Why the New Star Wars Movies Are a Good Thing
About a year and a half ago, Disney rocked the world when news broke of its 4 billion dollar purchase of Lucasfilm and the subsequent announcement of a new saga of Star Wars films. Understandably, millions of fans of the franchise cried out in agony as flashbacks of the pain caused by the prequel trilogy came rushing back into their minds. George Lucas had already tried to ruin the legend of Star Wars with his space politics and Jar Jar Binks, and the wound was still too fresh for these fans to accept a new trilogy was being added to the original trio of masterpieces. The fans that weren't extremely angered by the announcement, such as myself, mostly reacted with cautious optimism. These new films could be great, but there was still equal chance that they would further damage the legacy of the galaxy far, far away.
Now since time has passed and we know a lot more details surrounding the new films and the creative team that has been assembled to produce them, people seem to be warming up to the idea of Star Wars' return to the silver screen. The doubts are still there, of course, but when the teaser trailer is as epic as this, it definitely helps with the transition of anger into excitement. The trailer played into our nostalgia by showing us things we love about the original trilogy, such as the Millennium Falcon in action, and of course Han and Chewie at the very end. This was a genius decision by Disney and Episode VII director J.J. Abrams. While this new trilogy will be a continuation of the events following Return of the Jedi, it will also create a new story to be told in the Star Wars universe, but they made sure to focus on what we know and love before introducing too much new stuff. Considering the depth of Star Wars and the limitless stories that could be told based on its universe, it isn't hard to realize the opportunity here. And I'm not just talking about the opportunity for Disney to make more money.
Instead, I am referring to the amazing opportunity that has been laid out in front of Hollywood's biggest filmmakers of today. Many people within the entertainment industry fell in love with filmmaking because of the magic that George Lucas originally created with the very first Star Wars. J.J. Abrams has said time and time again that he was a huge fan of the franchise when he was a kid, and now he is at the helm of the biggest movie release in recent memory. He grew up loving film because of things like the Star Wars world and he then parlayed that love into a successful career. Now he gets to make his own mark on the intergalactic franchise that was a significant part of his childhood. The most important thing to remember here is that he is only directing The Force Awakens. That means the other 5 movies announced to be released over the next 5 years all present an opportunity for another lover of the franchise to come and, essentially, fulfill a childhood dream of theirs.
Considering it takes place in an entirely new galaxy, Star Wars obviously has the potential to be one of the deepest story worlds out there. There are already a ridiculous amount of comics, video games, and even shows that are based in the Star Wars universe, so why couldn't there be more films? The threat of George Lucas forcing audiences to watch Jar Jar Binks is no longer there, and instead we get to see the talent of filmmakers such as Godzilla director Gareth Edwards, who actually got the job for Godzilla from his independent film Monsters, which he did all of the visual effects for on his home computer. He obviously has tremendous skill in filmmaking, and once raved about his hilarious obsession for Star Wars in an interview, so the opportunity to now work on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is quite likely the best moment of his career. After Episode VII and Rogue One, audiences will be treated to Episode VIII and see what one of my favourite writer/directors can do with the most popular film franchise in history. Rian Johnson was the creative mind behind the hugely underrated Looper, so once again Disney has handed the reigns to a young talent instead of an established director. I love this decision and it makes me even more excited for the new saga of Star Wars. These filmmakers have been given the biggest opportunity of their careers, and it will be exciting to see young creative talent being infused into Star Wars films instead of George Lucas' style that we have become all too familiar with.