With so much going on in the Star Wars world, I wanted to take the chance to deliver my State of the Star War address.
This will include anything since the acquisition of Lucasfilm, The Force Awaken, new canon comics and Rogue One, with one question in mind:
Can it get any better or is this the pinnacle?
It has been four years since Disney acquired Lucasfilm from George Lucas. So far, the $4 billion acquisition seems to be a sound investment. When Disney bought Lucasfilm they changed a lot of lore. On April 25, 2014 Kathleen Kennedy took everything that wasn’t either one of the original 6 movies and said "nope none of this matters anymore." Kennedy didn’t want to limit the new canon with old stories that have already been told, and while George let the EU run parallel to his, he never considered those stories canon.
There are, however, a few exceptions: Including Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir from Dark Horse Comics, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon, which aired on Cartoon Network and came direct from the mind of Lucas.
The now non-canon extended universe called Star Wars Legends is still beloved by many people. This all changed everything, and my goodness did the guessing games begin.
With basically everything thrown in the trash the possibilities were endless. Lucasfilm had an entire universe to play with and could pick whatever they wanted from wherever they wanted.
When deciding to make Episode VII, Kennedy was quoted saying “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of the franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”
I feel this tactic worked.
The highest grossing domestic film ever to a cool tune of 936,662,225 Republic Credits and third all-time with just over $2 billion. J.J. brought back the quippy attitude Star Wars was based on.
You didn’t have senate meetings in the originals, you had Han Solo leaving the rebellion for the cash then realizing they need him to swoop in, shoot the bad guy and let the kid blow up the Death Star and still get the girl. An understanding of the franchise is the real reboot Star Wars needed. A lot of people including myself thought George had lost his touch. Seriously, what made him make the Senate Wars instead of Star Wars?
The Skywalker story has been around for just about 40 years and some of us feel he just kind of screwed fans with the prequels. I don’t think I could have written the beginning of Anakin’s story any better than George, but just maybe a little less Senate and a little more Skywalker.
Not bringing the most iconic villain in movie history into his origin story until the last 10 minutes of your final film spread across 9 years was a mistake.
The Force Awakens, however, wasn’t even the beginning. A boom happened and everyone jumped onto the Star Wars bandwagon. Was the over saturation too much? Makeup commercials, advertising on Apples even the car companies jumped in on the action and why wouldn’t you. $900 million this single movie made.
No, the over saturation wasn’t too much, it was exactly what Disney set out to do. They didn’t drop $4 billion to make one movie and move on.
In 2009, Marvel was bought by Disney. This meant when Star Wars was bought, the comic books were coming home. I have been reading most of these, but man is there a lot or what?.
I can’t keep up with all the Star Wars, Vader, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando and more. Plus, you had some intro comics like Shattered Empire, which tied in The Force Awakens to the Original Series. These books are great it's Disney’s Version of the new canon, but if you have not read Vader quit reading this and jump on that series now. It is fantastic it brings to life the struggle of Vader being demoted and looked down upon from his master Emperor Palpatine and what he goes through. The comics have been the new EU just now considered canon and have hit home run after home run. I hope they continue to make the spin-off stories because they are filling in the middle stories and bringing, even more, life to the characters in this universe.
Rogue One: A Star Wars story.
This is the story of why the Battle of Yavin happened.
The Battle of Yavin is perhaps the most significant moment in the Star Wars universe. It is used as The Star Wars epoch, or “zero year” if you will. To compare it to something, it would the birth of Jesus. B.C and A.D. Everything Before the battle is considered B.B.Y. (Before the Battle of Yavin.) and A.B.Y. (After the Battle of Yavin.) It just got real nerdy in here.
The whole reason this battle of Yavin started was because a group of Rebels (who we now know is lead by Jyn Erso) was tasked to retrieve the plans of the dreaded Death Star. This movie from all the trailers and what I have read looks fantastic. This looks like a war film. It has a spy thriller feel to it, as well. I think it is going to get deeper than any Star Wars film before it. It also comes with some changes to differentiate from the original series.
One main one being no opening crawl for Rogue One. In a recent interview, Kennedy confirmed to Variety that Rogue One won’t have an opening crawl, saying, “We felt that’s so indicative of what those saga films are. Initially, we probably will begin the film in a way that is traditional, with just the title.” This for me changes nothing if the film is good. I’m very OK with a war film and hope it brings to life what Vader is capable of.
So, overall the state of Star Wars is in excellent hands. They haven’t failed us yet.
With Episode XIII now just about a year away, and The Han Solo project looking even better by the day. By adding big names like Emilia Clark (Game of Thrones) and Donald Glover (Atlanta, Community and the rapper Childish Gambino) to play Lando Calrissian, Disney seems to know what they are doing and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.
Lucille Bluth once said “Here is some money, Go see a Star War.” I plan too Lucille I sure do plan too.