Last night, between the hours of 10pm and 2am, Twitter couldn’t find its shit with a shit-finding machine after the surprise announcement came through that, not only had Disney acquired Lucasfilm for £2.5bn but they were already setting a release date of 2015 for Star Wars: Episode VII. A million voices cried out at a rate of 5 nonsensical opinions per person, per minute. It was “childhood-raping time again”, it was “commercialism overload”, it was “proof of the Mayan conspiracy”. As astonishing as the news was, and after a little sit-down to let it sink in, we’re here to tell you why we think every Star Wars fan should be excited as an Ewok at an Endor party at the prospect of this monumental news.
It’s Only A Movie!
First up, let’s get this out of the way, it is only a film. Yes, it’s the most beloved film series of all time, yes, it’s a part of many people’s childhoods and yes, the world of Star Wars is just fupping great fun, but ultimately if this is endangering your health in any way, shape or form, you need to calm down. If you think of this as “childhood-raping” you probably haven’t been paying attention to the news recently. Naysayers, here’s an idea: Don’t watch it. Shrug at each piece of casting news, click away when a trailer gets released, go on holiday to Outer Mongolia in May ’15. Nobody is gonna ‘Alex from A Clockwork Orange‘ you in 2015, and if they do you’ve probably got more problems than the images projected in front of you. For those happy at the news, equally, calm the fuck down. Because between now and then we’re gonna have two and a half years of…
Cast your mind back to 1997. The Star Wars Special Editions were being released at the cinemas and preparation had begun in earnest on the prequels. Ewan McGregor was popping wheelies at the prospect of holding a ‘sabre, Samuel L. Jackson was pimping himself out on TFI Friday and every parent in America was sending audition tapes of their sons and daughters to the Skywalker Ranch. The hysteria was hysterical and this was all pre-Twitter/Facebook/StarWarsPorn.com. Back then we knew that Episode 1-3 was the story of wee Anakin. Today, as Episode VII looms into view, we know nothing, clear are our minds and over the next 30 or so months there’s gonna be a swamp of shit to wade through. The Sun have (presumably) already announced Eddie Murphy as Lando’s son…
We’re loath to say it but…Yippee! There isn’t a Star Wars fan out there, including George himself, that isn’t chuffed to bits that the originator isn’t helming. It’s a commonly held belief that George deserves to be shook by the hand for creating this magical world and given a swift backslap for certain aspects of the prequel trilogy (e.g. R2D2. Does. Not. Fly!). But now, as Lucas takes a back seat to fill his moat with champagne, we have the chance, the first chance, to see what a director who was raised on Star Wars could bring to the table. Could it be Andrew Stanton? How about Edgar Wright? Guillermo del Toro? Brad Bird? A certain Mr David Fincher who cut his teeth on Return of the Jedi? The possibilities are endless. Although with that last one, Star Wars: Episode Se7en is something best left to night terrors.
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Anyone that sees the takeover of Lucasfilm by Disney as a bad thing needs a swift, spiritual kick to the nuts. Disney The Studio and Disney The Brand are separate entities and Disney The Studio make cunting great movies. Their recent history of acquisition and nurture for the big guns – Pixar, Muppets and Marvel – has been nothing short of exceptional. That uber-producer Kathleen Kennedy is heading up the sequel(s) as Exec Producer shows that Disney understand that no one wants, or will stand for, the Disneyfication of the Star Wars universe. Pun all you like about Steamboat Ani and Disney Princess Leia, this team-up is a good thing.
Do you remember that time? May 19, 2005. The final ever Star Wars film. Sure it was far from perfect, R2D2 still sodding flew, dialogue was as repugnant as a Jabba Frenchie, but that feeling of OTT anticipation after years of build-up was exactly what Event Movies should be. As the credits rolled for the final time at 3am, cinema seemed that little bit less fantastical, that little bit emptier. Now, for dark or light, that strange possibility of a galaxy far far away, is back where it belongs.
I have a good feeling about this…