Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Leia is a Disney Princess

I do not spend my days randomly pretending I'm from Endor or Tatooine or that I'm about to blow up the Death Star.  Sure, I have a Harry Potter wand and the One Ring and have played the Lost numbers in the lottery and have a stack of Marvel comic books from when I was a kid and maybe a few from last week and have the Khaleesi's dragon egg (I'm aware I'm coming off as hyper-nerdy here, but when the shoe fits, it fits), but Star Wars has never been my cup of obsession.  I can appreciate them, and have learned to truly respect and admire Episodes IV and V, but I don't sit around hoping that I shall realize my Jedi mind powers.  I have more important things to do, like calling the post office to see if my Hogwarts acceptance letter simply got lost 15 years ago.

So I shouldn't have much of an opinion on the recent Disney merger, but I do, I just haven't formed it yet, so this is going to be a bit of free-form writing.  Part of me is depressed-George Lucas created something so wonderful with those first two movies (and Return of the Jedi hadn't spoiled it too much), that it's depressing to think that wonder, already so dimmed by the modern films and the television series and the incessant toy and game market, will further be dimmed by more movies.  Not everything needs to be a franchise-James Bond is the only franchise that should be constantly reinvented, and only after we've had the Bond for 4-5 movies.  Star Wars is fine with those six films-we don't need to redo or add even more movies, and we certainly don't need it to continue creating content for 100 years, as Lucas stated.  For the record, this is also true of Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, X-Men, and since it's going to happen soon whether we like it or not: Harry Potter, Twilight, Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, and The Avengers can all be left alone forever or once the current franchises/actors are done; we've got what we needed from them, and if we want more, we'll go to Netflix and re-watch.

And yet, there's something to the, if they're going to do it, do it now sort of mentality.  Lucas won't direct, but he has signed on as a creative consultant, and he's not getting any younger.  There has always been the rumors of an Episode VII-IX, and whatever your feelings on Lucas (we all have opinions about him), the man created Star Wars, and it would be wrong to make the final three films without him.  Plus, let's face it-even if they're bad, we want to see what Lucas always envisioned for the series.  If it's true that he always planned nine episodes of the franchise, it'd be fascinating to see what he's still got left.

But that's where I as a filmgoer want it to end, and I know that Disney can't do that, so the ying to my excitement is a yang of depression.  There's too much money to be had in creating endless sequels and TV series and cartoons and remakes and a vast pit of other money-making schemes.  If any company knows how to both make pure magic (name a better movie than Pinocchio or Fantasia...still waiting), they also know how to mine that magic until there's nothing left.  Think of how many Tinkerbell and Lion King and Disney Princess direct-to-video sequels exist.  Everything that was fun about those movies has gotten flushed down the corporate greed toilet.  I have no problem with the toys and the bed sheets and the shampoo bottles-kids should be able to gravitate to a franchise even if it isn't the one that was intended for their generation, but why the sequels?  Why not leave the art-aspect of the filmmaking unspoiled?  Sadly even Disney's crown jewel, Pixar, has started to go the unnecessary sequel route (the only Pixar film that needed another sequel is The Incredibles, and it seems like that's the only one that's not getting one).

But this is falling on deaf ears, so I will enjoy the brief remaining moments when we get Episodes 7-9 and dread what will come next.  Thank you for listening to this movie fan's (and Star Wars admirer's) rant.

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