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.
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.
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.
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.