Michael Moccio ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
Back in 2005, Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith was released thus concluding one of most epic film franchises of all time. That is, until another spin-off movie came out in 2008, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, that was critically panned. Everyone thought this marked the end of the Star Wars films era. Sure, there was the animated television series well into its fifth season, and a tease of a live-action series made by Lucas himself.
In a 2004 interview with Mark Hamill, who played the titular role of Luke Skywalker, talked about how Lucas told him about his ideas and plans for a total of four trilogies in the series. Of course, only the first two were made. But that, ladies and gentlemen, is changing.
As of October 30, 2012, Lucas has stepped down from his perch and sold Lucasfilm and all of its subsidiary companies to Disney. What does this mean? Well, in the announcement today, it means that a new Star Wars Trilogy is in the works. The first of the new trilogy will be out in 2015, the second in 2017, and finally the third in 2019. It is really happening people. But, to avid Star Wars fans, what does this mean exactly?
Well, folks. Here’s what we do know: Kathleen Kennedy has assumed the presidency of Lucasfilm and will be the executive producer of these films and the subsequent ones as well. Some might recognize the name because she has produced movies such as The Sixth Sense, Signs, and The Last Airbender.
Yes. You read the right. An executive producer of the movie that was up for worst film of all time has assumed control of the company. Although Lucas asserts his confidence in his decision, especially where it concerns Kennedy, it makes one feel a little worrisome.
Star Wars is something held very sacred to the public. The Expanded Universe in its books and comics is widely popular and serves to, as the label goes, expand from the movies. We have been able to glimpse into the future and see exactly what befalls Luke, Leia, and Han. We’ve seen the aftermath of the Galactic Civil War and everything in-between. We now even know about the enigmatic Darth Paleigus from Revenge of the Sith. It is through the experiences outside of the movies that we’ve grown so attached to these characters and this mythos.
A concern raised is the fact that Disney has bought Lucasfilms. Disney is most known for its animated classics and Disney princesses. Star Wars doesn’t exactly come to mind. Some already fear that Disney will ruin this franchise due to its mission to provide compelling stories to all age groups; however, it is important to consider Disney’s recent successes. The same thing was said when Disney bought Marvel, and now they have successfully made a superhero franchise that spawned the colossal Avengers movie. If they can replicate that success, then Star Wars might yet again be in business.
Disney aside, this raises the question of exactly what the story will be about. Lucas long before hinted at his plans. He said in an interview with The Yuma Daily Sun in 1982 that the main characters of the original trilogy would be roughly 20 to 40 years older. Due to the Expanded Universe, that leaves one the ability to adequately predict possible storylines.
The events of The Return of the Jedi happened four years after the Battle of Yavin. In the Star Wars Universe, time is held similarly to BC and AD; however, it’s BBY and ABY (Before Battle of Yavin and After Battle of Yavin). If The Return of the Jedi happened in 4 ABY, then the possible storylines happen between 14 and 44 ABY.
One possible storyline could follow the Jedi Academy Trilogy,where Luke returns to Yavin 4 and opens up a Jedi Praxeum. This landmark in the Star Wars Universe, occurring in 11 ABY, is significant because it marks the beginning of Luke’s restoration of the Jedi Order. The story is enough to make into a trilogy, really expanding the mythos, but because a lot of the story is Luke’s traveling, with much of the action happening in the third book, this choice would be unlikely. Not to mention that it is a bit out of the time range.
Another very possible story line is the Yuuzhan Vong War, which occurred in The New Jedi Order series of books. The war, happening between 25 ABY and 29 ABY, featured a species completely new to the Star Wars universe, coming from another galaxy entirely. The Yuuzhan Vong were a species completely separated from the Force—viewed as voids by Force Users—and shunned all forms of technology. They waged war against the New Republic.
This storyline would be the most ideal, because it features not only characters from the original story and ties into the prequel trilogy during Anakin’s training, but it showcases the legacies of the main characters. Without spoiling anything, we will see children from Luke, Leia, and Han. It would be a great starting point for Lucasfilm to consider when diving back into the fray, considering all their media has been heavily focused on the Clone Wars. This would provide not only a new cast, but would also feature the old ones—and it would actually make sense for them to be old—and gives the chance of new audience members who did not grow up with the original trilogies a chance to join in.
It would make the most sense for Lucasfilm to make this first trilogy The New Jedi Order, with subsequent trilogies focusing on The Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi series. These other movies that are mentioned in the announcement could showcase Star Wars films independent of the main story lines and showcase characters. There is a lot to be told from this universe.
All in all, this is groundbreaking news. There is a lot of speculation going on and only time will really tell where all of this is heading. Other reports of this news have asked readers to comment on who they would like to see write and direct the film. Honestly, what Star Wars will need is the homey feel Joss Whedon brought to the Avengers and the innovative storyline brought to Star Trek by J.J. Abrams. Perhaps they could be a team willing to tackle this project? Fingers crossed everyone.