My regular readers have been doing a heroic job of trying to talk me off the ledge about my fears of Disney caving to hateboy demands. I sure hope you guys are right that Disney is dedicated to protecting George Lucas’ vision of the Star War films made so far by releasing only the versions he approves. I hope Disney issues a flurry of C&Ds to originaltrilogy.com, RedLetter Media and all the fan editors violating Lucas’ copyright. I hope guys like Adywan are pissing in their beds and deleting their illegal content online right now.
For the record, I’m thrilled with Disney taking over Star Wars. This was an inevitable decision for Lucas and one he needed to make why he was still young enough to make sure it happened under his terms. I HOPE Lucas has put the legal safeguards in place to ensure Disney (and all future owners of the franchise) respect his artistic wishes. I HOPE Disney embraces the prequels and continues to promote them as equal installments of the saga. I HOPE Disney develops a strategy for dealing with the hateboys to prevent them from ruining Star Wars for others in the future.
I’ll also predict right now that Episode VII will likely deliver the kind of Star Wars film that general audiences have been craving. Disney has a lot riding on this movie. It’s the kick-off for the franchise going forward. It needs to deliver, and not just to hardcore fans. It will be fun, it will be bold and it will execute on the level Joe average moviegoer will appreciate: the acting will be less old-fashioned, the dialogue will be more contemporary and it will likely be funnier. Kennedy’s crew will go to great lengths to try to capture the spirit of ANH and TESB — and they’ll succeed because Kennedy is great at her job. There are going to be a lot of people bringing their A game because they know it means job security for life and pop culture immortality if they succeed.
What the film won’t be is Lucas’ singular vision, and for me that’s sad. It won’t be odd or eccentric or have the weird alchemy of George Lucas’ personal tastes, interests, talents and flaws. It won’t be the same kind of art as the Skywalker Saga. It will art as a product designed to appeal to the broadest audience possible. For many people, that’s a great thing. For me, it’s bittersweet. It’s the passing of an era and a reflection of the fact that I too am getting older. But I look forward to what lies ahead. For now, I’ll leave the ledge to the pigeons.