BLOGBUSTERS Star Wars Episode VII: The Bloggers Cut

Disney owns Lucasfilm now. Disney also owns Marvel. Moving the deeply bizarre triple crossover possibilities that presents aside, let’s look at that Lucasfilm purchase and, in particular, the fact that Star Wars Episode VII (It just feels wrong writing it as 7 ) is not only happening, but is just first in line. After years of getting what we thought we want, hating it, getting sad, then getting a cartoon that was great and got pulled and then getting another cartoon which was differently great and is still going?

We get more Star Wars movies.

That actually gives me goosebumps, even now. So, without further ado, here’s this week’s question

(Actually it’s questions , but this is a big deal.)

What do you want to see from Star Wars Episode 7 ? Is the purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney is a good thing?

Narin Bahar: “Having seen what Disney has done with Marvel, I think Disney buying Lucasfilm is a brilliant thing for fans. The idea that George Lucas was somehow the gatekeeper of the sacrosanct canon of the franchise overlooks the endless re-releases and tinkering, R2-D2 hawking washing machines in adverts for Currys and Ahsoka the whiny Jedi, never mind Jar Jar blimmin’ Binks.

“Disney took the brilliant characters of the Marvel universe and, using vision, innovation and, yes, a good sense of what is marketable and will sell well, has done amazing things for the Avengers, setting a standard in the comic book film genre other studios must now aim for. Star Wars has a similarly rich universe and hopefully Disney will be able to take inspiration from that to tell engaging, exciting and fun stories for years to come. Of course, if Joss Whedon writes and directs Episode VII and there’s a key role for one Nathan Fillion then all our geeky Christmases will have come at once. What? A girl can dream. And since I’m writing my wish list, I’d also like a Star Wars park in Disney World please, complete with Mos Eisley Cantina to have lunch in…”

Lee Harris: “Disney is good at building franchises, and let’s face it, Disney can’t do a worse job than the Star Wars creator himself did with the last three films! It’s a positive move: the film-going public gets more Star Wars (if they want it), George Lucas gets to concentrate on other things, and most of the $billions he’s receiving from the deal he’s giving to education. So it’s one of those situations where there is no loser!

“As for what I want to see from Episode VII ? Simple: good storytelling. Good effects will be a bonus (and I’m sure there will be), but Disney should just do what it does best, and concentrate on story. That’ll make this fan happy.”

Stacey Whittle: “I have to own up at this point, I just ask you don’t judge me – I haven’t seen Episodes I-III . I am, of course, like any sci-fi nerd, word perfect in Episodes IV-VI . But I saw Spaced and decided not to risk it. I have never regretted this decision. So, my honest and true opinion is – oh.

“Not ‘oh’ bad or ‘oh’ good… just ‘oh’. I find myself struggling to connect with this development. Maybe it doesn’t matter who owns the damn thing; maybe we can’t judge what a movie will have to offer only knowing a very small amount of information. Maybe when I’ve seen a trailer and had a taste of what a Disney Star Wars film has to offer I’ll care more but at the moment I’m… waiting, with mild interest and one raised eyebrow. (I have to hold the other one down which spoils the look somehow but you didn’t need to know that eh?)”

Laura McConnell: “I think that anyone other than George Lucas owning Star Wars is a good thing, and I truly believe an infusion of fresh talent is absolutely necessary if the franchise is to continue. I mean, look what happened with Timothy Zahn’s books. His Heir To The Empire trilogy is fantastic, and it relit the Star Wars flame when nothing else was around. It also gave us some of the best characters in the Star Wars universe outside of the big three of Han, Luke, and Leia. Now, granted the expanded universe went a bit nuts after that and not everything there is gold, but there are some wonderful non-Lucas tales out there.

“Which brings us to Episode VII . I have mixed feelings about this, despite what I said above. Why? Well, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me three times, shame on me, but I’ll keep going to the cinema anyway because it has to get better, right? I want to be excited about Episode VII , but past experience makes me sceptical. If Lucas was in charge, frankly I’d be nothing but sceptical. But with Star Wars in different hands, I’m cautiously optimistic about Episode VII .

“But honestly, good or bad, I’m glad VII is getting made. Why? Because if it’s amazing, that’s great , but if it’s bad, that’s fine, too. I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out. It just doesn’t matter because we fans still win for four reasons. One, the original films don’t lose their magic just because the others aren’t very good. We’ll still have them, guys. It’ll be okay. Two, new fans are always a good thing. Three, just as the prequels brought us toys and tie-ins, so will Episode VII . And I, for one, see no harm in more Star Wars LEGO. Four, parodies and fanworks. I love them and while I think I’ve only seen The Phantom Menace twice (despite camping out!), I’ve seen Fanboys countless times and still love it.

“So I say roll on Episode VII . This Jedi will be at a midnight premiere somewhere, and I hope it’s wonderful and that somehow they manage to give us Mara Jade. And if not, well, I’ll cherish a night spent with friends, ignore it in my head, and enjoy the next Fanboys .”

Matt Risley: “Not to be all grumpy pants about the deal, but – ahem – ‘I have a bad feeling about this.’

“First things first; much as I love the original three, THANK CHUFF George Lucas has finally left the franchise. Sure, the original idea was a winner, but every time he’s tried to exert creative control since has led to a cinematic brainfart.

“There’s a huge potential for exciting newness – grab a great director and screenwriter, and unleash a whole new passionate, creative team on the franchise and it has the potential to eradicate all memory of the last three (which, even with their occasional flash of brilliance, were still almost universally rubbish).

“But there are still the obvious warning signs.

“Firstly, diehard fans aside, the last trilogy did a good job of killing off any further desire to see more adventures. Yet even with them, there was potential in prequels. With sequels though?! The story of Han, Luke and co was rounded off so satisfactorily – they saved the day in style – that it seems forced to prolong their fates.

“Additionally, there’s the obvious whiff of cash-grab about Disney’s purchase that makes me fear they’ll just saturate it beyond belief. Theme park rides aside, there’s a lot of financial gain to be mined from going to town on the Star Wars brand. The first official crossover from the universes fills me with fear – this is everything the nightmare I’d imagined:

C-3PO getting ‘down with the kids’? *cocks gun*”

Steven Ellis: “I’d love to give insightful comment on the future of Star Wars but I find I just don’t really care at the moment. When the Disney-buys-Lucasfilm news broke I tried to write a blog on it but had such difficulty that I gave up. I’ve been trying to read and review a couple of Star Wars books for Graeme’s Fantasy Review but I’m having real difficulty even finishing the books. I think I’ve just reached a point where I have Star Wars apathy. Too many CGI fiddles, the disappointing prequels, too many rabid fanboys, too many books rehashing the same characters and plots. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the franchise, I still love the original films and some of the books. And I’m still a huge fan of the Clone Wars cartoon series. I just guess my Star Wars tank is just a bit full at the moment.

“The future of Lucasfilm and Star Wars in the hands of Disney could be a bright one. Marvel is certainly doing well under the gaze of the Mouse. It could be just the thing the franchise needs. Letting others play in George Lucas’ universe is certainly a good thing. Just look at some of the fabulous EU books we’ve had. Unfortunately there have also been some stinkers. Time will tell how this new venture goes. I do think it’s a good time for Lucas to step back. He created a wonderful playground and he’s given a lot of people a lot of pleasure, but he’s been increasingly looking back and trying to fix the original films over and over without looking to the future and I think that to look to the future Star Wars needs fresh eyes and fresh blood. He did the right thing with the Clone Wars ; over-seeing things but leaving the day-to-day work to others has been a terrific success for the show. Doing that for the entire franchise could be the best thing he ever did.

“I do like the idea of being able to take my son to see new Star Wars films at the cinema as he grows up, the new films will be for his generation more than mine, but it might be nice to be along for the ride.

“But there is also a certain amount of fear. The idea that Disney plan to do the sequel trilogy and then look to be releasing a new Star Wars film every three years after that could see the franchise opening up to cover more of that galaxy far, far away, but it could also end up like Spy Kids in 15 years time. Also I hate the idea of these new films coming in 3D, because you know they will. Disney seems keen to release all of Phase 2 of the Marvel cinematic release in that glorious, awful, pointless format and you can bet Star Wars Episode VII will get the same treatment. That doesn’t help with the apathy I currently have with the whole franchise. 3D is also turning me off to Marvel’s Phase 2 for that matter.

“I’m cautiously optimistic is the best I can say I guess

“As to what I’d like from the new film; the idea of Hamill and Fisher and Ford passing the torch to a new generation has a certain appeal, the new films should definitely carve their own path and let the EU exist as a different entity without trying to tie things together, there’s room for both, but I’m really open to anything.

“There is one thing though. Don’t let Damon Lindelof anywhere near this franchise. Never ever ever.”

Star Wars Episode VII is on the way. Some of us are going to hate it, some of us are going to love it and some of us are going to obsessively collect anything LEGO associated with it and guess what? Not only do we all get to be right, but a new Star Wars movie is coming out. See, things do work out in the end.

Or do they? DUH DUH DAAAAAA! Join us next week when the Blogbusters answer the question:

What is the most shocking final scene you’ve ever watched or read?

Join us in seven, when we’ll tell you you’ve been in Purgatory all along… maybe…

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