I love Star Wars and have since I was a child. It had very heavy spiritual overtones (though I would debate theologically the validity of “the Force”) and it was a group of people, seemingly disconnected, working together as a team to overcome a common foe. That’s as perfect a metaphor for the church as I’ve ever heard.
But then came the prequels. Over the top characters with almost comical accents that would be funny if they weren’t borderline racist. Weak writing and lots of action filler to make up for the lack of plot plagued the new movies. Perhaps highlighting the lowlight of the series was the moment in the Phantom Menace was the moment Anakin was discovered to almost have been born of the Force (midichlorians) without a father. That’s right. Lucas (heretofore known as “the Beard”) went virgin birth on us. Weaksauce considering we already knew Anakin’s fate. That’s all the proof needed that the Beard had lost his writing chops.
The series never recovered from that moment and movie in my opinion.
So I’ll admit it. I thought the Star Wars franchise should have been left alone after the original trilogy. Though I was ok with the first Ewok movie and the original Clone Wars cartoon shorts I’ve not really been a fan of anything else. When I heard Disney had bought Lucasfilm my reaction was that of most of my nerd family. “NOOOO!!!”
But as I’ve reflected on it the last couple of days here’s what gives me hope.
Disney is capable of telling good stories (see: Brave as a recent example) but it is also capable of producing Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3. With a franchise like Star Wars, Disney is sure to put their top guys on the case. One can hope for John Lasseter’s involvement.
I’ve been to Star Wars weekend at Disney’s Hollywood Studio and the amount of fan service done at the event is insane. There’s no need to expect to see Mickey as the star of the new series as some sort of Chewie/Han love child. They’ve got too much love and respect for the franchise to do that.
Disney didn’t jack too much with Marvel and the Avengers. Why? Because they know that the Marvel brand doesn’t need help. Get out of the way and let the characters do the heavy lifting. With a roster like that of Star Wars there’s no boost needed from a CG Pluto to guide our heroes along or wield a lightsaber alongside of the new cast of Jedi.
The new movie will have a fresh and new creative team working with an incredible roster of characters and a rich lore. They won’t take this lightly and chances are we will once again see a narrative rich in storytelling and action that compliments the story instead of drowning it.
So let’s all take deep breaths and remember the key thing: the Beard is no longer writing this thing. The one thing that guarantees is we won’t be asking “Are those guys supposed to be Asians? Is Jar Jar Jamaican?” because I’m fairly certain with one more Beard written movie we would see someone in black face. *Shudder*.