It’s just business.
When the news spread that Disney acquired Lucasfilms as well as the rights to the Star Wars franchise, the first thought I had was writing a blog about it. However, I waited and I’m glad I did. Most fan reactions have been hopeful but doubtful, or calling it the last straw.
A common pattern I saw was the usual, nostalgia-filled entries. After all, when us fanboys hear news items like these the first thing we want to do is reminisce about the original movies and explain why it was better to imagine than to CGI it all… But the truth is at some point the filmmaking and the ingenious special effects took a back seat to merchandising deals and that happened a long time before the original trilogy was even completed.
There was a time in which Lucas was the independent filmmaker of American Graffiti and Star Wars (later renamed to Star Wars IV: A New Hope). But as much as people talk childhood innocence lost, I think as much of a generational phenomenon as it could be considered, in the end it’s a film. It grew up to become science fiction mainstream. As a fanboy, I read my share of the extended universe up to a point in which I just got saturated of it. I did watch the new/old/prequel trilogy with a sinking feeling. Nowadays I think I do what most old school fans do. We isolate the good and cast out the bad.
But I’m not going to rally to the cries of “Lucas, how could you” because let’s be realistic here, how could he not? He’s been living in the past for too long. What worked then will not work now. He’s another person and he did a bunch of new movies and some of us just liked a part of it and dreaded the rest. Think of a bigger juggernaut than Disney to take this. There’s none that endure as long.
I don’t know what episode seven would be about. I don’t expect any of the extended universe sagas to be recreated, they’ll want something fresh. They’ve got the money and the resources to do it. And if they don’t do a good job, don’t worry. The old movies will still be there. Preserved and untouched in your hard drive.
That will do for now.