Monday, 20 January 2014

The Future of Star Wars

President of Lucasfilm and Star Wars brand manager Kathleen Kennedy recently spoke about the future of the franchise. She spoke, but nothing was really said.

Specifically, she was asked if the spin-off films will distort the narrative of what is now becoming known as ‘the saga’. Fans already know it’s a big galaxy, and Ms. Kennedy confirmed that it was large enough for “endless opportunities” of new stories and characters, but the subject under discussion was whether we should expect two entirely separate threads of films and tie-ins or a complex weave of story-lines in the way the Marvel franchise has been handling the Avengers brand(s). This is what she said:

"George was so clear as to how that works. The canon that he created was the Star Wars saga. Right now, episode seven falls within that canon. The spin-off movies… exist within that vast universe that he created. There is no attempt being made to carry characters (from the standalone films) in and out of the saga episodes. Consequently, from the creative standpoint, it's a roadmap that George made pretty clear."

It’s a fairly vague ‘for the time being/may be subject to change without notice’ response, but then how could it be otherwise?

Star Wars is being re-vamped but not ‘rebooted’ in the current sense. No one is re-imagining George Lucas’ creation, they’re recreating it. At least that’s what millions of fans are assuming and there’s no evidence so far to the contrary. Abrams is, as usual, being highly secretive. I don’t see any benefit in it myself if, as we’ve been told todaythe script is finished. Why not throw a few bones to the fans? They must now know if Hamill, Ford and Fisher are in it and releasing that information would increase talk and speculation (i.e. hype, which is free magical advertising that makes people really want to see your film), and JJ Abrams knows keeping secrets can have an adverse effect, as was the case with the deliberately created yet anti-climactic (non)surprise that [SPOILER ALERT] Benedict Cumberbatch was in fact Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness.

Of course, a lot of fans are now hoping he's secretly playing Thrawn in Episode VII. He isn't. 

Or maybe there are a few red herrings in the mix already and speculation and rumour has led us up the garden path. Maybe the script isn’t really finished, or there are several modular versions with different combinations of characters pending the final agreements. Who knows?

Artoo knows, as usual. But he never tells.

Back to Kathleen Kennedy. I’d say her comments indicate that at this time they don’t want to limit their options or tie their hands. They want as much free rein as they can maintain in order to keep the franchise flexible and give the writers as much creative scope as possible, while at the same time maintaining a cohesive brand. Can’t argue with that.

So, while we wait, here's something to remind us what we love about Star Wars.

No comments:

Post a Comment