As many of you have probably heard by now, recently Disney acquired LucasFilms from George Lucas for $4 billion. And immediately after this acquisition, they announced that they would be releasing a new Star Wars movie in 2015, which would, of course, eventually become a trilogy.
Immediately, the internet exploded. People everywhere began to voice their fears and skepticism at this bold move. “Why are they beating a dead horse? It’s going to be a complete disaster! It’ll be worse than the prequels! Is Disney going to turn Princess Leia into a singing Disney Princess? Will they make a full-length Jar-Jar Binks movie?!”
Now, I think it’s natural to be skeptical about this move, especially after how poorly the previous three movies were made and how… shall we say megalomaniacal Disney is as a company/empire. But there are a couple things that many of these dissenters seem to be forgetting. And these details, in my eyes, actually give Episode VII a fighting chance.
The first point is about Mr. Lucas and the prequels. You see, the reason the prequels failed as hard as they did was because George held complete creative control over every aspect of those films. And, being the creator of freaking Star Wars and its whole universe and mythology, nobody dared to question or challenge him on his choices. And that’s a recipe for disaster, no matter the medium. But, for Episode VII, Lucas is only involved as a consultant. He will not be writing and he will not be directing. That fact alone completely removes the biggest problem that the prequels had. As far as I can tell, George will only be there to make sure that the mythology already in place is not messed with. And I think that’s fair.
Also, a writer has already been selected in the award-winning writer of Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Michael Arndt. Personally, I love Little Miss Sunshine with a great passion. And the biggest reason for that is the writing. So, I am very confident in Mr. Arndt’s ability to do Star Wars justice. There are also a few prospective directors floating about. J.J. Abrams, who effectively turned Star Trek (2009) into Star Wars (so he’s already got that down pat), and Jon Favreau of Iron Man (2008) fame just to name a couple. And frankly, I feel like either one of those two could blow that shit out of the water.
The next concern that faces Episode VII dissenters is the involvement of Disney. They fear that we may see Donald Duck on Coruscant in the near future. But honestly, I doubt that. Disney may be evil, but they’re also smart. They realize that screwing with something like that will hurt their fanbase. Think about their acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel. Since then, we’ve gotten Brave (2012) from Pixar and The Avengers (2012) from Marvel. Both of those were exceptional movies. If Disney is smart, and it is, they will leave LucasFilms to do it’s own thing, just as they did with Marvel. And I see no reason why they wouldn’t. If Disney acts the same way that they did with Marvel, then I think the only possibility of seeing Donald Duck on Coruscant would be as a one-off gag that was never meant to be taken seriously in the first place.
Now, I’m not saying that we, as a whole, shouldn’t be skeptical. It is definitely a possibility that Disney will get involved in the production of Episode VII and ruin everything. It is most certainly possible that no matter the writer or director or whatever, that these could be worse than the prequels. I understand and acknowledge that. What I’m saying is that there is just as much reason to be optimistic as there is to be skeptical. George Lucas is only minimally involved. They have a talented and proven writer behind it. So, while this new movie can be the worst thing ever, I think that it can also be the beginning of the Star Wars movies that we wanted in the prequels. We can’t know for sure until we get more information. But in the meantime, I don’t think we should be attacking the idea, as dissenters have. We should simply watch the development of this project closely. But, in the meantime, I am cautiously optimistic.