Monday, November 26, 2012

"It is the future you see:" Some speculation about Disney buying Lucasfilm

We will never get this again, but that's okay, because we already got it once
Ever since the news came out that Disney bought Lucasfilm, the fan reaction has been astonishing. Reactions have run between "NOOOOOOO" and wild optimism, with fans on both sides digging up every picture of a Disney character dressed as a Star Wars character ever created for Star Wars Days at Disneyland. Countless fans have said they hope the sequels will deal with the Thrawn Trilogy, with just as many fans hurriedly jumping on them to point out how unlikely that is. And, yes, Leia is now a Disney princess, and both the Death Star and the binary sunset on Tatooine can be Photoshopped to add Mickey ears.

Now that I've had time to think about it, I will say: I've gone from cautiously optimistic without getting my hopes up to fully optimistic, with hopes raised high. I'll give a few quick reasons why.

Lucas won't be directly involved. He's on board as a "creative consultant," which will probably mean that he comes up with the general story (something he's good at) and hand it off to other people. Then those people will work on it, show him what they've done, he'll nod, and they'll get back to work.

The return of, or possibly cameos by, the original cast. Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford have all said that they are open to returning to the sequel trilogy. At first, it sounded like they might be playing their original characters, but the latest rumors speculate the the new movies will be taking place too close to the original trilogy's timeline to make this feasible, so their roles may instead be cameos as other characters. Incidentally, I have found it amusing that no news source ever mentions Ford's possible involvement without smugly pointing out that Ford had originally hoped Han Solo would be killed off in the third movie.

Talented writers. Episode VII will be written by Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3). Episodes VIII and IX will be written by Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Simon Kinberg.

An interesting era. The time after Return of the Jedi is full of great opportunities for stories: the fight against the Imperial Remnant, Luke's Jedi academy on Yavin, and the struggles of the New Republic have already yielded interesting stories in the EU, and now the movies can draw on these elements, too.

I know speculation can be dangerous. As Yoda says, "Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future." And not all of the news is rosy. Apparently, Disney isn't interested in PC gaming, so the chance of a new Battlefront game seems pretty remote. Rick McCallum also left LucasFilm after Disney bought them, so there's less chance of the long-awaited, live-action TV series ever getting made.

Still, I remain optimistic about the future of Star Wars, and I'm already looking forward to seeing what else the franchise holds!

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