I don’t have much to say about this, really. You wish for a thing for so many years – and the posts here on this very blog will attest to that – that when it finally happens, you don’t know how to react.
This is great news. This is fantastic. And I’ll tell you why.
Lucas makes great films. Well, he did, for assorted values of “makes” (Lucas and Lucasfilm / Lucasarts, as I have been duly nitpicked, are not necessarily synonymous). The original trilogy, the Indiana Jones series, heck, even Willow and The Goonies have their place in my cherished childhood memories. And sure, the prequel trilogy and later additions to the Indiana Jones and Star Wars franchises got a lot of hate, but that’s inevitable. The “originals” had a loyal and increasingly old and curmudgeonly following. Nothing was going to be good enough for those whining, greying bitches.
Lucas had a problem. He had to aim the prequel trilogy at the same age-group the original trilogy had been aimed at – kids and teenagers, essentially – while at the same time aiming it at the viewers of the original trilogy, who were 20 years older and had 20 years of expectation and adoration to satisfy (and 20 years of earnings to spend on tickets, and 20 years of offspring to bring into the fold). Also, there had to be toys. And the toy market had moved on 20 years as well, now he needed toys, collectibles, video games…
No, Lucas had a problem alright. And he aimed somewhere desperately centre-mass, and so he neither head-shotted for the kill nor knee-shotted for the incapacitation, and the result was an enraged pop culture wildebeest that trampled him until there was nothing left but a smear of goo with a stupid wiffle-haircut.
Disney know what they’re doing.
Disney are not in the business of screwing up their creations. They might re-make and re-master their old cartoons, but they generally do a pretty good job at it. And okay, there are old fairy stories that got “the Disney treatment” – what? The little mermaid didn’t fail in her quest for true love and get dissolved into sea foam and spend the rest of eternity in an anguish of unrequited desire? Heresy! The illiterate ignorant children deserve to be traumatised! – but Disney has stayed on-vision. And that vision is as follows:
Hook ’em young. Gain their love. Their disposable income will follow when they reach adulthood.
Truth. And shit, at least Disney didn’t retcon Bambi so Bambi’s mother took a shot at the hunters first. They may be guilty of a few transgressions in the process of telling their stories, and they may be responsible for wimpifying a number of generations to ever-increasing degrees, but they’re not completely fucking insane.
No, this is good news and nothing but good news. Disney have done well with Pixar, they did great with the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, there is absolutely nothing wrong with their treatment of Marvel. They fell in a bit of a hole with John Carter, but that wasn’t the film’s fault or its creators’ fault, it was down to how it was marketed. They haven’t even kidded that stuff down to any unusual degree, so there’s plenty of evidence of their ability to actually make “real” films too. As “real” as Pixar and Marvel are capable of, anyway, assuming that “real” means “muted colour palette and cautious experimentation in character development and dialogue, and maybe some mitigating circumstances marring the happy ending a bit (but not much)”.
Will Star Wars get the classic “Disney treatment” of the bad old days, and be aimed too hard at the kids and the toy market? Enh, that remains to be seen. Can they screw it up worse than the prequel trilogy in the eyes of the fans (I maintain that I quite enjoyed them really, but I know they’re films people love to hate, and there were some huge problems)? Well, maybe they can. That will be interesting to see.
But we get sequels. The only downside of this is if it is a hoax.
P.S. Thrawn please.