As a huge fan of Star Wars, I am often asked my opinion on the news about the New Star Wars movies and the fact that Lucasfilm is now owned by Disney (known to some as “the evil empire”). It seemed a logical choice (I know, that’s Star Trek, sorry) to write a post here to give my definitive answer on the matter.
Let me begin by giving you an idea of how much of a Star Wars fan I really am so that you will understand where I am coming from. The original movie, Episode IV: A New Hope, came out when I was very young, and it is the first movie that I can remember seeing. It may not be the first movie I had ever seen, but it is the first movie that really implanted itself into my earliest memories. I instantly fell in love with Star Wars after the first viewing. Not only the movie itself, but I also fell in love with the entire universe and all of its characters, space ships, and strange alien creatures. I have watched the original three movies so many times that I can quote all three movies line for line, and sound effect for sound effect. I had almost every single Star wars toy growing up, and I even met my best friend of over thirty years thanks to our mutual love of Star Wars. Over the years, I enjoyed collecting various items that used the Star Wars license from Pez dispensers to my Darth Vader phone. My friends and family always know that if they want to buy me a Christmas or birthday present, I will always be happy receiving anything at all that involves Star Wars. In fact, one year for Christmas, I received the Star Wars Trivial Pursuit game, and my best friend and I would spend countless hours just reading the questions to each other to see how many questions we knew, which was an obscene amount by the way. I love Star Wars so much that I even try to push aside my disappointment with the prequels to find the things I like about those three movies. There isn’t a lot I like about the prequels, but there are a couple of things, and I try to hold onto those things for the sake of my love of Star Wars in general. I would give anything just to live in the Star Wars universe, that’s how much of a fan I truly am. Now, having said all that, I hope you will understand why people keep asking me for my opinion on the new movies, and why I decided to write a post about it.
When I tell people my opinion about the new movies, I like to begin by giving them one single word, Avengers. What does that have to do with Star Wars you may ask? The answer is actually quite logical once you hear it. For those who might not know, the Disney corporation bought Marvel Comics in August of 2009, four whole years ago. When Disney bought Marvel, a lot of us comic book fans were shocked (naturally), scared, and even angry. We fans thought that Disney would ruin Marvel Comics and that would be the end of our beloved comic books and the characters that we loved so much. Visions of Spider-Man, the Avengers, and the X-men all becoming “Disneyfied” frightened us all and filled our heads with all kinds of nightmares. Do you know what Disney did to Marvel Comics once they owned them? Absolutely nothing. As far as we fans are concerned, nothing changed with our beloved Marvel Comics. Disney left Marvel alone to continue on as they had for over seventy years. There may have been some changes internally, but that is between Disney and Marvel. As far as the fans are concerned, things went on business as usual.
One thing that did change however, was the fact that Marvel now has the backing of Disney when producing their movies. This, of course, led to the Avengers movie, which is, in my humble opinion, the greatest superhero movie to date. I have seen the Avengers several times, not as much as Star Wars of course, and I love the movie every time I see it. Sure, if you wanted to get picky, you may be able to find a few things wrong with the movie here or there, but come on! The Avengers is the most fun I have ever had watching a superhero movie, period. It was action packed, humorous, and you can tell that the movie was made by people who actually care about the subject matter. My thanks go out to Joss Whedon, Marvel studios, and Disney for producing a movie that makes me feel like a kid again every time I watch it.
My point in talking about Disney buying Marvel and what has come out of that purchase is to demonstrate the simple fact that Disney, no matter what your feelings are on it being “the evil empire”, is a business in addition to an entertainment juggernaut (pun intended). As a business, Disney knows how to keep its fans happy in order to keep them coming back for more. Disney knew what it had when it bought Marvel Comics, that’s why they knew enough to leave them alone and not try to make any huge changes to what has been working for so long. You can rest assured that Disney knows how important Star Wars is to fans like me, so they would not do anything to jeopardize that relationship, but will instead do all they can to cultivate the relationship to make the fans happy, and also bring new fans to the joy of the Star Wars franchise.
As news continues to trickle out about the upcoming Star Wars movies, we can begin to see exactly what I mean. The simple fact that J. J. Abrams is directing the first movie tells me that Disney is going to treat Star Wars with the care and respect it deserves. One needs look no further than the Star Trek movies that Mr. Abrams directed to get an idea of how great his Star Wars movie will be. Mr. Abrams took the Star Trek franchise, which had unfortunately been wasting away for years, and reinvigorated it. Now, we have new Star Trek movies to look forward to, which I haven’t been able to say for quite some time. Sure, some Trek fans may not be completely happy with everything Mr. Abrams did with the Star Trek franchise, but you cannot deny that he gave Star Trek a new life and made it relevant again. Even people I know who aren’t Star Trek fans really enjoy the movies, and that is a step in the right direction as far as I’m concerned. But, enough about Star Trek, we can discuss that more in a future post perhaps. My point here is, considering what J. J. Abrams did for Star Trek, a franchise that he was not even a real fan of, think about what he will do for Star Wars, a franchise he has been in love with since he was a kid. Knowing that J. J. Abrams loves Star Wars as much as I do makes me very happy to have him on board, and makes me very excited for what is to come.
In closing, with these facts, and all the other news that has come out about the new Star Wars movies, I am feeling pretty good about the future of my favorite galaxy far, far away.
But, that’s just my opinion as a fan. Feel free to agree or disagree with me as you see fit. Your comments are always welcome.