Accepting Disney and Star Wars
The entirety of my initial reaction was so full of swears, incomprehensible yelling, and self-inflicted face slaps to see if I was awake that it has no right to be duplicated anywhere on the internet. Instead, I’ve taken a day off (or two) to wrap my head around the really small news pertaining to some new movie called Star Wars Episode VII releasing in 2015. Taking that time to absorb both sides of the reactions to Disney’s buyout has been nothing but intriguing, as even the negative remarks have slowly turned to minor optimism…to acceptance, in only two days. One thing is for sure, most people are not against new Star Wars, but they’re mostly worried about its content. On all regards, I’m not even worried a little bit. Initially I was the C-3PO of worry, but now I’m feeling like the Boba Fett of calm, despite my immense excitement. In fact, I say this will be a day long remembered as the day the future of our favorite franchise was secured.
Yes, the newest rumors (via clubjade and theforce.net) point to Ep. VII being an original story, and I think this is going to turn out true. Even before this rumor, fans have already expressed their main concern as how the already established EU would be handled against the new films possible continuity. My C-3PO worries started with the questions pertaining to the EU (I just started the X-wing series!) and how it all would work with Ep. VII, as I’ve read nearly all published books and am very content with their version of events. Many will be angry if the new films take a bantha poodoo on existing continuity, and that’s understandable. But anger leads to the dark side fellow fans, and we shouldn’t venture down that path, especially since there’s any easy answer to all of this: multiverse.
It might seem like a cop-out, but it’ll be the easiest way to swallow the pill if the new films clash with the EU. I’ve already accepted the multiverse approach. The books, comics, and video games already made in the now contended timeframe are just one point of view of the future, but always in motion the future is (Thanks, Yoda!). We’ll still get continued stories expanding our old EU, while we get new stories in a new official EU. How can there be anything wrong with more Star Wars (don’t start yelling prequels)?
No matter how this will affect the timeline as we know it, I’m happy Lucas handed over the franchise. I always assumed we’d not get a new film until after both Lucas died and the eventual bidding wars for the franchise ended, probably roughly 25 years from now. Instead, 2 and half years from now we get more films while Lucas is still alive to oversee the transition. We all love and hate the guy, but if The Clone Wars animated series is anything to show of his new passion for the universe, his guiding hands are welcomed.
And all you have to do is take one look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) initiative that happened once Disney got their hands on the property to know Star Wars is in good hands. Even better is the ability for film industry veterans, who a great many got into the industry because of Star Wars, to finally get their hands on the material. I’m a big believer that having fans give fans more of something (again, look at the MCU) as being a smart choice, even though I know it doesn’t always work out. Either way, these are the people who grew up loving the Original Trilogy, dealt with the Prequel Trilogy, and now get to shape the Sequel Trilogy (and beyond). It probably won’t be all majestic Naboo waterfalls, but no matter your stance on the Prequels, it will bring a fractured fanbase closer together. That’s how sure I am of a positive outcome: the Sequels will unite us. Okay, maybe not completely, but it will bridge the gap.
Since I am the resident video game guy here, I’ll touch on that subject briefly. The two current games being developed by LucasArts, 1313 and First Assualt (hardcore market games), will continue as planned, but after that LucasArts will shift focus to mobile/social games (otherwise known as the casual market). However, they will lend out the license to other game developers for console/PC games in the future. This has happened more times than naught (and usually ends up better than LucasArts made Star Wars games), so this is basically business as usual. Now I have dreams of developers like Naughty Dog, best known for the cinematic Uncharted series, or Rockstar, known for the always news worthy Grand Theft Auto franchise, getting to try their hands at a Star Wars game.
Whether you’re a casual, hardcore, or fervent fan, Disney buying Lucasfilm will be good for us all. The staggering amount of potential is more than enough to appease me, and in time, I’m sure it will appease the rest of us. That’s why earlier in this article, I mentioned acceptance, because that’s all you can actually do since Ep. VII is no longer just fan speculation but is truly happening. From the The Walking Dead getting a TV show to Marvel comics getting a unified movie universe, we’re not the first fanbase to have to deal with change, we’re just the biggest.
In the end, any fan you’ll talk to ten years down the road will still be able to tell you exactly where, when, why, and how they heard the monumental news of Disney buying Lucasfilm and the announcement of Episodes VII-IX. I’m sure I will too, but I’ll be more likely to tell you how I felt the morning after. With only three hours of sleep that night thanks to rampant speculation keeping me up, I awoke the following morning and it felt like someone had just simply flipped a switch: I was in a universe where anything was possible.
Sure, I’ve always felt that way, but it wasn’t until I knew there would be Ep. VII and beyond that it finally felt true. And so should you.
Ryan is the video game reporter and game reviewer for Knights’ Archive. You can follow him on Twitter at @BrushYourTeeth.