Today is that special day in the Star Wars franchise where fans will flock to social media outlets to say to each other – “May the 4th/Fourth Be With You – May the Force Be With You” to share in the entertainment and enjoyment of a long beloved series.
Until the release of Episode VII on December 18, 2015 there will be a lot of announcements along the way. I’m looking forward to seeing how this new movie shapes up. I was glad to see familiar names and faces attached to it and while I’m sure there is a balance on both sides of the “I do/don’t want to see old Luke, Leia, and Han” camp, I’m personally glad they’re coming back (right now we don’t know the full extent of their appearance. It could be only a blocked span of time that they are on screen or they may help our new characters throughout the entire film. More than one script was made – so it could go a handful of ways).
I don’t see it quite as a ‘passing the baton’ kind of thing as some people do. While I’m sure that’s more or less the intention – to pay homage to the original series that so many love – I just look at the original stars coming back as the basis or springboard platform for which the new characters’ backstories can launch from. I think it’s good to see where these new stars portraying the new roles are coming from and how they all have been living their lives in a continuation of the original stories. I have not read the novels and while I have an inkling of popular names that have cropped up over the years (Mara Jade – in the Expanded Universe she eventually became Luke Skywalker’s wife but has a richly written backstory– being one of them), all I have are the films and shows like The Clone Wars to pull from.
So, from my point of view– why wouldn’t we want to know where the crew went or how they chose to grow old together? Sure, the stories could have just moved on and used new faces to establish a whole new story – and if some of these actors were no longer among the living, maybe that’s what they would have done – but we have all these original stars. We have the chance to see what has happened to them over their travels over the years. It’s clear to see there are a lot of stories to tell, new and old(er).
As of this date–(any information released about Star Wars going forward has no reflection on what I’m blogging about today. I can’t know what new information will be released at a later date and while I am a fan of the originals, I’m not someone who knows the SW universe well enough to be considered a super fan. My blog post is more or less just a celebration of the date and some of the new info that has been released lately. I’d be happy enough to know that maybe my post has you interested enough to go look into newer details that may be newer than what I knew of this posting. )
After the release of information stating that the Star Wars Expanded Universe (EU) stories aren’t specifically driving the new movies going forward – they’re looking at the actual six film produced movies as their foundation right now, it’s left many fans with a sour taste in their mouths wondering what’s going to happen to all the rich stories and characters that could be left behind without using the expanded library of material. Fans have been supporting the franchise loyally for years and they’re left wondering how it all fits in now. Each story and character was approved by George Lucas and fans believed that because Star Wars was so protected and Lucas approved what went out for content, that it was all considered “cannon” and went beyond the actual filmed movies.
There’s confusion and perhaps some misinterpretation (maybe with me, maybe in general) in terms of what the new owners of Lucasfilm intend to do about all of these stories and we won’t know what will shake out, until more information is released. The quotes that I read, didn’t actually SAY that they were never going to delve into the EU stories – it seemed to say, to me- that they weren’t planning on using known stories YET (or fully). It seems as though maybe they’ll sift through what they can use – and deliver to the new films with confidence, and then tell brand new stories in the Star Wars universe so that all the fans can enjoy the new content.
“You know, it’s not off-limits, and it’s certainly inspiring — I’m working on an animated show for [Lucasfilm] as well, Star Wars Rebels, that will take inspiration from everywhere, but — I know for the movies, the canon is the canon, and the canon is the six films that exist,” Simon Kinberg said during an IGN interview at WonderCon in Ahaheim.
Kinberg also said that for himself, director J.J. Abrams, writers Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, the new films are “all about honoring the original movies, and yet wanting to take a step forward, too, and tell a new story.” Source: http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2014/04/22/new-star-wars-films-wont-use-expanded-universe/
So, we’ll see what happens as the film moves onward. There may be some better clarification, retractions, or confirmation of what those statements mean in coming weeks, months, and years.
I was really glad to see Andy Serkis (Gollum, Cesar, etc) and Domhnall Gleeson (“About Time”, “Dredd”, a Weasley twin in “Harry Potter”, etc) added to the casting. While I don’t know the other named actors as well (who knew Mark Hamil very well at the beginning of the series in the 70’s? We’ve had years to get used to his name. And yeah, I know. Hayden Christiansen was unknown as well. I’ll leave you to decide how well that did or didn’t work out for you) I’m going to enjoy seeing these two especially. It’s unclear right now whether Serkis will be playing a motion capture character like Gollum/Cesar or if he’ll be a flesh and blood man, like he was in King Kong as the cook (Mark Ruffalo also Tweeted that Serkis is giving some pointers in Hulk capturing for Avengers 2! Pretty cool), but either way – it’s a sure bet that he’ll be extremely entertaining. He’s a vibrant actor and fun to watch on screen. Gleeson was excellent in “About Time” – the movie could have gone in any direction, but Gleeson sold me on that portrayal and I enjoyed the movie much more because of his involvement. I’ve been looking forward to seeing what he’s going to do next. Now I know and I’m liking it!
It will be great to see how everything shapes up!