Right on the day I was going to have a short post commemorating five years of SWPAS comes the astonishing news of Disney acquiring Lucasfilm and a new trilogy in the works. I haven’t been shocked like that for over a decade.
If you want to know what I think about this seismic change to the Star Wars we all know, you can peruse my extra long post on my LiveJournal. Here, I’m going to talk about what I think having Disney as a parent company means for the prequels and where SWPAS stands.
At this point it’s too early to tell whether Disney will be very hands on at Lucasfilm or whether it will treat Lucasfilm the way it treats Pixar, standing back and letting Pixar do its thing. I sort of hope for the latter.
In regard to new movies, I don’t know what to think. Yesterday I joked on Twitter about whether I need to start the Star Wars Sequel Appreciation Society. They’re gonna do what they’re gonna do and we can only hope that they all work out. But already I am seeing hateboy nation making the same mistake it made 15 or so years ago, coming up with long lists of expectations and demands. New movies will be different in tone, but hopefully not in spirit, from either the first set of Star Wars films OR the prequels. Pretty soon we’re going to find out what this new trilogy is about, who’s going to direct it, and who’s going to be in it. If it can’t be George Lucas at the helm, I just want a cinematic Dave Filoni, somebody who loves Star Wars, respects Lucas’s vision, and is willing to learn in order to get it right. The last thing I want is some jerk who will say right out of the gate, “I’m here to fix the mistakes made in the prequels!”
It’s kind of unfortunate the shift toward a new trilogy is happening before the prequels have come into their own. There was time between ROTJ and TPM for vindication of Eps IV-VI as the mythology of our era. The prequels won’t get that time and Lucasfilm has long since left these movies to the internet wolves. Realistically, we have to accept that as we get closer to 2015 and through 2021, or whenever Ep. 9 From Outer Space comes out, those films will be the focus not the older ones.
We are going to have to endure a barrage of haterade from those who are going to trash the prequels over the next three years (it’s actually already started as I chewed out some douche on Wired.com last night) and there might be a few who are going to use praise for Episode VII as a frying pan on our beloved films. But honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the reaction Episode VII gets is not all of that different from what happened in the recent past. Also, remember the prequels were received enthusiastically upon release and then trashed mercilessly on the internet afterward. Lucas will get all of the blame and none of the credit however Episodes VII-IX work out. (I don’t think Lucas will be entirely hands-off with this trilogy.)
Disney did include prequel settings for Star Tours 2.0, which is encouraging, and there’s no reason to believe that there can’t be film spinoffs of the prequel/Clone Wars era somewhere in the future. Disney is leaving all kinds of possibilities wide open, including spinoffs based on individual characters. It’s also entirely possible prequel/Clone Wars characters could cameo in this new trilogy through the magick of Force ghosts or holograms. Most of the prequel leads are still young and look pretty much the same.
As for Clone Wars, there’s no reason to believe the show won’t continue on its merry way. Though I wonder if there will be collaboration now with Pixar and if this will be the last year Clone Wars is on Cartoon Network. Disney could move it to ABC Family, the Disney Channel, or Disney XD.
Another issue is whether this site and other fan sites will continue to operate with Disney’s legendary intolerance for anyone trespassing on its intellectual property. I will continue to run SWPAS so long as I want to or until I get smacked with a C&D. My hope is that Disney will leave fandom alone.
Do I worry about too much product burying the Skywalker Saga I-VI? Or too much Star Wars diluting the series or oversaturation? Yeah, I do. Will I miss the 20th Century logo and fanfare? Will I miss John Williams if he doesn’t participate? He is 80 years old. Even if he’s around for another 20 years or so, eventually he won’t be scoring Star Wars anymore. Am I concerned they’ll do something ridiculous like reboot or remake the prequels? God yes. I just hope Disney has the decency to wait another century before doing anything like that.
But this whole new era of Star Wars could end up being the best thing that’s happened to us. I want to thank everyone who has been here for the past five years and I hope to keep bringing you prequel-era awesomeness for as long as I can.