The world is on fire for Star Wars.
The Force Awakens is just around the corner, carrying more hype than probably any other movie in history. New toys are out, a new Battlefront is out, Star Wars tv series are being talked about, standalone movies, other sequels – it’s a whirlwind of excitment for anyone who is a fan of the beloved Star Wars Universe. The Force Awakens has looked nothing short of incredible in the handful of trailers we’ve seen, leaving us all to believe that it will do our expectations justice and fulfill our fanboy/fangirl dreams. It all seems too good to be true – the media world shaping itslef to the mold of a Star Wars fantasyland. But, amidst all the chaos of announcements, rumors and hype, something has been stirring up an awry feeling in a few of us suspicious types.
Let’s just point out a recent announcement: Disney said it will release a Star Wars movie every year for as long as it can. Initially, most fans rejoiced at the statement, revelling in the joy of the countless ideas which could finally come to fruition in one form or another. For me, though, there was a bit of an odd taste left in my mouth after reading the news. I mean, the first announced standalone, Rogue One, sounds cool as hell and I can’t wait to see it – and the sequels in the new trilogy have me fully anticipating greatness – but something about the words ‘every year‘ is extremely offputting to me.
The most similar comparison we could make to such a situation, would be Marvel’s current state, both in film and television. They’ve expanded the Marvel Universe and created some awesome things, but let’s be honest, they’ve also been riding this money horse into the ground. Their newest Netflix series (Daredevil and Jessica Jones) have been some truly great pieces of entertainment, and I especially loved how dark and gritty they went with Jessica Jones. But, as far as the cinematic universe has been, I can’t help but notice that some of the entries have suffered simply due to them being rushed out every single year. Now, it’s not like they’ve been bad movies, just more like a lot of decent action films that are beginning to feel more and more like the same exact thing repeated over and over again. I’ll be honest, I was getting sick of the Marvel movies leading up to Winter Soldier. I thought Avengers was a good movie, but was growing tired of the formula. I had heard great things about Winter Solider, though, so I gave it a shot with a lot of enthusiasm to be hopefully reinvigorated for the genre/franchise. Unfortunately, I felt extremely let down by Captain America: The Winter Solider. I know a lot of people will despise me for that statement, but I honestly couldn’t ignore once again how formulaic it felt to me. Let me emphasize – I didn’t think it was a bad movie. I was entertained. But, I still felt like it was just another superhero movie where the plot and dialogue are secondary to the sporadic action sequences. Trust me, I love to see Captain America kick some ass, but after I’ve seen every other super hero kick ass in all of their respective three or more films, I get a little tired of it. It often felt like it was a ratio of fifteen minutes action to two minutes of awkard exposition-filled dialogue. Like they were forced to fight most of the time, and when they got a chance to breathe, they would quickly shoehorn in something like “Oh, and the bad guy, by the way, is doing this, and so we have to do that, and this is like a mini synopsis for the audience instead of authentic dialogue”.
Thankfully, my hope in superhero movies was completely renewed with Guardians of the Galaxy. Like, holy shit, a better redemption could not have occurred. It was an absolute treasure and was executed perfectly on every level. Now that movie is what I want to see more of from Marvel. Anyways, I’ve gotten sidetracked. My point in highlighting Marvel’s several years of back-to-back movies is to bring up the concern of a similar effect unfolding in the Star Wars Universe with the recent announcements.
Star Wars is a sacred entity to many of us. One that, if handled poorly, could break the hearts of millions and tarnish a legacy which has stood the test of time since the 70’s. Arguements have been made over the prequels doing just that, and it’s a controversial subject, so I’m not going to dive into it. That being said, check out the Jar Jar Binks theory that will entirely change the way you see the prequel trilogy.
Luckily for us, the perfect people have been handpicked to bring a fresh new vision to the Star Wars franchise that is emitting many similar vibes of the original trilogy, yet bringing an abundance of new characters, storylines, locations and more to the mix. Honestly, it looks perfect. I can’t really say how disappointed I’ll be if it turns out to be a total let-down. To be honest, though, I don’t see that happening. There’s something about the trailers and the combination of actors, writers and director that make it seem like it’s really the Star Wars film that we fans deserve. Sadly, though, I don’t know if we’ll ever have this feeling again: the feeling of pure wonder and anticipation for a new Star Wars movie. You may ask, ‘What do you mean? There’s a ton of new Star Wars movies coming out down the road! What do you mean we won’t feel this again?!”. I mean that with the announcement of a new Star Wars movie releasing every year for an unknown amount of time, there’s never going to be the same situation where we hold our breaths for ten years or more for a new movie, like the world did between the original trilogy and the prequels – or between the prequels and The Force Awakens. We will never have that amount of time to speculate with little to no clue what the next movie would be about or when it would be made. Sure, maybe it sucked to be without Star Wars for so many years, but what’s going to happen when new shows and movies are being released every single year? Won’t it cheapen the franchise? Will it destroy the legacy? I don’t know. I’m a little scared, though.
Yeah, it’s going to be kick ass when we get to see standalone films or series that include Boba Fett, Han Solo, Yoda, or some of our other favorite characters and locations. But one has to wonder when there will be a ‘miss’. With so much new content on the horizon, it’s inevitable. There’s going to be an Iron Man 3 of Star Wars, if you get what I mean. There’s going to be a movie or series that just doesn’t quite get it done. It’s going to fall short or it’s going to feel out of place. You simply can’t release a plethora of content and expect every single piece to be a homerun. Obviously, while there are staff at Disney who care for the Star Wars legacy, it’s all about the monetary potential. This upcoming revival Star Wars era will make a ton of money; it will result in plenty of victories for cinema and telvision as well. I’m not looking forward to the shortcomings, though. There will undoubtedly be new iterations that feel forced (no pun intened). For now, I can only speculate and worry about the possible negatives in the future of Star Wars, but I’ll surely be overcome with a heavier wave of nostalgia and excitement when everything starts falling into place. I just hope that the name of Star Wars isn’t made to be less by a money machine that could potentially suck the franchise dry. Why? Because I love Star Wars. We all do.
What do you guys think? Will the Star Wars legacy be destroyed by too much content? Or will this only benefit Star Wars fans around the world? Let’s start a discussion in the comments!
Author: Austin Adams @IamAustinAdams
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