Last Sunday was “Star Wars” day as May the 4th be with you has come and gone in 2014. So it comes as no surprise that Disney chose this week to confirm various projects. First of all, a possible title for “Episode VII” has been revealed. Many are speculating that it will be called “The Ancient Fear”. Personally, I like that title and hope it sticks. Obviously, this has to be tied to the fact that legendary actor Max Von Sydow has been signed on to most likely play a villain in the film. However, which villain does this “Ancient Fear” refer to? The internet has been buzzing with rumors this week that the villain Sydow will be playing is none other than the mysterious Darth Plagueis the Wise. Plagueis was last heard about in “Episode III” when Darth Sidious (Emperor Palpatine) revealed to Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) that Plagueis was his former master until Sidious murdered him in his sleep. If all this is true, it will send shock waves throughout the universe as little has been revealed about the origins of Plagueis. This may be a solid move by Disney as Sydow could be a fantastic Plagueis. Let’s just hope that they have a good script because die-hard fans will find it hard to believe that Plagueis could come back after all this time, especially with the events of “Episode VII” believed to be taking place 30 years after “Return of the Jedi”.
The news of this potential new title was great for “Star Wars” week, however, it seems Disney could not leave well enough alone. According to Yahoo.com, Disney has announced three Star Wars spin-off films. The first is set to arrive just one year after the release of “Episode VII”. Variety had this to add: “Screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are currently working on the scripts for the spin-offs. While rumors indicate that the features will focus on Han Solo and the bounty hunter Boba Fett, no plot details have been officiallly confirmed”. The other spin-off is speculated to be a Yoda movie. Now, as an avid Star Wars fan, so much so that I actually perform standup comedy donned in a Boba Fett full-zip character hoodie, you would think that I would be ecstatic about this news, but that is not the case. I am actually repulsed by this and hate the fact that Disney is getting ready to put the final nail in the coffin for some of my favorite Star Wars characters.
Here’s the facts: “Episode VII” is set for release on December 18, 2015 and following will be “Episode VIII” scheduled for 2017. This will all culminate with “Episode IX” in 2019. That’s great news, but these three films are enough in my honest opinion. Disney is set on these spinoffs, which are tentatively scheduled to be released between the entries of this new trilogy. This is a horrible idea as we have yet to see just how audiences will react to “Episode VII”. Reports of Disney and company scrapping the “Star Wars” canon and plans to go with a fresh storyline that may involve Darth Plagueis have already angered fans. There is a chance that fans could reject this and that the movie could potentially fall into the dreaded “Episode I” disappointment camp. I think Disney should wait and see how well their Star Wars entries fare before releasing spin-offs.
I’m not surprised however that Disney is rushing to get these spin-offs out into theaters. Once Disney bought the Star Wars brand from George Lucus, I knew it was just a matter of time until they cashed in on these iconic characters. The thing is Disney already did this with the Marvel universe and as we all know, history often repeats itself. Truth is Disney is enjoying great success with the Marvel franchise, “The Avengers” being a huge cash cow for the company. Furthermore, spin-offs have been a key to Disney’s success with Marvel’s characters, spawning films featuring Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, all equipped with their own sequels. So Disney figures, why won’t this same formula work with the “Star Wars” universe? Well, the Star Wars characters they are targeting are more popular and iconic than those of Marvel lore. Disney is forgetting that Star Wars fans are much different than the fan boys of the Marvel comics series.
Consider a Han Solo movie without Han Solo, because that’s what you are going to get. Harrison Ford will not be walking through that door as some young, brash Hollywood pretty boy will step into the role. Fans will reject that for sure as Solo is synonymous with Ford. Ford made that role as well as the character and without him it will simply suck. Then there is Boba Fett, perhaps my favorite character in the entire “Star Wars” universe. However, his mysterious origins have already been revealed via “Episode II” and “The Clone Wars” television series. That story has already left a bad taste is fans’ mouths. Boba Fett really has turned into a whiny, little bitch who simply mourns his father. In my mind, Boba Fett is dead; he dies in “Episode VI”, slowly rotting away in the dreaded Sarlaac Pit. Finally, you have Yoda. I’m sorry, but I’ve seen enough of him in nearly all the “Star Wars” movie entries as well as “The Clone Wars” cartoons. A Yoda movie will quite simply be boring; he’s kicked enough ass in his old age and we certainly don’t need to see him do it, just hundreds of years younger.
In conclusion, I have a theory as to why Disney is doing this: they are simply following the formula they are using with Marvel. I think Disney views the forthcoming “Episode VII” as their “Star Wars” version of “The Avengers”. The spin-offs they are releasing are like the subsequent Marvel movies that have come out. While it has worked with Marvel, it will not work with “Star Wars”. There is no need to flood the market with all these “Star Wars” films and spin-offs. Fans are already excited about a new trilogy and that should be enough for now. Spreading the universe too thin is what Disney is about to do, releasing 6 films in the span of 5 years; a terrifying idea. That has never happened in the history of “Star Wars” and will no doubt spell the end of these treasured characters.
There will be much more to come on this as time goes on so keep checking back on morbidlyamusing.com for more information.
Sources: Yahoo! and Variety