The BIG nerd news this week is only tangentially comic book related, but I’ll get around to that in a minute. Obviously the HUGE news is that George Lucas sold the Star Wars franchise to Disney AND there is going to be a new trilogy of movies.
This has shocked and horrified a nation of nerds.
(Actually, my dad, who loved the original trilogy, seemed mildly interested in this news, but I’m not actually sure he’s seen the three prequels.)
So first, let’s talk about what we know:
—The new trilogy will be a whole new story, not based on anything in the canonical Star Wars Universe, which is a huge and unwieldy universe, although you might not know that if you didn’t spend the year you were twelve reading Star Wars novels starring Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker’s love/hate relationship, and if you maybe didn’t have a Star Wars poster over your bed like some people who might be typing this sentence at this very moment.
So yes, there are like 30 years of tie-in novels, cartoons, and many many comic books (told you they’d come into it) that are all officially licensed and canon, starring ten million characters you’ve probably never heard of before, and there are probably an equal number of fans who know all that stuff and take it VERY seriously. The problem here is that, if the storyline rumors are true, there’s no way Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher can play 30-40 year olds—and would Harrison Ford even be interested? (I guess he was in that terrible new Indiana Jones movie, so maybe he’s ok with franchise reboots?)
And if those parts are recast . . . well, I haven’t been a die-hard Star Wars fan in many years, but even I would be outraged about that. Not to mention the dopes they cast in the prequels—Carrie Fisher is so much cooler than Natalie Portman, and don’t even get me started on Hayden Christiansen. That doesn’t really bode well for new actors, in my eyes. Who can muster up the rakish charm of a young Harrison Ford, for that matter?
–George Lucas is spending the money from the sale on an educational philanthropy thing. Hey, that’s nice! And he’ll also have minimal involvement with these new movies, apparently, which is even better.
Here are some fan reactions. I myself fall into the cautiously optimistic camp, because, hey, new Star Wars movies! That’s cool! And it’s not like they can be any worse than the prequels . . . right? RIGHT????