In December of 2012, Disney completed the acquisition of the Star Wars franchise, paying over $4 billion for all of Lucasfilm, Inc. Though many people were shocked that Disney now owns the rights to Star Wars, it may actually be a good thing for the franchise. It all depends on how Disney handles it, but there is one exciting result of the acquisition—a new trilogy.
Soon after the acquisition was affirmed, Disney announced that it would be continuing the Star Wars movies, adding Episodes VII, VIII and IX. Episode VII is scheduled to hit theaters in 2015. The new movies are said to be original content, though little is certain at the moment due to Disney’s understandable secrecy about the new movies.
George Lucas originally intended to make nine movies, but the movies which would have taken place after the original trilogy were scrapped when several key plot points were added into the sixth movie instead. The movies will not be based off of Lucas’ screenplay drafts or the novels written about the universe, but the ideas will draw from a database Lucas calls the “Holocron,” which contains detailed sketches for activity around the universe in various periods spanning 20,000 years and for 17,000 characters.
Original content will be approved by Lucas, but he won’t be creating it. However, Disney typically creates unforgettable storylines. Since most people from Lucasfilm have stayed on, including President Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas, who remains as a creative consultant, they should also be able to ensure that the new movies stay true to the feel of Lucas’s previous ones.
Though it’s possible Disney will simplify or water down the storyline in comparison to the other movies, Disney is probably aware that a large part of their fan base does not consist of children but the people who originally fell in love with the movies 30 years ago. And following movies such as “The Revenge of the Sith,” the most dark and complex Star Wars movie created thus far, it’s very likely that they will make this movie slightly more adult than their usual and make it appealing to an older audience, while maintaining the themes and intensity of the previous movies.
IMDb has already listed several old Star Wars cast members as returning to the new movies. Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Leia Skywalker), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) are all set to return for Episode VII.
Bringing the old actors back will allow viewers to see their favorite characters again years later and enjoy the continuation of the movies where they left off in 1983. However, it is more likely this is going to be a nostalgic revisiting of the old movies with the same characters trying to say the same witty lines but failing. It has been 30 years since the original trilogy finished, and the actors have grown up and gone on to have careers in a variety of roles. If they come back 30 years older, they will have to have aged gracefully as the characters they once were, rather than come back unchanged. However, none of these actors are intended to be the main character, so they may be able to pull this off by taking more of a back seat for old times’ sake while not distracting from the new story at hand.
In addition, Disney is starting a new television series in the style of their previous television series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” The new show, “Star Wars Rebels,” takes place in between Episodes III and IV, in a time period where the Empire has mostly taken over and is focusing on hunting down the last remaining Jedi. A new villain called the Inquisitor will be introduced as well as a new cast of heroes. This will be an interesting period to explore and should contain the same beautiful animation and intriguing storylines as The Clone Wars.
Disney’s new movies and TV shows for Star Wars could definitely be a total flop, but they do have the potential to be a valuable addition to the franchise. With a talented director (J.J. Abrams), composer (John Williams) and actors, along with George Lucas as creative consultant, it will be exciting to have new movies and TV shows to take fans back to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.