Friday, May 2, 2008

A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far In The Future...


You know, as we get closer to the release of the new Indiana Jones film, I'm reminded of a talk George Lucas had where he was asked about the possibility of more Star Wars films. He stated then and many times afterwards that there would be no more films in the universe of the Jedi... instead he said, the future of Star Wars was on television. We're about to bear the first fruit of this statement these fall with the Clone Wars television series. The live-action series will air a year later on a network to be chosen once Lucas has something to show executives. This way he can ask for the best deal possible for the series and his company.

So there you have it. No more Star Wars. No more movies. Right from the Master Jedi himself...

Well, let me wave my hand and tell you something that is hidden from the mind of Master Jedi Lucas. There will be more Star Wars films.

Guaranteed.

I don't care what George says, there will be more films in that universe a long, time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

It will happen. George Lucas may not be directing them. He may not be producing them, but someone will make them. Do I have some kind of ability to see into the future? A time machine, perhaps? No, but knowing human nature I can tell you something that is obvious and neglected.

George Lucas is...

Old.

Not only that, but I have news for Sci-Fi geeks everywhere. He's not immortal and he won't live forever. We know all too well that he's human("Episode I: The Phantom Menace" anyone?). Someday, maybe ten years from now, maybe twenty years from now, he's either going to do one of two things... or both. He's going to pass from this world and become a part of that "Force" that binds us or he's going to relinquish control of Lucasfilm to others. Perhaps he's sell it or hand it over to his children. More than likely they will license their characters or films. If they sell Lucasfilm there are many companies that would love to have the films and characters he owns. The two most prominent would probably be News Corp, owner of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation and the Walt Disney Company, owner of well, if you don't know that then you're reading the wrong blog.

In all likelihood one of those two will wind up with ownership or the rights/license to use such characters. And not just Star Wars characters either. Remember that Lucas owns the rights to Indiana Jones as well. Not to mention characters from several other films that didn't do as well("Willow" comes to mind). With a stable of existing properties like these and "THX-1388", "American Graffiti",ect. this company will look quite attractive to someone, everyone...



So do you think if one of these companies had control of this property that they would just leave it alone? Just keep releasing the movies and television shows in new formats like Blu-Ray? Not a chance. If Bob Iger ever had the opportunity to actually own these characters that the Mouse leases for its parks do you believe he wouldn't take the chance? And I don't think there would even be a question about continuing with more films. More Adventures. More profits. When Iger bought Pixar he had every intention of moving forward with new projects and cultivating the talent there. If Disney or Fox purchases Lucasfilm it would do the same as it has done with Pixar, only more so...

As well as that, there is the Star Wars fan community to deal with.



It wouldn't be an understatement to say that the fan base is dissatisfied with the Prequels. Specifically the first one which is one of the worst films I've seen. The second one was half good and half really bad Harlequin romance novel. The third one was the only one of the three to be worthy of the original. Even though I detest many parts of "Return of the Jedi"(Ewoks... sigh), it is vastly better than EP I and II. Many of the problems fans like myself and others have with EP III is as with the first two, the dialogue and the transition to the Dark Side happening so quickly. Not that there aren't other problems, but those are the most prevalent to my friends and me.

As a close friend once said to me in a conversation:

"Lucas screwed it up and it's going to be for future fans to have to correct it."

He didn't use screwed, btw. The language was a little more colorful, but the point is made. There are many film makers out there that would love to make a new Star Wars film. It's not going to happen right now, but somewhere in the future there will be some hot director or screenwriter that gets the jewel gig of reviving what Lucas himself almost killed. It may take twenty years like it did for the prequels to happen, but I have an idea that by then the wraith of the fans will be very vocal about what we like and what we don't like.

I'm sure there will be a different interpretation of Darth Vader's universe by then... in fact, it may not even be about him or Luke... I'd bet some movie in the form of "Knights of the Old Republic" will get made first. But new characters and old will occupy these films. And they will try and do justice for the universe Lucas created and forgot about. We may even get darker tales about this galaxy. Zack Snyder("300", "Watchmen") is on record as saying he wants to make an "R" rated Star Wars film with Jedi's going around with light sabers creating carnage across the universe... errr, that universe. And he's not the only one.

Remember for a time it was even talked about having Steven Spielberg directing one of these. As much as that idea makes me and other SW fans all numb, it ain't going to happen. I don't think that Steven would ever do it out of respect for George... others won't have that problem.

Imagine the headlines when someday in the future you see an announcement that a super hot writer has been signed to write the first of a new trilogy. And then just as the buzz starts to settle down a blockbuster making director is hired to direct it. The fans will start to get excited and nervous. Praying for the best, fearing the worst. I'd love someday to have Peter Jackson direct one, but that's probably just a pipe-dream from me.

But basically a lot of problems the prequels had will have to be fixed by the fans or film makers who happen to be fans. Problems had by most, but not all who saw the films. I'm sure there are people out there that like Jar Jar Binks... I'm sure some people like Jake Lloyd's wood performance as "Ani". Sign, that name alone was a big problem. But it will be left to future generations to fix the potholes that Lucas left in the construction of the road he built to the Star Wars universe. Somewhere along the line someone will fill in the stories and explanations and give us a better reason for what happened than the man that created it. The problems the prequels have are legion, but the focus that Lucas should have taken was(according to Blue Sky Disney and its inner circle of friends)...

All of EP I should have been broken down into the first half of the first film. If it was up to me(I know it isn't) it would have only occupied the first act and other two thirds would have been what you saw in EP II, minus all the crappy dialogue like "I'm haunted by the kiss you shouldn't have given me"... EP II should have been the Clone Wars. Simple as that. And EP III should have been a longer and darker decent into what made Anakin become Vader... he turns too quick. Also the Jedi should have appeared a little more wise. They are Jedi after all... From the prequels they come off as totally clueless to all that is happening around them.

THIS is the movie we wanted. The one we expected.

We didn't get it. We should have, but you get what you get... Time will go on and eventually we'll get another Star Wars film. Or maybe a trilogy? The mistakes of the past will give way to a clearer vision of the future. But enough talking about DCA's "Makeover", we're supposed to be talking about Star Wars here.

Not now, but someday in the future... perhaps when a little distance has given us more perspective and Lucas has handed over the reigns(voluntarily or not), we'll sudden get a surprise that they're about to make a new Star Wars film. Then you have to wonder, will it have that 20th Century Fox logo in front of it? Or maybe Cinderella's Castle? Don't think that could happen? Don't be too sure... the Clone Wars animated film that swoops into theaters this August has a Warner Bros. logo in front of it. It's a new world... Things change... Just as long as Lucasfilm doesn't hire Paul Pressler we should be in for a good future. Patience. Lucas isn't an immovable force... just a temporary delay. And speaking of force...

May the Force be with you.

Always.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here Here! Well said and although I like to think of myself as a traditionalist, I think an expanded SW Universe in the future with a darker take would be long awaited and well received.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna say something crazy. I mean, it was crazy when I heard others say it. And, I've heard it said many, many times.

Kids who grew up on the prequels like them better than the originals.

Maybe not all kids. Maybe only the ones I've talked to. To an old fart like myself (so old I'm not legally able to run for President) it's crazy talk. But I've definetly heard people say this.

Anonymous said...

Speculating on someone's death as the topic of an article? Very poor taste in my opinion

Spokker said...

I never understood the fervor surrounding the "special editions". It's not like they were taking away the originals forever. I have both the special edition DVDs and the originals on laser disc.

While the special edition changes were pretty nutty, the originals are still there. It isn't like taking a classic Disneyland attraction away for ever. They are going to change Small World, but there's no where else to ride the original.

Honor Hunter said...

Anonymous #3,

If you read the entire article I wasn't speculating on his death... I was simply stating a fact. Lucas is getting up there and he's either going to release control of his company to his family or he's going to sell it. I was talking about the events that would happen when that comes about... what happens to Lucasfilm not what happens to Lucas.

THAT was the topic of the article as you call it, not what you were speculating it was...

TJ said...

Will the star wars movies play well to a new audience 20 years from now?

Let's be clear--probably not.

To start with, the original trilogy--which I love--places the political environment of the 1960s and 1970s into a sci-fi space adventure. The original trilogy--especially episode IV--is about a cold-war-style military build-up of super weapons. Or rather, a super weapon that can destroy an entire planet. Sound familiar to children who lived through nuclear build-up of ICBM?? We love it, in part, because it represents the fears of OUR childhood in a sci-fi universe. This is basically the large point Lucas missed when making the "new" trilogy. Whatever it's about--and really, who knows--it doesn't really connect with the current conditions of the 1980s and 1990s. And that's how it lost a lot of it's mythic power. But back to my main point: 20 years from now kids just really aren't going to be into a movie that exploits the fears of a 1960s and 1970s cold war.

Next on the list, your argument presupposes that one or two generations down the line people will really want to produce more star wars. The problem here is that, well, as you point out George Lucas is old. But most of us are slouching toward middle age. The prime Star Wars audience group is in their 30s and 40s. And 20 or 25 years from now we'll mostly be retired. That is not exactly the age cohort who supports movies. And what tends to happen to popular old movie series when the original audience fades? Well, they kind of stop making them. My parents (and well, their older siblings) grew up on the WILDLY successful series of Topper, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Tarzan, etc. And last I saw, no one is really rushing out to make more of these movies. Sure, there's a Tarzan film every now and then. But no one is really rushing out to start up the old series. Like it or not, this is what will probably happen with Star Wars--especially since Lucas missed the opportunity to establish a younger fan base with the second trilogy. The short of it is: the children and grandchildren of the Star Wars generation are not likely to be into the pop culture of their elders.

Anonymous said...

You sir, are a moron. I'm sick to death of supposed 'fans' of Star Wars taring it apart. Quit being an momma's basement critic and move on. They're only movies, and they were all successful. I bet you're one of those people who wait in line for hours to get exclusive action figures at the Star Wars celebrations. Tell me you don't have every Jar Jar toy made. Tell me you don't have them all loose and carded.

Modern day Star Wars fans make me sick. Shame on you for being such a thankless fuck.

Spokker said...

"Will the star wars movies play well to a new audience 20 years from now?

Let's be clear--probably not."

It's interesting to read what you're proposing, but I don't really agree with it. Yes, the Star Wars films will never be as popular as they once were, and I can't say that it's a bad thing or an avoidable fate. It was a wonderful event in cinematic history but the time has passed.

However, the films will live on. They are timeless. New fans will be created when they rummage through their father's or older brother's movie collection and discover the movies for themselves.

I mean, I wasn't around in 1977 but I love the Star Wars movies. And I think new fans will be introduced to the films the same way I was, by their parents.

Once again I will relate this to Small World. The Star Wars films are just as relevant as they ever were. It's a space opera, sure, and whatever parallels you can draw to real world events, fine, but it's still an epic story of good vs. evil and it's message will transcend generations just like Small World's message has done for over 40 years.

I had no clue about the cold war when I was a kid and first saw it. I just thought it was a damn cool movie.

Honor Hunter said...

Please don't use the f-bomb again. If you want to rant, call me a moron, whatever else... feel free but try and keep those kinds of words(you know which ones) out of the comments. Future posts like this will be deleted.

As for Jar Jar, I don't have any of them... in fact, I don't collect action figures. I don't have the time, patience or space for them. I don't collect Star Wars at all. Sorry to disappoint you there...

Spokker said...

Haha your blog, your rules, but I love cursing. I think it gets a bad rap.

You know, people call its usage a sign of unintelligence or whatever, but I love cursing. What would the Sopranos be without cursing? It'd be boring.

Imagine the guys from the Sopranos discussing Disneyland news.

"Hey, can you believe this f'in guy Marty Sklar is defending the Small World Changes?!"

"What an a-hole! I'm tellin' ya, my cousin Vinny and I ride that f'in Small World because it's so g-damn relevant to today's audiences!"

Haha, I really wish there was a Disney fan site where such language was allowed, but I digress.

Honor Hunter said...

I wasn't talking about you Spokker...

To my knowledge I don't remember you using those words.

I was referring to the "anonymous" right above that previous post. I don't care that anyone expresses their opinion, but I want them to at least not use words that are very vulgar. Not that we don't use them, but that this blog is not the place for them. I try to keep everything PG/PG 13 at least.

So don't feel offended, it wasn't you I was talking about.

Spokker said...

"I wasn't talking about you Spokker..."

Oh, I know.

I just think it's funny when people get so bent out of shape about bad words. I don't know, maybe I'm desensitized, but they just don't feel like bad words to me.

Jedited said...

For whomever said that Star Wars is not relevant for a younger generation, doesn't have kids.
My son (who is five) plays Star Wars with his friends just like my friends and I did when we were his age (I was six when SW opened the first time). And yes, I am a big Star Wars fan, but his friends parents are not.
And my son has NOT even seen the prequels yet (I think he is too young right now).
In addition, anonymous has never been to Disneyland (or Disney Studios) and seen the kids line up to watch the Jedi Academy. Because there are only middle aged men doing that, they only appear to be children.

Elf said...

My son is 8, and he and his friends are playing with Lego Star Wars (both the bricks and the games), lightsabres, action figures and they watch the movies.

GL did what he set out to do with the prequels. He created a new generation of SW-fans. We old farts might not like the new movies (Ep1 has grown on me and I do like Ep3) but people I've shown the movies to who never saw the originals back in the day actually prefer the prequels.

Good posting, btw. And I think you're right. Someone will make SW-movies in the future. Let's just hope they're fans and don't screw up the EU continuity for continuity nuts like myself :)

Anonymous said...

EU?

Sorry, I'm not familiar with what that is.

Fan3423 said...

The prequels are bad, but they made me reevaluate the whole series. They are not that bad considering that they are George Lucas' grand vision. He did it his way. That's the truth.

Stop trashing it because it's like saying Star Wars is trash, which is actually a true statement. It is as good as it's creator. It's just seems so dated and ridiculous.

The first Star Wars (Ep 4) doesn't really stand up to repeat viewing. It is so childish. It really is a mess as Alex Guinness ((Obi-Wan Kenobi) said in his interviews. Let's move on.

Kenneth Elliott said...

The article's statement that the jedi seemed clueless/weak in Episode I made me laugh so hard. That's the whole reason WHY the Emperor rose to power, why the Force is mysterous, why the Force needed balancing, why Anakin Skywalker's journey through Episode I-VI was told in the first place! People who don't understand/accept this little fact should not be bashing Star Wars; instead, they should actually suck up their biased hatred towards Lucas and actually try following the story for once.