The Marvelization of Star Wars

Just as the Greeks were folded into the growing Roman Empire, Lucasfilm has recently been folded into Disney’s empire. As this new owner of an entire galactic universe, Disney has announced that they are Marvelizing Star Wars. In other words, they are using the uber-lucrative and successful business model set up for the Marvel universe: a few Character films that stand alone and work as feature-film-length trailers for the Event film.

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Building a bigger movie franchise

It’s tough to deny Disney’s business logic, considering the astronomical success of the Marvel franchise.  With Star Wars films alone, Disney will quickly earn back the roughly four billion dollars they invested in Lucasfilm.

What this also means, however, is that the expanded universe will at last have an opportunity to be portrayed onscreen professionally with a ginormous budget.  It means that new voices and new visions will be added to Star Wars, for good or for ill.  It means, if successful, more directors over coming years and generations will have their chance to participate in the Star Wars canon.

Since the announcement of J.J. Abrams as the director for Episode VII, there has been some criticism that he is a safe choice.  I think it’s a good choice, and would rather go with a safe choice than someone who wouldn’t be true to the essence of Star Wars.  Some have suggested going further off Hollywood’s beaten path, to indie directors who could bring an interesting view to the franchise.  Now, that lesser-known director has a chance.  Though Ironman, Captain America, and Thor are from the same franchise, they do have a different feeling and essence within them.  Ironman, under Jon Favreau is clever and cocky, Captain America under Joe Johnston is earnest and patriotic, and Thor under Kenneth Branagh is fun yet epicly Shakespearean.  Each film takes on both the qualities of the director’s style, but also match the essence of the main character.

The rumors are of a Boba Fett film and a young Han Solo film.  While there is much sacrilege to commit by expanding on these two iconic characters, there is also grand opportunity.  Boba Fett’s film could be a cool PG-13 thriller venturing into the dark underbelly of Coruscant.  Young Han Solo’s film could be a fun heist movie similar to Timothy Zahn’s new novel Scoundrels, a take on Ocean’s 11 but with Han Solo and Lando Calrissian instead of George Clooney and Brad Pitt, or The Rat Pack.  A major problem for both films is that both characters have appeal because of their mysterious nature.  We don’t need a super hero-esque, tragic back story.  We need movies that just jump into the action and tell a fun, fast-paced yarn.

Also, as my brother pointed out, it will be hard for these movies to be as awkward as the Prequel Trilogy.  I hope the new lightsaber battles don’t rely on dismembering hands as much as Episode III: Revenge of the Sith did.

I’m excited to see what will happen, and how a modern Star Wars film with (hopefully) a good script can look and feel.  Now, hopefully, we can see the wish fulfillment of the endless Star Wars fan films.

Also, we can watch the expansion of the Star Wars: Lego franchise.

“Coolest minor character in an action movie”
- Boba Fett, by Renko.
Go on, check out the song here.

What expanded universe elements would you like to see on the big screen?

I for one would love to see an adaptation of the Rogue Squadron series, or see if Disney is bold enough to do something with Mara Jade.

Which director would you choose to helm an unexpected, left-field Star Wars movie?

What type of movie would you choose for each character?

Other Thoughts On Expanding The Star Wars Cinematic Franchise:

Official StarWars.com announcement.

From Scifi4me.com

From fluffrick.wordpress.com

From fallingpianos.wordpress.com

From techandle.com

From popcornworld.net

From page2screen.wordpress.com

From futurefilm.wordpress.com

From filmedge.wordpress.com

And per request:

From Star Wars Anon

(As you might guess, it’s a popular topic.)

If anyone else would like to be added to this galactic list, mention it in the comments below.

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95 thoughts on “The Marvelization of Star Wars

  1. First time I’ve been linked to in another blog! Many thanks!

    I agree that Abrams is the safe, and best, choice for moving forward in the Star Wars universe, Once the “new” mythology gets established, then Disney can start taking risks on some of the excellent indie directors out there. (Still, I’d love to see Joss Whedon take a crack at the whole thing…)

  2. What I would like to see on the big screen is the scene where Han shot first. Remember that? Back in the 1970s? When Lucas wasn’t afraid to make Han a morally ambiguous character?

    Lucas has done so much to tarnish the Star Wars brand that Disney has no place to go but up. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Mouse House comes up with.

    I think a young Han Solo film sounds like a fabulous idea. He was always the most intersting element in the original trilogy. He’s a perfect fellow to wrap a movie around.

  3. I wouldn’t say it’s exactly like Marvel. The rumored Yoda movie couldn’t lead into Episode 7, since Yoda dies in 6. And a young Han movie would be chronologically far away from Episode 7 as well.

  4. I am a big Star Wars fan but it amazes me that in today’s world when I am talking about Star Wars people think I am talking about Star Trek. Does that happen to you?

  5. I think the idea of marveling Star Wars could be pretty neat, and it would be interesting to see how they develop characters like Boba Fett and Han Solo when there are the main focus. I, myself, think Boba Fett is the man, and would like to hopefully see him
    from a not entirely dark and scummy
    viewpoint, although as someone
    who does what they need to survive in chaotic times. I…am…EXCITED!

  6. I imagine that the Star Wars ‘purists’ (whatever that might mean) will be quivering in their Darth Vader suits at the thoughts of what might be done to their ‘favouritest ever’ franchise. The presumption of course is that Star Wars itself was a sui generis masterpiece, when in reality it rehashed rather tiresome themes of good vs evil in the broadest possible strokes. Sepia-tinged retrospect has made these children’s films into a canon of far more magnificence than they ever contained. Yes, they were enjoyable flights of fancy but they were only that — let’s not pretend otherwise.

    Indeed, the black-and-white depictions at play in the Star Wars moral universe are grist to the mill for a company like Disney, which specialises in surface-level morality plays. By all means let hordes of directors take their turns on Star Wars. Make it edgy, vicious, relevant…

    • What makes the Original Trilogy so classic is it has a good story and is a fun ride. While I enjoy edgy things now and then, it’s nice sometimes to step back into a warmer, more hopeful place.

  7. I wrote about Disney’s acquisition a couple of times, a while ago. Essentially saying what I’d like to see, so here goes (apologies for the link-baiting…)

    http://froodianpseudoanalysis.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/disney-lucasfilms-presents-star-wars-a-brand-new-cash-cow/

    Make it happen, Disney, I want to watch Star Wars without all the blah Lucas added…

    If you can’t, and I think Fox’s ownership of Episode 4 (?) in perpetuity makes it difficult, then at least do this remake of Episode 4:

    http://froodianpseudoanalysis.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/star-wars-episode-4-a-new-remake/

    Christopher Walken as Obi Wan, what could go wrnog?

  8. Can you add my blog into your lineup too?? :(

    Kidding. Kind of.

    I wrote a list on my blog of who I would love to see realistically vs. ideally/anything is possible. I had Mara Jade in there too. I’m more fascinated in taking a leap of faith and going somewhere completely original, but know that won’t happen. NO WAY will that happen for the first few…but I’m hoping it becomes an option over time.

  9. What a hoot, Laura, here you are again. Congratualtions on being Freshly Pressed. Never been a fan of Star Wars myself so can’t get too excited about new and improved version.

    • I have many friends who would agree with you. I have one good friend who claims to have fallen asleep each time she attempts to watch Star Wars.
      Different taste creates diversity.

  10. I was thinking about this the other day…Not Star Wars per say, but I heard that there will be a Justice League movie soon, and it made me wonder if they would do several back story movies on the characters. Well, several better back story movies……Star Wars is one of my favorite sagas of all time, and Han Solo and Boba Fett are easily my two favorite characters, I would love to see some movies.

    • It’ll be interesting to see how DC and Warner Bros assemble the Justice League. Marvel and Disney have done the near-impossible. DC has the potential to do awesome things, but it’ll have to set the right tone.

  11. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed, Laura! I loved the orginal Star Wars when I was younger (I think I still have an ewok in storage) but the new ones didn’t really do anything for me. Here’s hoping they get it right!

  12. I think it’s easy to argue against the “Disneyfication” of Star Wars, if you know how Disney currently operates as a studio. They are artistically too risk-averse to infuse the franchise with new and vital energy. They would rather put money into someone else’s originality than foster or mentor their own. That’s what they did with Pixar, and the Pirates movies, which worked, and John Carter, which didn’t. Though Marvel made plenty of mistakes in the past, they are where the smart money is now. Though you are right that it’s hard to argue with Marvel’s business model, it also requires that you put your own butt on the line. Disney hasn’t got the Force to do it.

  13. When I was a kid and very much into Star Wars, I remember thinking the Han Solo trilogy by A. C. Crispin was the best. So I would love to see a movie about Han Solo’s earlier years. Of course, with the caveat that it is done well . . .

    . . . and Jar-Jar is not in them :)

    Anywho, great post! Brought me back to my earlier “fanboy” days.

    Sincerely,
    Julien Haller

  14. Reblogged this on What are you on about Vinten? and commented:
    Dear Master Yoda, not more prequels!!!

    The whole format of the star wars saga is told in chapters that run in chronological order (albeit not necessarily released in that order).

    As far as I know there are nine chapters written and 7,8 and 9 should all follow the events of 6.

    By all means, make a character film, make it a backstory spin off film, but for the love of Leia don’t call it episode 7!!!

    Now, a story about the eventual fall of a Skywalker to the dark side? Yes please! How about the vengeance of palpatines as yet undisclosed replacement of Vader, there is always a backup, see ‘The Force Unleashed’.

    I know there’s some trepidation about this new era but remember people, Fear is a path to the Dark Side….

    • I might be misunderstanding your comment. Episode VII will probably continue the saga of the Skywalker family and their relationship to galactic peril. To capitalize on the investment, Disney is also planning separate side films about individual characters – similar to the bajillion Star Wars comics, novels, video games, and etc.

      • Ah, I see. Apologies, I got confused by the formula in the pic at the top of the page and thought that Disney planned to use the spin off’s as actual episodes.

        Thank Yoda that’s not happening!!!
        Cheers for clarifying that :-)

        Personally, I’d love to see what would happen to the wannabe sith lords that palpatine would no doubt have been grooming to replace Vader…. or how about the ghost of palpatine – if Qui Gon Jin (excuse the spelling) can beat death I’m sure Palpatine can….

        Awesome blog and congrats on the FP

  15. Really looking forward to Star Wars ‘the next generation’! Think JJ is definitely up to the job.
    Not really interested in delving into the existing characters in separate films, just want to see the story continue. After all, you can’t keep the Sith down forever!!
    Perhaps Mark Hamill will be back as a wizened Kenobi type mentor.

    All to play for!

    TP

  16. We should never forget that Lucas is the Creator and for that he deserves our respect. HOWEVER – I am soooo glad he finally LET GO! He’s been the worst stage mother, ever.

    On an obscure note, I would love to see Tad Williams Otherland series of books turned into a movie franchise. I think it would be brilliant, and a huge money maker as the possibility for sequels is virtually endless.

  17. Great post. One thing I love about the additional movies is that now we finally have the chance to see the inner workings and details of what makes up the Star Wars universe. For example, I imagine one of the new movies being conceptualized as we speak is a documentary about midi-chlorians. I can’t be the only one that wants to understand how some sort of biological makeup actually translates into regular folks being able to throw laptops at one another by only using their minds.

  18. Reblogged this on makeitfun4thumbs's Blog and commented:
    I would love to see individual films expanding on each I the characters. Just last week I was discussing that it would be great to have films on Bobba Fett. I am sort of curious about the character in Cloud City who is bald with a device around his head. Maybe one about Admiral Akbar. I very much am looking forward to all the possibilities!!

  19. Congrats not only to you but to a Star Wars themed post making it to FP!!!

    The Marvel model is obviously a huge success and it offers some great opportunities to expand upon some individual characters… Hopefully within the bounds of the EU. I’m stuck between wanting to see something totally new and seeing something I have read from one of the many EU books out there.

    There are a number of great directors available, and I’m sure some of them will be tapped for these other movies. JJ Abrams, while not my choice, was still a great choice. There will always be those who don’t like what he creates with Episode VII. Some will blame him, some will blame Disney, some will even find reason to blame Lucas himself, or even the asteroid that just near- missed Earth. You can’t make everyone happy but I do know that Disney knows what they have with Star Wars. They have a franchise with a solid foundation, endless possibilities, an epic and massively diverse global following, and a fan base that would grow homocidal if this got screwed this up. Disney knows that no matter what they might have in the hopper for the other movies, everything hinges on the success of Episode VII. I’m betting they won’t screw it up.

    • I think we should blame all problems, especially mis-steps in beloved franchises, on asteroids that come a little too close to Earth.
      I know there was another Freshly Pressed Star Wars Post a few months ago when Disney bought Lucasfilm. (I’m currently having a hard time finding it. I think it’s from scifi4me.com, but I could be wrong.)
      Nerd-related posts on Freshly Pressed are rare, and I always get excited to find them.

  20. I am also looking forward to the new Star Wars movies. I’ve heard rumors of the return of the original cast as they play their same characters, albeit more aged. Like things that are aged, this could come off as either a fine wine or moldy cheese. I think it would be awesome and refreshing if the new movies were a couple of generations after Return of the Jedi. We would get new characters, new story arcs, etc.

  21. I think the next Star Wars movie should bridge the gap between the older franchises and the new. A lot of Star Wars fans have memories of what it was like seeing the movies for the very first time in theaters. I know for me it was something I can’t even put into words. The only thing I may feel somewhat distanced about is if Star Wars rather than become Marvelized actually goes through a Disneyfication. Gosh, if that ever happens, look out, the universe will never be the same again!

  22. Mara Jade, yes please. :)

    I’m a big fan of the Expanded Universe so I’m crossing my fingers that they’re going to do something about it, somehow. I’ve kinda always wanted Episodes VII-IX to be the adaptation of Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy, but I guess that was just my first reaction to being exposed to the EU and it just stuck there, haha.

  23. Pingback: The Star Wars Avengers | Andrew J. Patrick

  24. Great post! I kind of like the ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ idea, in regard to Lando and Solo. But that aside, I HATE the idea of this Marvelisation process and the imminent over-saturation. It’s going to amount to a rape-and-pillage of the Star Wars universe. I personally think the prequels (especially Episode III) were underrated, and they there should be NO MORE Star Wars movies. But, hey, great post!

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