So, with a little over $4 billion changing hands, George Lucas has sold his Lucasfilm empire to Disney, who have stated that a new Star Wars film will be coming in 2015 followed by another every two or three years after that.
I feel a great disturbance in The Force as if millions of voices across the globe have all cried out in pain. Of course, it could have been a huge collective ‘Hoorah!’ from fans but in my humble opinion (whatever that’s worth), for fans of the original three movies starring Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, this will likely come as sad news. I happen to be one of those fans and I have lost count of the number of times I’ve sat and enjoyed that original trilogy, usually comprising a marathon session during a holiday where every couple of years myself and a good friend would draw the curtains and, surrounded by a calorific selection of salty snacks, watch all three films back-to-back. It’s almost become a ritual.
And I, like many others, considered the prequel trilogy with Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman to be, at best, a mixed bag but generally very disappointing. So, to hear that sequels are possibilities that Disney is considering makes me roll my eyes and groan like a Wookie.
Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are three movies that tell one simple yet epic story and like all good stories, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. It’s that END that is of great significance here because at the end of the third film, everything is wrapped up nicely, all done and dusted. The nasty old Emperor and his Empire are defeated and all evil destroyed – even Darth Vader sees the light and changes his dastardly ways moments before popping his clogs – and the ensuing party with the Ewoks clearly looks like the dawn of a new era.
But now they’re telling us that in 2015, it’s likely a sequel will follow on from there and will involve the iconic characters of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo etc. Personally, I just don’t see how it would work. The saga came to a natural and logical conclusion in 1983 and I for one cannot see how anything other than hackneyed storytelling can resurrect the story from there.
Will I go and see this new episode when it comes out? I don’t know. Possibly out of curiosity I would, perhaps secretly hoping that the writers had found some miracle of continuance, something that makes complete sense in order that these characters can carry on fighting the Empire. The only problem/argument with that scenario is selecting the actors to play those characters. Answers on a postcard please….