In recent news Tuesday, Disney bought out Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. The sole proprietor of the Lucas franchise, 68-year-old George Lucas passed the baton over to his co-president Kathleen Kennedy, making her the current president within the new Disney-Lucas collaboration. The cooperation agreement hands over franchises created by Lucas himself, including Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Disney now has the right to continue the Star Wars saga and have announced that Episode seven will be released in 2015. Disney also says that they plan to release Episodes eight and nine in the future.
Lucas says that he hopes that Star Wars will live beyond his generation. He is comfortable and confident having Kennedy at the helm. Despite his loss of control, Lucas has expressed that he is excited to transition from filmmaker to fan and critic.
Many have reacted to the news with either feelings of bitter disgust or feelings of overwhelming joy. It is hard to say that there is a middle ground. For those who hate the idea, I completely understand why. Your argument might make mention of the fact that this whole endeavor’s purpose is to make money and it is being pursued for no other reason. You may say that Star Wars could forever be tainted.
But, the Star Wars franchise, as it stands now, is one of the most classic and beloved galactic series in the history of film. So why mess with it, right? My opinion on the matter is that no matter how badly they may mess things up with the newer episodes, Episodes one through six cannot possibly be spoiled. The storyline of these episodes is over with by the conclusion of “Return of the Jedi.” Peace was restored to the galaxy with the fall of the Sith. Therefore, it would make sense for Episode seven to pick up after the age of Darth Vader. Perhaps we will follow the next generation after Luke, Han Solo or Leia. This would make the most sense chronologically. But with the ambiguity, who really knows where Disney will go with it. They may attempt to throw us all through a loop and pick up the story as a preface to “The Phantom Menace.” I doubt they would make Episode seven an installment between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope,” just because it would not make sense to fit three episodes plus, in between the two movies.
What I really think Disney will do is create a whole new, yet somehow parallel story, in a different section of the expansive Star Wars universe. There is no telling what time period would be appropriate for pulling something like this off, but I think it would be cool if this new storyline somehow crosses paths with the storyline we all know and love so well.
There are many unanswered questions in Star Wars. For instance, we never actually get to see how Obi-Wan gets to talk to Qui-Gon after Episode three. We never see Anakin in his early training days. We never see Chancellor Palpatine’s experimenting days with the Dark Side. We never see Darth Vader’s reign prior to Luke’s generation.
Catch my drift? There is a lot to still see. If you’re a critic, don’t watch. But you’ll miss out on exploring this new age of ideas and innovation. Demand has made this happen, not profit alone. I am open to giving this project a chance. Are you?