This close to a presidential election everything is political — even responses to hurricanes — so it’s nice to have reminders that there are things far more important than our petty politics. And we got just such a reminder when we saw the news that Disney bought Star Wars and will begin producing new live action Star Wars movies. This isn’t just silly policy we like to argue about; this is something that will directly affect all of us. It’s a big deal.
My initial reaction was shock and dread. We were all so burned by the prequels — we were so full of hope and joy for finally having a new Star Wars movie only to find what a false idol George Lucas was. So the idea of more Star Wars movies only makes us think we’re going to get hurt again. But the more I’ve thought on this, the more hopeful I get. What I’ve dreamed about for some time is what a competent director and screenwriter could do with the property — someone who actually understood the magic from the original trilogy. For that to happen, Lucas would have to hand off Star Wars, and that’s pretty much what is happening here. And Disney is planning to make a new Star Wars film every few years, so even if one is bad, they’ll try again — maybe with completely different people. At worst, it will end up like the James Bond franchise — some movies bad, but some really good. And maybe, just maybe, with enough tries and the right people behind it — imagine a Star Wars movie directed by Brad Bird — some of what made us love Star Wars in the first place could return to the big screen.
So now once again America has hope for the future. And it wasn’t politicians that brought that to us — it was a multibillion dollar corporation, as usual.