Monday, October 25, 2010

More Movies?

Wow.  Been a while since I posted stuff here, huh?

Okay, so reported on Friday that there are "New Star Wars Movies Planned." Rumors of new SW films are nothing new. George Lucas's original plan for the saga was to have the first six episodes follow the Skywalker family's saga, then start Episode VII with an elderly Luke passing the torch to a new generation of Jedi knights for episodes VII-XII. Yeah, that's right, the original plan was to have TWELVE films, not six. Lucas later changed his mind (probably because he got old), and claimed that he "never planned on more than six films," but that's all garbage because he already said otherwise in previously published interviews.
What makes this particular rumor so compelling is that it's, which is a highly reliable source.

"First, let me remind our readers of IESB's past scoops so anyone doubting the news will be aware. From Joss Whedon directing the Avengers, to the recent announcement of Disney's planned renegotiation of the Paramount Marvel deal, to the countless casting scoops, directing scoops, to our solid sources at Lucasfilm.
Confirmed IESB scoops specific to the Star Wars universe include the first announcement of the PG-13 rating of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, the first word of a live action Star Wars TV series as well as the Clone Wars animated series. Yes, all of these Lucasfilm scoops were all first reported here on IESB.

...Can we expect Lucasfilm to confirm our story? Have they ever? Nope, I am sure that they will spin this or completly deny the story, but we will stand 100% behind our source."

So, yeah. This seems pretty legitimate. It's far from a confirmation, but it's got a good chance of being true at the very least. Of course, Lucasfilm denied everything, but honestly, what else would they do?

The report outlines the basic gist of the new films:
"Too early for story details but one thing that our source is certain about, they will not be prequels but instead sequels. It's not for certain if they will be the long awaited Episodes 7, 8 and 9 but could instead be Episodes 10, 11 and 12 or possibly even further out in the Star Wars timeline. And by giving space in the timeline, possibly even as far as 100 years or 1,000 years in the Star Wars universe future, Lucas avoids having to make these stories "fit in" with what the previous stories have told."

So here's the thing:
True or not, is making more films a good idea?  I briefly had a texting-convo with my good buddy Robert about an hour ago on this very topic:

There are some seriously strong rumors about a new Star Wars sequel trilogy.
You *don't* want more films?
9 film marathon??  (note: Robert is referring to the fact that we and other friends have an annual Star Wars 6-film 12-hour movie marathon tradition)
They're not supposed to be Skywalker-focused, so they'll be a different storyline. Post-Return of the Jedi, I think.  Might be episodes 7-12, as was originally planned in 1977.  So... two marathons?  Lucasfilm's denying the rumors, of course, but I'm not really believing them ATM.
Post-jedi, like to destroy all of the EU? Jerks. Or maybe they adapt the X-wing series?
No telling.  Though if the new movies are better than the EU (which is possibly), I'd accept it.
Mrragh. I am not happy with this, its likely to irrevocably destroy the new republic era of EU
Dude. Books>Films? Nuh-uh.
I have little faith that they will be anything but money mongering films
That's never been Lucasfilm's M.O.  Even The Clone Wars is great.
Hahahahahahahahah nice sarcasm
Totally not sarcastic there, buddy
The clone wars is great? Which one?  And attack of the clones was great?
Hang on. It's blog post time.

So, yeah.  There's a chance that if they do films in the era after Return of the Jedi, they'll eradicate some Expanded Universe material.  A whole frakton of it.
However, as much as that would suck, I do think that it'd be better to have more movies.  I'd rather have a new trilogy and just go ahead with wiping out the post-Jedi EU.  Then the EU can start over alongside and after the new movies.
And hey, if the new films take place more than 125 years after ROTJ, there's no EU material to contradict anyway.  So there might not even be anything to fuss about.

Then there's the question of quality: can new Star Wars movies ever be good?
Personally, I think anyone who's familiar with Star Wars stories such as Knights of the Old Republic (the game, not the comic), Star Wars: Legacy, and the Thrawn Trilogy of novels can say with absolute certainty that the Star Wars universe is definitely an extremely fertile ground for storytelling.  The main complaint raised against this idea of new films is that the Prequels weren't necessarily amazing.  They had a plethora of problems, and many fans feel that George Lucas is entirely to blame for them.  Furthermore, there are some who believe that anytime GL does ANYTHING with Star Wars, he's only doing it for monetary gain and with absolutely no artistic integrity or respect for his own creation.
I disagree.

I stopped reviewing The Clone Wars TV series last year, not because it wasn't good, but rather because it had reached a standard of unwavering high quality that just didn't make for interesting criticism anymore.  And guess who comes up with 80% of all the story ideas for The Clone Wars?  George Lucas. He oversees, edits, and is in complete control of the series.  Sure, the show might only exist because Lucasfilm needs to make money (because, other than ILM, what else do they have? Indiana Jones?), but is that a bad thing?  If a product is good, what's wrong with selling it?  Capitalism at its finest, I say. (that one was for you, Robert.)

Yeah, the Prequels aren't all that amazing.  They've got brilliant epic special effects and a masterful galaxy-spanning story, but sometimes-terrible dialogue and vomit-worthy acting (mostly in episodes II and III).
Here's an interesting idea that I've heard thrown around: perhaps Star Wars is better when George is still in control, but technically hands-off?  That was the approach for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (in which GL was the Exec Producer, but not the on-set director), as well as the current setup for The Clone Wars.

Here's a cool article from on "5 Reasons Lucas Should Film a New Star Wars Trilogy."  I agree with it for the most part.

5 Reasons Lucas Should Film a New Star Wars Trilogy

Heard the big sci-fi rumor? Messages boards went wild over the weekend based on an unsourced report that George Lucas might be making another Star Wars trilogy, timed to land after the planned 3-D re-release of the first six episodes.
Some fans swooned over the possibility while others — still seething over the second batch of Star Wars films and other gripes — spewed bile on the idea. While Lucasfilm predictably denied the rumor, we think Lucas should reconsider.
Here’s our five cents, in the form of five reasons why the Skywalker Ranch hands should get cracking on another trilogy in a hyperspace nanosecond.

5. It’s not a stretch.
Lucasfilm has been building out the Star Wars cinema and toon universe ever since The Phantom Menace landed in 1999. The excellent Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series is currently on its third season, heading for 66 episodes, with more surely to come. Another Star Wars live-action TV series, aiming to deliver a syndication-friendly 100 episodes, is up next. Just using those numbers alone, that’s more than 80 hours of Star Wars storytelling. What’s another six-plus hours of film? 

4. The last trilogy wasn’t great.
Lucasfilm’s second Star Wars trilogy simply didn’t meet the mammoth expectations created by the first one. Another cycle of three films, done well, might give fanboys some closure. Although the second trilogy finished strong with the dark and dystopian Revenge of the Sith, the movie just couldn’t wash away the stain of Jar Jar Binks or Anakin and Padme’s roll in the hay. Third time’s a charm!

3. It’s for a good cause.
George Lucas has pledged a massive chunk of his prodigious estate to charity. Even haters have to admit that another three features would bring another three truckloads of cash to younglings worldwide. (If they won’t, maybe they should put half their money where their flapping gums are.)

2. Avatar needs the competition. 
Star Wars gave birth to next-gen sci-fi cinema in 1977, and lorded over it for decades until James Cameron’s Avatar came along and pwned it last year. Now Cameron’s immersive 3-D experiment is the highest-grossing film of all time, as well as the benchmark for blockbuster sci-fi cinema’s new normal — and he’s got two sequels on the way. A new Star Wars trilogy raising the immersive 3-D stakes could bring the Oscar statues and street cred back to papa Lucas. That would perhaps please not just Star Wars loyalists, but also Academy voters who gave Cameron the gas face and hilariously awarded the Best Picture Oscar to his ex-wife’s underwhelming film The Hurt Locker.

1. Star Wars purists need a diaper change.
I saw Star Wars in the theater in 1977, just like a host of other fans around the world. But it’s exceedingly hard not to laugh when fandom loses its nut over the possibility of another film trilogy, or even the failed ambition of the last one. Lucas makes a busload of bank (for Skywalker Ranch and charity, remember) by making movies for every childhood, not just ours.

The fanboys and fangirls who are sad that Lucas might tread on their cherished memories of Han Solo’s hairy chest, or Luke Skywalker’s petulant whining about having to go to the Tosche Station to pick up some power converters, or whatever, need to step back into the timestream and grow up. Sure, Jar Jar Binks still sucks, and that will probably never change. (Why do you think Lucas had him sell out the Senate by proposing to give Palpatine unitary executive power?). But Lucas doesn’t suck, nor has he sold out our sacred childhood fantasies. He’s the one that built them, and another trilogy will remind us all of that inescapable truth.

Here's another thing.
Have any of you ever actually seen Star Wars in the theater?  I've been lucky enough to have seen the prequels as well as Episode IV on the glorious big screen, and I have to say that no other film experience has ever topped that.  Star Wars is truly an event that dominates and defines the moviegoing experience, and the chance to see something new from the Galaxy Far, Far Away on that screen is definitely worth allowing into our preciously-guarded Star Wars-loving hearts.

1 comment:

zman said...

May the force be with us! Here's hoping for some Star Wars sequels in the near future. :)