November 17, 2012

Episode 7

George Lucas

George Lucas (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

Many people have asked me for my thoughts on the Disney/Ep7 news, so here goes. It's great! I'm all for more stuff, more movies, more arts, more jobs, more growth. Do I think that the movies will be good? I have no idea, and no real expectations. To be clear: I'm a big fan of George Lucas, his movies (let's not forget American Grafitti and THX-1138), his technology (ILM, SkywalkerSound, founder of Pixar, etc), and his business skills. I'm a big fan of Star Wars, and yes I'm happy with the prequels - I like Qui-Gon, Darth Maul, the Duel of the Fates, and yes, even the Buster-Keaton-inspired battle scene on Naboo; I like Ewen McGregor and Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman and Christopher Lee, I like the good guys versus the critters in the Geonossian arena, the Jedi battle, the massive Clone Troops vs. Separatists battle, and Yoda vs Dukoo; I like Palpatine, Mace Windu, the fight on Mustafar, and the rise of Darth Vader. There are sure things that didn't work great, but them's the breaks. Remember, a lot of people didn't like the Ewoks either.

Lucas has not been consistent (or predictable) in his pronouncements about the Star Wars franchise but I always assumed there would somehow, someway be more movies no matter what he has said. Selling off the franchise is probably the best and cleanest answer to how that will happen - There will always be the original Lucas movies, and now there will be a new, different franchise with the same name. And it will be a lot easier to like or dislike the new movies knowing that Lucas has an arms-length relationship with them. Given that the movie industry has embraced the repeatable franchise model (q.v. Batman, Spiderman), it stands to reason that Disney wants to buy the SW machine and crank out movies. I fully expect some movies to be good and then more to be bad, until they squeeze out of all creativity, art, and fun. And then they'll be rebooted again.

The thing I don't get is the expectation that we need new actors to play Han and Luke etc. I'd be surprised if the new sequels start where Ep6 ended; I'd opt to have new characters, probably Han/Leia's kids, etc, be the stars. C-3PO & R2-D2 of course should be the exception and the anchors of the series (I suppose the Millenium Falcon and maybe Chewie too?). The most interesting facet will be the story arc. Lucas' great conceit was to write a hero story based on a father-son relationship, which he famously split up into two trilogies. But with the six existing movies representing a great transformative symphony from child to adult and good to evil and back, what the heck is next? The Clone Wars satisfies my needs for SW artistry and light-saber fights in nice little episodes, but once you've re-imagined the "Hero With A Thousand Faces" myths as a space-opera, I don't see what could possibly fill the narrative drive. So, some new SW movies may be "good" but I don't see how they could be worthwhile. But then, I'm not a fiction writer.

Meanwhile, Liam and Caroline have watched Episode IV a few times and are learning their lines well ("If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.") And I want to stress that this has been done with very little (believe me!) prodding on my part. But I thought I had many years ahead to gradually get them through their SW homework, from IV to V, back to the beginning with I, II, and III, then finishing with the Ep VI finale. Now, it seems like I've got to go on a forced-march, getting through all these before the new Episodes begin. Tough work I know! That said, I never really thought I'd get to see a live, new SW episode from scratch with my kids. The great adventure continues.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted by netrc at November 17, 2012 01:17 PM