Initial thoughts on Episodes VII-IX
After my overwhelming excitement had died down, I began to parse some of my feelings about the confirmed new Star Wars movie trilogy. Here they are. Let me preface that this is all just speculation and opinion. We still have limited information about this new trilogy, and as always, it’s important to separate the facts from the fancy! My thoughts after the jump.
IGN.com has a copy of the original press release in full. Rather than copy it here (it’s kind of long), I will just link you to it. There is also this from Robert Iger, CEO of Disney and the first speaker in the video on IGN’s page.
The last Star Wars movie release was 2005′s Revenge of the Sith – and we believe there’s substantial pent up demand. In 2015, we’re planning to release Star Wars Episode 7 – the first feature film under the “Disney-Lucasfilm” brand. That will be followed by Episodes 8 and 9 – and our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.
1) It bothers me that they seem to have this plan of churning out a new movie every 2-3 years. I’m not against more Star Wars movies, but I am wary about committing to a trilogy right off the bat. I think part of this feeling is the paradigm shift it entails, since the movies have always been static and reliable parts of the fandom. For one thing, they have always been the source material, and haven’t seriously been amended. An ongoing saga of films (and the wording of the press releases doesn’t entirely discount any post Ep. IX films or series) will change this monolithic existence of the films. We already have an example of a more commercially-oriented set of films in the prequel trilogy. I don’t think they were terrible, but I know there are fans who are all along the spectrum there. More films also run the risk of causing the franchise to jump the shark. I am excited, but cautiously so.
2) Where on the Star Wars timeline will this take place? This, of course, makes the assumption that they will stay within the existing timeline, but it is pretty well outlined at this point, which means both less creative work and dissonance for EU fans. George Lucas, in the press video, does reference the massive breadth of existing canon, but time will tell how much of that is actually incorporated into films.
There is also the problem of another kind of continuity. It’s safe to expect that the production team will want the films to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, not only because films cost more than written media or video games to manufacture, but because when the EU layperson thinks of Star Wars, they think of something a little different than what somebody reading this might. To put it another way, people won’t want to watch a new Star Wars film (or rather, the film after Episode VII) if it doesn’t feel like a Star Wars film. Given this, the (small) rationale I can project for breaking new ground is that maybe existing canon timeline is not mainstream enough/too different from the previous installments for a film.
Back to time period. My first instinct was that the movie would be Clone Wars/Dark Times era because that’s still a popular era, but they may not want to infringe on the territory of the existing movies, especially since we’ve gotten so used to the gap between III and IV. Plus the actors may not all return, and it would look weird if Obi-Wan or whoever had a different face. OldRepublic is my next guess, since they’re also focused on that. My hope is for the Thrawn trilogy or the NJO.
More as I think about it. Anybody is welcome to add to the conversation on our message boards or Twitter!