The news that Disney bought Lucasfilm has nearly caused the Internet as we know it to explode. There have been photoshops working overtime. There have been fan boys making trailers with everything from Mickey Mouse to Iron Man. The big question on most people’s minds is, “are they going to suck?” The surprising answer is that there is literally no reason why they should. We bring to you ten reasons that the new Trilogy actually will not suck at all.
10. The Expanded Universe Is Thrown Out
A lot of fans seemed to be bummed that Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy will not be used as the presumptive Episodes 7, 8 and 9. True, there was a lot of good in those books. Mara Jade was introduced as a vengeful former “Emperor’s Hand,” and Admiral Thrawn was a wonderful villain. However, there is a lot that would make today’s audience’s groan as well. Thrawn is murdered by a mere lackey, and the final duel involves a clone of Luke Skywalker, created from his severed hand. The moment that the clone Luke is introduced, you would hear audiences scream more than when Jar Jar Binks was made a part of the franchise. Also, Slave Girl Leia goes over a bit more than Pregnant Leia probably would (just imagine the action figure on that one.)
9. George Lucas Is Not Directing
Star Wars is generally best when people take Lucas’ basic vision, and make it their own. Lucas himself knew that the franchise was better when directed by others. The Empire Strikes Back is often cited as the highwater mark of the series. The director? Irvin Kershner. With Kershner directing, the space opera was elevated, by allowing the actors to emote. Lucas had a great vision. However, actors consistently complained about his style of direction. Terrence Stamp had to hound Lucas for any motivation whatsoever for Chancellor Valorum. Lucas’ final insight into the character? “He’s a bit beleaguered, like Bill Clinton“. Alec Guinness and Liam Neeson were left similarly unimpressed.
8. No More Union Flaps
George Lucas famously quit the Director’s Guild of America over a flap on how the credits for The Empire Strikes Back were presented. Fine; Richard Marquand did a very good job with Return of the Jedi, all things considered. So why bring it up? Well, due to the DGA issues, Lucas’ original choice for a director was not used on Jedi. That original choice was Steven Spielberg. The previous time Lucas produced and Spielberg directed had produced Raiders of the Lost Ark. Can you imagine what Spielberg would have done with a Star Wars film? We’ll never know.
Disney, however, has no such limitations. They can find the right director. We are not saying that director is Spielberg, but they’re out there, and Disney will find them and hire them.
7. No Budget Limitations
Necessity is the mother of invention. Budget fights have always been the hallmark of the Star Wars movies. The original film was consistently hounded by cutting corners, just to make the budget. That is one of the main reasons why we ended up with the Special Editions. Empire was done on bank loans, based off of the first movie. The prequels were made entirely with Lucas’ own money. We are not saying that Lucas isn’t rich. We are just saying that money was a concern.
The House of Mouse has no such limitations. They spent a quarter of a billion dollars on John Carter, for crying out loud. The imagination of Star Wars movies, with no limitations on the budget, could actually boggle the human mind.
Lets not forget that Disney also owns Pixar Studios, who are universally lauded for not only their stories, but also for their special effects. The Prequel Trilogy pushed the limits of available technology in the late 90’s. Now? Put that same amount of imagination, and combine it with the expertise of imagineers at Pixar Studios. The effect may well be the same as seeing the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park for the first time. These movies will literally redefine the way that Computer Generated Images are judged by, as well as defined for the next generation going forward.
5. Kathleen Kennedy
Kathleen Kennedy does not get the credit that she deserves for defining your youth. Kennedy, the new head of Lucasfilm, started her career in producing with ET: The Extra Terrestrial. She not only produced, or executive produced, almost everything that Spielberg made after that, but she also is greatly responsible for bringing you the Back to the Future trilogy as well. Robert Zemekis trusts Kennedy. M. Night Shayamalan trusts Kennedy. Lucas and Spielberg do as well. You should really trust that the new vision of Star Wars is in very capable hands.
4. Its Based on The Original Treatment For the Episodes
Episodes VII, VIII, and IX are not based on some fanboy’s idea of how they were supposed to go. Lucas wrote a treatment of the stories (as well as the direction) at the same time that Episodes I-VI were done. There is also a X-XII in there as well. The point is that this will be true to the original vision of the stories. Again, Star Wars is at its best when Lucas has the vision, and then allows others to execute that vision. Many workers and executives grew up playing with Star Wars figures in their basements. There are passionate people out there who will break their backs, and put all of their considerable talent, into making sure that Generation X’s modern Bible is not disturbed. The overall story is there. Others will provide the final mind-blowing details.
3. George Lucas Is Not Writing The Dialogue
George Lucas is a man of many talents. Writing dialogue? Well, that is not one of them. Almost any famous line you remember from Star Wars or its sequels was written by someone not named George. The most famous of all was Leia telling Han “I love you…” with Han responding, “I know.” That was completely improvised by Harrison Ford, to get a laugh. Lucas knows that dialogue is a particular weakness of his. In the prequels, Carrie Fisher was even brought in on as a script doctor. This is not a bad choice. Fisher is an accomplished novelist, and wrote Postcards From the Edge. Even with all of that, you can probably still expect a long “Nooooooo” and some one saying “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…”
2. Known Actors
Actors like Ewan McGregor are wonderful. It was super that they really got a boost from an appearance in Star Wars. We feel great for them. However, there is always a sense of wanting actors that we have actually heard of in Star Wars. The gravitas added by Liam Neeson or Samuel L. Jackson greatly overshadow whatever Hayden Christensen did with his career. Everyone will want to be in a new Star Wars movie. Disney has the ability to bring you a Star Wars universe stocked with actors you care about as soon as you see them. That is one of the things that made Alfred Hitchcock such an astute director. Hitchcock knew that, as soon as you saw Jimmy Stewart on the screen, you cared about Jimmy Stewart. The cameos have potential to be awesome. Just imagine a Cantina in which the bartender is Robin Williams, or Jay And Silent Bob appear as Imperial flunkies. Disney can make that happen for you.
1. The Avengers
Did we not just have this screaming fit over what Disney would do to beloved Marvel Characters? What did they end up giving you? The result was The Avengers. Fan boys loved it. Audiences loved it. There was over $600 million made at the box office, and that was just the domestic total. Avengers 2 will be one of the most anticipated films of all time. So, sit back and relax. These are going to be the Star Wars movies that you have waited practically your whole life for.
Editors note: Disney also owns Indiana Jones.