely it is to happen but I would be okay with this.
In short, I think that this is overall a good thing but I will continue to be paranoid about the unknown entity that is Episode VII.