Today's purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney seemingly came out of nowhere, at least to me and apparently everyone I know. Like with anything, opinions seem to be all over the place. As so many thoughts were going through my head when this came out and more and more thoughts seem to pop up by the second, I thought I would get them all down in a blog post. If anything, I can look back on this in 2015, the year the next film is set to release, and see how much of this comes true.
The first opinion I have read a lot is that this will be a disaster as Disney will ruin the franchise, make it too much for kids, etc. People who have those thoughts have apparently not seen episodes I, II, and III. Was there ever a film series that took such a drastic change in tone as this series did going from the original trilogy to the new trilogy? The new series is totally for kids. Lucas has even come out and said as much. It's childish with childish jokes. Yes, C3PO and R2D2 were comic relief in the original trilogy, but not anywhere to the childish extent that the new trilogy has with terribly silly CGI characters. Not even the Ewoks were that bad. And why do people automatically think that because Disney is in charge, it will be childish. I don't know about you, but the general consensus is that the Avengers film was pretty damn good under the Disney brand. And was it childish? No. Someone actually posted that because it is Disney owned, we will probably see people like Justin Bieber and other kid friendly people star in the movie. C'mon, let's not be asinine here! Remember that little film called Pulp Fiction released by Miramax? Not very kid friendly, right? Who owned Miramax when the movie came out? Right, it was Disney.
Ok, so if Lucas is gone and can't make any more movies like the newest trilogy, then we can expect nothing but good things from Disney, right? Well, again, not so fast. Lucas is gone, but Kathleen Kennedy will be in charge of Lucasfilm now for Disney. Who is she? On the outside, she has been a very successful producer for some of the best (or funnest) films in recent times - E.T., the Indiana Jones films, Goonies, the Jurassic Park trilogy, Back to the Future trilogy, Schindler's List, Sixth Sense, and countless other hits. Not a bad track record, right? She's pretty successful and knows about being involved in great films. But just this Summer, she left her own production company to join Lucasfilm and become his second in command. Fast forward a few months and Lucas sells his company with the stipulation that Kennedy be the new head of Lucasfilm. It's just too convenient. I just have to believe that this has been in negotiations for a while and that she was brought on with the big picture in mind. So with her in charge, I just wonder how much influence Lucas will have in the decisions she will be making. Are we really free of the questionable decisions he has been making in recent years? I am not so sure. Sure, she could be completely independent of him, but I am skeptical just because of the timing of all of this.
Ok, so regardless of how we feel, a new trilogy IS coming. They have already announced that Episode VII will come out in 2015 (which Lucas has already said he has mapped out so being totally free of him appears to be out of the question). So the question has to be asked - what SHOULD the new trilogy be about? Should this be set way in the future after Return of the Jedi or should it be close enough to the ending of Jedi so that we can bring back Luke, Leia, and Han? Obviously, most people want to see these iconic characters back, and really, how awesome would that be to see these people we never though we see again? Yeah, BUT, the counterpoint is, what if they do come back and they absolutely ruin the characters? It could be a boost the series needs or it could leave a bad taste in our collective mouths. I would love to have the lasting memory of the characters be positive rather than bring them back for something embarrassing. Just know, Ford's wish was always for Han Solo to be killed off so if his character does return, prepare to watch one of the best characters off all time to lose his life. Not something I am sure I want to see. Or hey, maybe they will surprise us all and do it right? But just to be safe, perhaps way in the future is the way to go. Who knows? I'd be willing to bet money that we will see two certain droids in the film, for sure.
In the end, this is all happening and the next couple of years as more news comes out will be quite exciting. The recent trilogy, despite my thoughts on it in this post weren't the worst movies in the world. But then again, they weren't the best either. I enjoyed parts of them, but if they had never been made, if the only part of Star Wars lore that I had in my memory was the original trilogy, I wouldn't be at a loss. These new movies have a chance to further ruin the original trilogy's legacy or it has a chance to redeem the franchise. George Lucas created something that is very important to me and then proceeded to tarnish it because of questionable decisions. With him "somewhat" gone, what will happen next?