(the Dark Side are they)
…OK. I’m out the other side after hering the shocking news of the day.
For those of you who don’t like to follow links, Disney just bought Lucasfilms for $4+ Billion (with a “B”). The news crashed on top of the world at lunchtime today like Hurricane Catrina (too soon for Hurricane Sandy jokes). Included in the press-release was word that the next Star Wars movie (Episode 7) is scheduled for release in 2015, with Episode 8 and 9 to follow shortly there after. The nerd-universe was STUNNED.
I must admit at first I didn’t know how to get my head around the news. Star Wars fans (fanatics) have been aware on one level or another for years that this day was coming. Lucas has officially announced his retirement from filmmaking, and categorically announced he is done making Star Wars movies. What then is left for the franchise? Death… or evolution.
Truth told, Lucas has run out of steam over the past decade. For those of us heavily invested in its heyday, the videogames, movies and everything else of yesteryear were head-and-shoulders above the stuff that’s been put out in recent memory. Disney and Lucas have been a natural match for decades, what with Star Tours and Indiana Jones. So no surprise there.
As it was I happened to be flipping through Entertainment Weekly this morning reading about the new Bond film “Skyfall,” which people are touting as (no kidding) the best Bond flick ever. Here we have a franchise that’s still alive and vibrant after 50 years. Generations have a relationship with James Bond. Really, why can’t it be the same for Star Wars.
Sure, future installments won’t have that unique Lucas-ness. Sure, John Williams won’t be around forever to score the films (he’ll be 81 in January). Different directors, composers and leading men have come and gone with the Bond franchise too. But it still manages to preserve that essential Bond-ness, while continuing to evolve over the years.
One thing is for sure: with Disney now making the decisions for Star Wars, there’s no end in sight for new Star Wars material. More toys. More games…. and more movies. Movies that my children are going to be excited to see. Movies that I’m going to be excited to see with them. Sure, there are going to be the equivelant of “The Timothy Dalton Years” as Star Wars lives on. But there will also be a fair share of “Daniel Craig” years too. The point is, Star Wars will live on.
That can’t be a bad thing.
addendum: Here’s the YouTube video announcement that I just tripped over: