Star Wars has seated itself in the Pantheon of cinema as one of the most beloved and cherished film series of all time. Fans the world over, young and old, continue to take the journey to a galaxy far, far away for fun and adventure. Yet, there have been some major changes in the last few years which has led to speculation over whether or not the franchise can maintain its energy and relevancy to new generations. We’ll take a look at some of the highs and lows of the Star Wars Saga and see if we can gauge what these will mean for the upcoming movie and its sequels.
Out with the old, in with the new
The first big shake up among the fan community came in 2012 when George Lucas, creator and owner of the Star Wars franchise, sold his Lucasfilm studio and rights to the films to Disney for the sum of $4 billion. Reactions were mixed, but the consensus among fans, and Lucas himself, was the franchise needed to be in new hands after the strongly negative reactions to the prequel’s and re-cuts of the original trilogy. However, this doesn’t mean that the announcement of J.J. Abrams as director for the next film, or that Disney will no longer count the Expanded Universe as canonical material, have been met with praise. Reactions have been mixed, leaning towards skeptical, among fans for both of those announcements.
As things change, they remain the same
One thing the new films have going for it is the addition of the original cast. Knowing familiar faces will be gracing the silver screen once again in their iconic roles eased much of the tension for long time fans. Also, Lawrence Kasdan, writer of “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”, is returning to script the new film. However, modern audiences have been clamoring for bigger and stronger roles for women characters, something the franchise has lacked in the past and that the new cast list does not deliver. Fans hold out hope that there may be as yet unreleased casting decisions that will reflect a more egalitarian mix in supporting cast or future projects.
Announcements continue to roll out as the studios tease fans with bits of information. It is known that new film will be a sequel to the original trilogy, yet the story line remains a mystery. There have been announcements of spin-offs, meaning a deeper and richer exploration of the Star Wars universe.
Despite all of the changes the Star Wars franchise has been through in the past several years, the fan community remain avid supporters of the story and characters they have come to love. It will remain to be seen how changes in leadership, ownership, material and vision will impact future stories. Yet, long time fans and those just discovering the power of the Force will wait in eager anticipation for updates and clips of the forth coming entry to the saga, hoping that this will be the movie they’ve been looking for.