Where Do We Go From Here?

So that you all know who is to blame for delaying tonight’s planned super–awesome–fantastic blog and instead having me foist the following blast of self–loathing Star Wars fandom all over you, go complain at @doubleofive. He’s the one who took my brain down this road.

Act I: Back Story

We were discussing what possibilities were open for Star Wars based on the news today published in a couple of sources stating that Disney is pushing ahead with a Star Wars movie every year (!) from 2015 until 2019. The article that got us started in particular is from The Verge. (I single them out also because of their gratuitous lens flare joke in the picture for the article. Enough with the lens flare jokes by the way. I’m about ready to bite someone’s fingers off if they make another one.)

Luke and Vader in Return of the Jedi
This is one arc no matter how you look at it. What’s left to explore?

Drew, to be fair, is trepidatious about the potential dilution of the franchise, along with the retread of past themes so as to make them lose thematic weight. It’s a valid concern. In an endless search for cash, we’ve all seen the ruination of franchises when the sources were mined worse than Praxis.1

I hate to say it, but Star Trek is especially guilty of this. It wouldn’t have been Reboot Time in 2009 if they hadn’t beaten the horse to death, traveled back in time and brought it forward to beat it back into the grave and then gave it a jumpsuit.

Now, keep in mind I saw every Star Trek movie in the theatre after 1989 (and got to see The Wrath of Khan on the big screen in college thanks to some awesome management at the school movie theatre one summer). But they still fleeced their core audience and alienated non–devotees by the shuttlepod.

Act II: The Questions

So are we running the same risk if we have five years in a row of Star Wars on screen? Of course we are.

But we’re also looking at a different development method than has been in place before. Parallel tracks happen at Disney, and while the Grand Marvel Experiment has been a mixed bag (though everyone forgets that thanks to the wild success of The Avengers), I remain hopeful.

They’ve got Lucas passing the torch officially, including his massive database of original concepts and characters, and have chosen management that seems solid and trustworthy. Hell, Kathleen Kennedy is a pretty successful producer with films that are both award winners and generational definers.

While Disney takes a lot of hits from the nerd community, the simple fact is that they know what the f*** they’re doing.

The one thing I remain anxious about personally is how devoted they remain to Expanded Universe material. Lucas departing from it is one thing; it’s his baby and if he wants to throw out all the malarkey that rose up around a character in printed material not written by him, he has the authority to do it.

But messing with a sequel trilogy timeline, that will so flagrantly have no choice but to go tell legions of geeks that the books they’ve been reading are pulp for the landfill, is going to alienate some people. (And welcome so many of us back home from our wanderings!)

I await the painful schism of the fanboys and will enjoy it. They owe me this one.

So of course another Great Fan Schism is inevitable. But you know what? After listening to 14 years of incessant whining, fans like me really don’t care. It’s a wonderful place to be; I will either like the movies or I won’t, and I’ll get to sit back and laugh like Max Cady as I watch melt–downs in the theatre. No matter how I feel about the films, I’m going to multiple showings just to enjoy that part again and again. Payback’s a b***, as they say. (Trust me, the next movie could have footage of the Lord guaranteeing all viewers passage to Heaven and fans would still whine and complain and fight about it.)

Act III: The Waiting

As Tom Petty sang, this is the hardest part.

It’s not like 1999, when there had been a small outlet of material for 18 years and expectations the size of Christmas Morning. It’s not as big as camping on a sidewalk with the hopes of seeing your childhood come alive again.

It’s an older fanbase with the hopes that they can safely travel once more to the familiar and forget that we live in a house of horrors. Like I said yesterday, we need another hero, and who better than another Skywalker?

Bring it on, 2015. Let’s see what awaits.

1. Read about Praxis here if you don’t get the joke and yet somehow still read this blog. But, uh, keep reading and I appreciate it.


3 thoughts on “Where Do We Go From Here?

  1. Funny this comes up now. Full disclosure for those that don’t know me: I’m an original Star Trek (TOS) fan. That’s the best, because the bells and whistles of new technology will never replace memorable characters and storytelling.

    Moving on, a thread of TOS fans is going crazy on a Yahoo group to which I still subscribe. They’re unanimously (as far as I can tell; I stopped reading when I couldn’t take it anymore) hating on “Jar Jar Abrams” and the reboot. The nerd rage is ridiculous and represents an enormous selfishness summed up by one particular argument: “What they should have done was had the first movie about Kirk’s time on the Farragut. In fact, it should have been about his first encounter with the energy being.”

    WTF?!?! These are the voyages of the U.S.S. … Farragut? Who cares about the Farragut? That’s the ship they blow up when they need to blow up a starship. It can’t be the focus of the movie. Nor *should* a retread of a story already told and resolved be the new story. Filling in all these pieces is only important to the people that will statistically be more likely to die of old age before the next movie comes out anyway. A sequel should continue the story, not rehash it or go before it. Leave that to the series/movies that actually cover that time period with other characters.

    My point is this: You’ve had your fun with your trilogy/series/movies, but if you want the franchise to move forward, it has to evolve. If you can’t evolve with it, you’re not only a selfish person (“Those young whipper-snappers don’t matter!”), but you’re also robbing yourself of the opportunity for new material. If I want to watch TOS, I’ll watch TOS. If I don’t, I’ll watch the reboot. It’s all good. It’s a shame so many don’t see that. I sincerely hope that Star Wars fans don’t allow their pretentiousness and selfishness to rob themselves of something completely new. Darth Vader is dead. Move on.

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