It’s tough being a Star Wars fan sometimes. While the thought of brand new movies fill me with tingling enthusiasm, it’s also impossible not to have some minor reservations. It’s only natural. Being cautious of what may become of something you hold so dear to your heart is intrinsic to being human. Since the Disney acquisition – and the consequent tirade of unoriginal internet scepticism – I’ve firmly remained positive. But sometimes it’s really difficult for even the most resolute fan to ignore the negativity, especially when every little piece of news being slowly fed to us elicits the craziest reaction, no matter how irrelevant it may seem.
If reports are to be believed – starting with the release of Star Wars: Episode VII in 2015 – we’re going to be getting a new Star Wars related movie every year right up until 2020. Gareth Edwards’ spin-off is due December 2016 with the Rian Johnson helmed Episode VIII in 2017 which would mean that Josh Trank’s instalment won’t hit theatres until 2018. Doesn’t it seem a little premature to be announcing a director for a movie that won’t see the light of day for at least another four years? Do we have just cause to be worried that the studio is getting ahead of itself?
No, I don’t think so.
Kathleen Kennedy and company have their plan mapped out. They aren’t just making a bunch of new movies here. With the development of a brand new story team that will oversee all of their forthcoming ventures, they’re actually trying to achieve what Marvel have popularised in recent years and build a cinematic universe. It makes complete sense that a studio would look a few years down the line as Marvel did so successfully. If anything they’re doing what Marvel failed to do and lock down a director they actually want – who will more than likely take an active part in the development of the movie – rather than hoping to hire someone who just happens to be available. It’s also possible that they’re looking to the newly announced directors to put their heads together and work off of each other, even if their relative movies won’t be connected.
The spin-off movies are a dangerous area to explore considering – if there is any truth to the rumours – that they may touch upon the origins of at least two of the franchise’s most beloved characters. However, it also gives them scope to delve into the past and help tell the story of why we all became enamoured with these characters in the first place. We can all agree that they may not necessarily hit the nail on the head but we should also concur that no matter how they approach the stories they will simply never be able to please everyone.
Someone with unquestionable wisdom once said “Do or do not, there is no try” and in many ways I agree, but if you don’t try to achieve greatness then you’ve failed already. It works perfectly for Star Wars. As fans we all want to see more movies but we can’t – for the very same reason – then simply bemoan every decision made. Yes it’s scary to think that the Boba Fett or Han Solo characters may become diluted and stagnant – and there’s nothing to suggest that they will – but even if they do, nobody can take away my affection I have for them in the original trilogy. If they manage to wane your affection, then you my friend are as weak minded as the common Stormtropper being tasked with finding some droids on Tatooine.
Edwards, Trank and Johnson have shown they are all more than capable of delivering a movie that can provide big numbers at the box-office and equally do the business in pleasing critics and fans alike. Trank has already tackled a coming-of-age origin type story in Chronicle and Edwards has successfully taken on the responsibility of not ruining one of the biggest, baddest movie monsters of all time. Like Abrams they’re not ‘directors for hire’, they’re passionate filmmakers who want more than anything to be apart of something special, something that will go down in history. It helps that the very saga that they’re about to be apart of was what helped to define them as kids growing up. They’re relatively young filmmakers who are here for the long haul and it’s safe to say they’re not in the industry for a quick pay day like so many others.
Gavin Logan – Follow me on Twitter
*Original article via FlickeringMyth.com