Since the announcement that Disney bought Lucasfilm, there has been a wide range of reactions to it, from the very optimistic and positive, to the stunningly negative and outrageous. There are many reasons to be optimistic though, and I feel there are no valid arguments against Disney at this point. Within the few years, Disney has made some pretty smart moves with their acquisitions. Let’s take a look at that to see why Star Wars is safe in the House of Mouse.
First, some background on the Expanded Universe
Since 1991′s release of Heir to the Empire, new Star Wars stories have been released pretty consistently. Books that cover, so far, about 44 years of adventures after the Battle of Yavin (which is the battle that takes place in A New Hope). This territory includes many adventures with the primary cast from the trilogy, as well as their children, the Empire, and changes to the known universe. A lot of great adventures that land all over the timeline. If a character dies in a particular book, any book that happens later on cannot have that character suddenly living as if nothing has happened. What people that don’t know, or understand, that haven’t looked into the Expanded Universe, is that it all happens on the same timeline. This means that a book that happens on the timeline between two previously written books can’t change things so much that the following story doesn’t make sense, so that there’s a logical progression.
Now, with new Star Wars sequels coming to film, how does that effect the Expanded Universe?
Since the Star Wars prequels, many things have been said about the state of Star Wars and the fandom. And that includes a massive hours-long rant by a fan that people claim to be the definitive answer to George Lucas’ prequel trilogy. To that particular individual I say, “eh, get over it.” At this point, it’s all moot anyway.
Many things have been said about the new Star Wars trilogy, but I’ve not yet read anything that talks about why this isn’t going to be another prequel trilogy repeat. The reason why it’s different from the prequels will surprise you, because it has nothing to do with the quality of the films, and everything to do with the story.
It comes down to this: we don’t know what is going to happen next. The sense of discovery that we had with the Original Trilogy unfolding before us will be present.
J.J. Abrams has a very good understanding of what made the very first Star Wars film, A New Hope, work. Right from the start, that film had mystery after mystery, and took you on a ride. It answered some questions while raising more.
Watch this video from a Ted conference a few years ago, called The Mystery Box. It’ll give you a very good idea of what drives the stories that Abrams tells, and what’s behind the choices he makes. In it, you’ll also see a scene that he considers to be one of the greatest scenes of all time, from the movie Jaws. And it’s not a scene that people normally think of when they think about that movie.
J.J. Abrams is directing Star Wars: Episode VII
What many considered to be an impossible situation has actually happened. J.J. Abrams has quickly become one of my favorite directors, having created some of my favorite TV series, and actually did the impossible: got me to watch a Star Trek film based on his name alone. And I’ll be watching my second Star Trek film with his second film in the series: Star Trek Into Darkness. I have heard that he’s signed on for three Star Trek films, so I’m pretty sure that after he completes work on Episode VII, he’ll likely meet up with his writing team to start scripting and ultimately direct Star Trek III.