For months now, ever since reports of new Star Wars films started to emerge, I’ve been fearful that the Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of LucasFilm and all of its properties would result in overkill and over-saturation of Star Wars movies. Today we learn officially that those fears have been proven true. Disney announced yesterday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, NV that they plan to release a new Star Wars film every single year starting in 2015. While some fans might see this as a good thing, I personally fear that this is the surest way to make people get sick and tired of a long-running franchise that used to feel special … rather than beat to death.
Disney has said a new Star Wars film will appear yearly from 2015, alternating between new episodes in the space saga and spinoff character films. The announcement, made at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, was reported by Comingsoon. Star Trek director JJ Abrams will begin the new cycle of movies with Episode VII, from a script by Little Miss Sunshine writer Michael Arndt. Star Wars creator George Lucas sold his film production company Lucasfilm to Disney last year for $4.05bn (£2.5bn). The latest announcement was made by Walt Disney Co chairman Alan Horn, at the annual movie theatre convention CinemaCon in Las Vegas. In February, Disney announced that alongside a new trilogy, a series of films built around existing characters from the Star Wars universe were in development. It is rumoured the first stand-alone film could focus on the diminutive Jedi master Yoda. The spinoff films will be written by Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. Kasdan worked on the scripts of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi – the second and third instalments of the first Star Wars trilogy while Kinberg is best known for his work on X-Men: The Last Stand and Guy Ritchie’s hit reboot of Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr. Fan reaction to Disney’s announcement on social networks and film websites have been mixed. “Ridiculous”, tweeted The Mail Man, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” remarked Kurt Brookes, using one of the film’s famous lines … Writing for Forbes magazine, Carol Pinchefsky, said: “The Twitterati are already concerned that there will be a Star Wars overload, that the movies will be “force marched” out as fast as Disney can make them. “After all, Disney isn’t typically known for pumping out entries in a franchise this rapidly (Pirates of the Caribbean notwithstanding).”
I really want to look on the bright side but this sounds very worrisome. Star Wars feels very special because of how few films there are. When the new trilogy, Episodes I-III, was announced many fans thought it would be a sacrilege. The new trilogy didn’t cause the end of the world but I think quite a few fans feel that the new films don’t really do justice to the original trilogy … and the new films were overseen by George Lucas! As always, I must make clear that my fears are totally based on conjecture and assumption … we won’t know what the impact of these new films will be until they start coming out … annually. Ugh. This just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I can’t help but be worried.