A long time ago in a galaxy not far away by any means, a young boy joined by his loving parents took a journey into the darkness of a movie theater in 1978 and witnessed the spectacle of Star Wars. His world changed along with many other children, young and old alike as they witnessed the birth of one of the most storied and successful franchises in Hollywood history. With the release of that movie, a generation of loyal fans followed. Three movies, full toy lines, lunch boxes, clothing, and just about every other merchandising scheme you could dream up was used to Lucasfilm’s advantage. The Empire was indeed strong, and a commercial juggernaut.
Fast forward almost two decades, and the loyal fan base was energized to hear that George Lucas was set to resurrect the cinematic legend with three more movies would serve as a prequel trilogy to the original. Taking total creative reigns with the scripts, Lucas released The Phantom Menace to massive success but very mixed reviews. What followed from that were two more Lucas “solo” creative efforts that also received very mixed reviews leaving the fan base decidedly split on the results. While some of the luster seemed to have worn off from the Star Wars legend, a new generation of young fans was introduced and what cannot be denied is that in spite of it all, Lucasfilm had continued it’s amazing record of financial dominance.
Now, about eight years removed from the last film release, word is that the franchise will live again with Episode VII scheduled for release in 2015. Lucasfilm has since sold the rights to future Star Wars releases to Disney, truly giving the franchise the shot in the arm that I believe it needs. Disney, one of the few film studio juggernauts that could match Lucasfilms’ success, also owns major properties such as Marvel. And I can’t think of too many people who have been displeased with the creative efforts of the films they have churned out in the last few years.
Without George Lucas monopolizing the creative direction, who might take this franchise into the future….or should I see a new “ frontier”? Enter the rumors that JJ Abrams has been offered the directorial chair for the next installment. The man who created what is in my mind the most inventive, interesting, and entertaining TV show in my lifetime (Lost)….the man who took a sci-fi property that I personally did not like (Star Trek) and actually caused me to enjoy its relaunch….the man who has given us some of the most mystery-shrouded marketing campaigns for films like Super 8 and Cloverfield. Yes, this man who just might be (for me) the biggest creative shooting star in Hollywood today. What could JJ Abrams do for the Star Wars franchise?
Color me excited. Of course, this assumes that the rumors are true. Well, this wannabe Star Wars fan can hope. “A new hope” for a better Star Wars future, if I may coin another phrase, with apologies to you readers. Disney and JJ Abrams could be the winning formula to puts Star Wars back on my personal radar, and maybe even win back some of those old fans who have felt the diminishment of a legend.
Are you intrigued by the prospects of a JJ Abrams-directed Star Wars film? If not, why? And who would you like to see bring the franchise back to the big screen?
Until, next week!
Chris & the Great Stories Team