So, Disney has bought Lucasfilm, and a new Star Wars film is coming out in 2015. I’m not sure whether to be excited or terrified.
I was 14 the summer that Star Wars came out. That was just about the perfect age for it, and I was as much of a Star Wars fanatic that summer as I could be considering that I lived in the middle of nowhere and didn’t even get to see the movie until it was rereleased the next year. Still, just the idea of it made my little geek heart go pitter-patter. Why, I started the first draft of what eventually became my first novel inspired only by a clip from the movie — the battle when the Millennium Falcon escapes from the Death Star — that Gene Shalit showed on the Today Show during his review.
So, a lot has happened in the past 35 years. The original trilogy was completed, then came all the Expanded Universe stuff. Then came the prequel trilogy.
Here’s what I’m going to say about the prequel trilogy. Yes, they were mostly crap. Newsflash, bud — the original trilogy was mostly crap, too. Shut up and deal, fanboy.
Not a lot has happened with Star Wars since then. There’s been Clone Wars, of course, which I haven’t gotten around to watching beyond the initial movie. I’ve heard both good things and bad. And George very famously announced that he wouldn’t be making any more Star Wars movies himself because, honestly, why would he put himself through the aggravation again? I wouldn’t.
Well, it looks like George has decided what he’s going to do with the franchise now and it’s handing it off to somebody else for a Death Star full of money. Well, why not? Lucasfilm is probably the most successful independent production company in history. George is in his golden years. Why not pass it on and reap the benefits of his life’s work? More power to you.
And Disney? Well, Disney is an evil media conglomerate. Let’s get that out there on the table right now. Disney is pure, unadulterated evil, as are all big corporations. That being said, Disney has done a pretty good job in recent years shepherding the properties it has devoured. Pixar doesn’t seem to be any worse for passing through Disney’s evil corporate digestive tract. Nor does Marvel. That may certainly change with time — it most certainly will — but for now, the evil, soulless liches who operate their corporate death factory know enough to allow their newly acquired slave properties to be what they are, which is why Disney wanted to buy them in the first place. So, at least for now, I don’t see any reason for Disney to mess overly much with the franchise.
And I love Star Wars. Don’t get the wrong idea. Yes, I recognize its flaws, but that doesn’t mean I love it any less. Star Wars is a major part of the mythology of my generation. It is one of the last great common touchstones that people my age and younger share. Sure, there has been Harry Potter and Twilight and such since then, but while I can appreciate these properties (or not, as the case may be), they will never be as significant a party of my psyche as Star Wars has been.
An idea has been percolating in my head for a while. I’ve been considering writing about it, but I just never got around to it. The news today, though, seems like a good place to start.
Here’s the thing. Growing up, I often created Star Wars stories in my head. For some reason, I especially remember coming up with these stories while mowing the lawn. This was a time before the Extended Universe. This was before the Internet. Fan culture, as far as I was concerned, consisted of Starlog (ask your parents). These stories were special things that belonged just to me. Even though I never wrote them down, I was writing Star Wars fan fiction in my head before I knew such a thing even existed.
I still remember a lot of those stories. I still think they were a lot of fun.
So, here’s the plan. I’m going to rewrite Star Wars. Oh, it’s not going to be Star Wars, of course. When it’s all said and done, it may not even resemble Star Wars all that much. My goal is to capture the essence of what I enjoyed so much about those stories and what I enjoyed about creating my own stories.
Hey, it’s something to do.