Friday, April 12, 2013

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: Disney strikes back: A new hope for a better trilogy

By Bjorn Slater, Copy Editor

This fall, we were supposed to get “Star Wars” Episodes II and III in 3D. Big deal. Then last fall, Disney bought Lucasfilm.
 
Last October, Walt Disney Co. announced “Star Wars” Episode VII will be released in 2015, the first film in a suspected trilogy, after the entertainment industry titan made the deal to purchase Lucasfilm for $4 billion.
  

The franchise creator and director of the first six movies, George Lucas, said he had always envisioned the series having nine movies.
  
However, he announced he would never direct a “Star Wars” movie again due to the incredible amount of flak he got for the tweaks he made to the original trilogy when he rolled out the three most recent “Star Wars” movies.
  
Disney decided on a new director this January, and Lucas admitted the series couldn’t be in better hands than those of Jeffrey Jacob, “J.J.,” Abrams. The news that the director of “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “Mission Impossible III” will be taking over this legendary series has me anxious for 2015 already.
  
Even so, it will be nearly impossible to surpass the original three “Star Wars” movies. They might be able to make more money on the upcoming trilogy, but there’s something about the originals that has captured the imaginations of audiences across the globe.
  
Critics and I agree that Abrams will be able to improve on the most recent trilogy, but the fans of “Star Wars” have specific tastes that need to be appeased.
  
If these needs aren’t met, Abrams and Disney could have an angry mob on their hands.
  
On the other hand, if Abrams blows Episodes IV, V and VI out of the water, I think this upcoming trilogy will be a huge success.
  
A new direction could be what the series needs, and based on Lucas’ reasons for retirement, that could be exactly what will happen. This risks alienating many of the old fans, myself included, if the movies are not up to par.
  
However, if the films are well put together and continue the epic and never-ending struggle of the Jedi against the Sith in a manner that preserves the quality of the old films, the upcoming trilogy could reignite the passions of long-time fans and make multitudes of new ones in the process.
  
As a lover of the original three and someone who can’t bear to be let down by another new “Star Wars” trilogy, I’m waiting with cautious optimism for the official release date of Episode VII and to get a taste of what the new trilogy will be like.
  
I’m skeptical that Abrams will be able to live up to the legacy of Lucas, but hopeful that his recent success will motivate him to continue to build on his reputation as a renowned filmmaker.
  
With a fickle fan base, constant media pressure and some pretty big shoes to fill, it looks like Abrams has a lot on his plate.
  
Let’s see if he is up to the challenge.