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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The continuing travails of a Star Wars fan

As you may have heard yesterday, Lucasfilm is being sold to Disney for $4 billion. George Lucas will be a "creative consultant" but otherwise plans to retire.


After the initial shock, I have decided that this may not be the end of the world. My only real side-eye goes to Disney's apparent plan to release a new Star Wars film "every two to three years" because really? Really? I feel like that may be reconsidered once the new projects get off the ground. However, all told, I like Disney (with caveats) and the thought of someone besides Lucas making films for my favorite franchise is not a bad thing. I do have many questions: will Marvel start publishing Star Wars comics now, rather than Dark Horse? Will someone try to shoehorn Harrison Ford, Curmudgeon Extraordinaire into playing Han Solo one more time? Will Disney World finally get an all-SW theme park? Will the first three new films utilize Expanded Universe canon or will they be totally original efforts? Most importantly, will there be Mara Jade??

That last query leads me to the real point of this post. As I see it, the Star Wars franchise coming under Disney's control opens up the universe to...really anyone whom Disney sees fit to write or direct a movie. Some of Disney's live-action films have been really great (The Princess Diaries, Remember the Titans, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Muppets, and of course The Avengers come to mind), and I would love to see something stellar come out under the Star Wars banner. Given the wealth of sudden new directions and opportunities for Star Wars, what would I want from a new Star Wars movie? Well--it's not like it would ever happen, but I'd kill for a Mara Jade movie set before the events of the Zahn novels, a nice pulpy shoot-out directed by Tarantino and starring Bridget Regan that sneakily calls to events taking place in the Empire as Mara serves as the Emperor's Hand, but never quite Goes There. A hack/slash Rodriguez flick about the Nightsisters would be fun. A taut political thriller by Bigelow about the second Galactic Civil War would not be unwelcome. And I'd watch a creepy, beautiful travelogue of the known universe directed by del Toro in a heartbeat.

Probably none of these will happen. Probably Disney will hand the reins to one of the directors that immediately came to my mind as people I didn't want around the SW franchise (Abrams, Whedon, Jackson, or--heaven forfend--Bay). But that is the chief blessing and curse of the Star Wars fan: there is always room to hope. Right now, my hopes are high. Please don't dash them too badly, Disney.

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