Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb...
David Mitchell writes for The Guardian about Star Wars and
the Disney take-over. I know, I know. Old news really - but more
interestingly, Mitchell compares the take over with the future of the
franchise becoming more akin to the 50-year long stretch of 007 before
highlighting how the most recent 'trilogy' was what destroyed the credibility of the series:
Read the full article here.
Mitchell continues to describe how, creatively, Lucas held onto the
franchise for an exceptionally long time before passing it to Disney.
Who knows what the consequences would've been if Disney took the
franchise in the eighties...
The James Bond comparison is apt and perfect - and what an exciting prospect. Despite David Mitchell's opinion on Skyfall,
I would like to add how fascinating a franchise that spans five decades
truly is. My own fascination with James Bond is due to how the series
equally manages to adapt and change depending on the current climate in
action films. Moonraker liberally borrowing from the sci-fi craze of the late 70s and the recent 'revamp' owes a huge
amount to the seriousness of Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity. The same social context surrounds the Star Wars films too - The Searchers inspiring A New Hope, whilst Raiders of the Lost Ark inspired Return of the Jedi. In the recent films, The Fifth Element, Gladiator and The Matrix inspired Attack of the Clones. I can only imagine how science fiction films such as Looper and Inception could inspire a new Star Wars trilogy.
one element I think is completely ridiculous is the assumption that
the series should be placed on a shelf and remain untouched. As if the Star Wars series
was ever in some holy, hallowed place that rarely sold out. You could
argue that the foundations of the series itself, even in 1977, was built
upon George Lucas' genius of maintaining all rights to the toys and
merchandise. There is a side to me which would like to imagine that
films are left alone, but when so much money is involved (and, to some
extent, a series has already sold itself out by the creation of sequels
and remakes) there is no surprise that Hollywood - especially now - will
milk a series for all its worth. That's not to say that Star Wars shouldn't
be milked for all its worth - I believe it should be! As long as it
is properly cared for and, like 007 and any other long-running series,
the series can then continue until our appetite is gone. The reality is,
we're not talking about Casablanca 2 or a CGI-version of Charlie Chaplin. We are talking about a sequel to Avatar.
We are talking about the next Marvel film and the new Batman film. It
is inevitable - and I feel foolish for even thinking that it was all
over in 2005.
But I did think it was all over. I bought the
Blu-ray 'Complete Saga', assuming that was all I needed to buy (but Lucas
knew at the time it wasn't the complete saga - he discussed this at
least a year ago before the release. That was probably the only reason
he agreed to it!) I will obviously justify that it is a 'Complete Saga' -
but only charting Lucas' involvement. But, in terms of the new
trilogy, I am excited as the people who will be hired to write the
script, direct the film and create the films will be fans like me. As we
all have, they have discussed at great length where the characters will
go and they have fantasized about how beloved characters can be
resurrected in an effective fashion. It's sci-fi after all and stories
can go anywhere - indeed, the current trend of nostalgia may introduce
time-travel? Who knows. If there is any way to bring back Darth Maul,
I'm supporting it (yes, I know he is in The Clone Wars ... but I want to see him in live-action!).
On the plus side, there is no need for CGI versions of Luke. We can set Episodes VII, VIII and IX '40 years since the end of Return of the Jedi.
Harrison Ford is old Han Solo, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher can
return. We can have a new band of troops to lead the series. I'm glad
it's not over - and I'll be in line to watch the 'new series'. Imagine
in 50 years, when we are all old and grey, and we talk about the
highs-and-lows of the series? "I preferred the fourth trilogy - Episodes
X, XI and XII" or "My Top 10 Sith Lords are..." and "My favourite
lightsaber was the triple-rimmed one the Jedi had in Episode XIII".
Just imagine when the films creatively reference the previous films -
talking mythically about the 'history' of Han Solo at his funeral in
Episode XIV: Starfall. I simply cannot wait!