Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The House Of Mouse In A Galaxy Far Far Away?!?!

Holy....wha? Just let me th...WHAAA?!

This is not the kind of news you read before you go to bed. I was having palpitations (heh...).

No doubt by now you've heard of the Disney corporation buying up Lucasfilm, and the first thing they do with the property in their hands is rush the long-discussed Episodes VII-IX into production.

My knee-jerk reaction, especially the one I gave to the Star Wars Prequel Association, was very negative. Even when my wife asked me what was wrong seconds after I read the article, my first response was their stated plan to release the new films and continue after that "every couple of years." And that the story would follow Luke, Han, and Leia after "Jedi."

My first response was a big NO. You can't do that. Jedi was the happy ending. Plus, you have the paradox since these are planned live-action and you can't pick up right where Jedi left off with Luke Han and Leia because Mark, Harrison, and Carrie are too old, and yet you can't just recast them! That would be sacrilege! Why even bother unless you're in the pursuit of money in which case these films aren't going to be worth anything, and since as "A Certain Point of View" so nicely put they're turning it into a Star Trek or James Bond where film after film gets made well past the point of being coherent....

Shut Up, Adam, And Take Some Deep Breaths!

Started to sound a little close to hateboy there, didn't I? That's what I thought, so I decided to really consider what it was that was REALLY making me feel this way.

If George Lucas had announced that he was making VII-IX, or that he had handpicked someone to do the brunt of the directing and would be working very closely with him/her (like with "Empire" and "Jedi"), I would have the reservations I mentioned above but I would be very (cautiously) optimistic because Lucas has almost never let me down. Okay, the Star Wars Holiday Special was a widely-acknowledged bad idea, and I still think the SEs would be more accepted if the added content were a little more polished, but aside from that I've never had a true disagreement with Lucas' direction.

Disney, on the other hand...I love the Animated Canon and the work of the Pixar team, but the company has gone in several directions I haven't liked: Cutting the traditional animation studio, the bulk of programming on The Disney Channel, etc.

But of all the Hollywood systems out there, Disney is the one that has the greatest chance of "getting" Lucas' vision the way he presented it. So if it had to be sold, I agree with Lucas' thinking.

But the way Disney put it, it seems like they want to milk it for all its worth and this is a dangerous line of thinking when quality comes in to play. Star Trek, James Bond, Pirates of the Caribbean, and even Indiana Jones are very serialized and deserve the serial treatment. Honestly, I'd have no problem if they announced a slate of Indy films since, like Trek, Bond, and Pirates, you could follow the continued adventures as long as you had a good script. Star Wars is serial in nature too - that's the whole point of the saga - but the saga is about the Skywalkers and that story was pretty well wrapped up in the six episodes. You could start a new story in the same universe, but picking up where Jedi left off seems tacked-on. It's why I don't read any New Jedi Order stuff: why can't we leave the tale at "Happily Ever After"?

Again, if it was Lucas as the brains, I wouldn't be freaking out. But because he seems to be stepping back even farther than he did with "Empire" and "Jedi", I'm afraid someone who disagrees with his vision will step in and muck it up, and Disney will let them to get the biggest bucks.

Someone who disagrees with his vision. THAT'S the key.

Lucas is a smart businessman, and I'd be surprised if he didn't leave at least some clause in the contract to protect his vision. But Disney (well, MODERN Disney anyway) does care more about what they think the public wants.

This is the reason this makes me fearful, thus angry and hateful (the path to the Dark Side!). I am so afraid that the hateboys will be able to step in, bury I-III and the SE's, and put out their own versions which misses the point entirely. I'm scared that if Disney isn't careful, or if Lucas missed even one line of fine print before signing, the hateboys will win.

All the talk about respecting Lucas' vision and Lucas being "happy" to step away seems awful forced to me, and Disney is going to have to do a LOT more to convince me that Lucas' vision will remain the only vision in Star Wars.

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