New 'Star Wars' Movie: 3 Reasons for Fans to Celebrate (Analysis)
UPDATED: A superfan's view of why Kathleen Kennedy's hands on the next set of adventures could turn the series away from the Dark Side.
Relax, Star Wars fans. Everything is going to be just fine. The news that Disney is buying Lucasfilm and, apparently, getting started on Star Wars Episodes VII, VII and IX should not send you into a catatonic stupor. In fact, it’s probably good news, and here are three reasons why:
1) Star Wars is better when George Lucas isn’t at the helm. It is worth noting that the best Force-related projects that have come down the pike in the past 20 years -- both Clone Wars TV series, Dark Horse’s comics, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video games, etc. -- have been steered by people other than Lucas. (And, though opinions might vary, no one older than 9 can say with a straight face that they loved Attack of the Clones --- or any of the prequel trilogy, for that matter.) Star Wars thrives on new blood -- and Lucas, over the years, has become an excellent financier who has fond memories of what it was like to be a filmmaker. Which is why ...
2) You were never going to get Episodes VII, VIII and IX onscreen any other way. As much as Lucas says he wanted to make them and always planned the Star Wars saga as a nine-part affair, it simply wasn’t in him to get back behind the camera and make three more movies. You saw it on his face and heard it in his voice while he was promoting Red Tails this year. Going back to Star Wars beat him up. If not for his decision to retire from Lucasfilm and Kathleen Kennedy's take over, this never would have happened. And the only reason Disney ponies up $4.05 billion to buy Lucasfilm is to make more Star Wars movies.
3) Disney isn't dumb. It's only the greatest shepherd of franchises Hollywood has ever seen. I defy you to find a preteen girl who hasn’t heard of Disney’s princesses. Or a preteen boy who’s never heard of Lightning McQueen. Or the Incredibles. Or Buzz Lightyear. It has been cultivating winners for 80 years -- there’s no reason to think that it’ll suddenly forget how to do it. And when Disney bought Marvel, we got The Avengers -- a distinctly non-Disney-fied Avengers. (Do you think if Disney had its paw-prints all over Joss Whedon’s titanic success he’d have been able to sneak the phrase “mewling quim” in there?)
Could these Lucas-less movies be bad? Anything’s possible -- hell, the Lucas-full prequel trilogy is nothing to get dewy-eyed over. But Kennedy knows what she’s doing when it comes to making movies, and Disney knows how to sell them -- and merchandise the hell out of them. There are plenty of ways this could be a lot worse: You remember what happened when McG took over the Terminator franchise, right?