May the Force be with the Mouse.
You all have heard the news. Minds were blown, shorts were changed, tears of both joy and sadness shed, and for some, a million voices cried out and were suddently silenced. That's right kids, the Skywalkers are moving back in.
As you can tell from my initial declaration, I have officially become two people: there is Jedi-Mac who believes talented filmmakers playing in Lucas's universe, (with him serving in a diminished capacity) could yield brilliance on par with THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. And then there's Sith-Mac, who thinks Lucas just may have screamed, "fuck it" at the top of his lungs and is ready to collect some of that Mouse money and laugh at everyone. Seeing as how in my current bipolar state I am incapable of reeling my emotions or thoughts in long enough to formulate a witty all encompassing statement about the very nature of what has unfolded here today, I'm going to see what these two new Macs have to say.
As a young American Jedi, there are a few (and I mean very few) memories that I cherish more than running around with a broomstick chasing my black lab that I had taken to calling Vader with John Williams's definitive score playing in the background. That's what I define as a movie. An immersive experience that has a profound effect on the watcher and stays with them long after the viewing. That is STAR WARS. Of course, the prequels were a letdown on some level. Lucas' classic style of filmmaking did not translate to modern Wachowski worshipping kids. But it still felt like STAR WARS to me. Maybe long shots, wooden dialogue and stiff storytelling revealed that he doesn't need to be the man calling the shots on set. But that's okay, since he's not going to be! Disney is going to throw their best and brightest at this franchise. You're going to get filmmakers who watched the originals and realized just how much fun making movies could be to begin with.
Going back and watching A NEW HOPE and EMPIRE, I can see that Lucas has always been a limited director. This could be the dream team kids. The best thing to come out of Star Wars in the last decade was Genndy Tartakovsky's CLONE WARS television series. Why? Because Tartakovsky had been dreaming about playing in a galaxy far far away his entire life. Some people thing that Star Wars had its time and should exist purely for nostalgia. For those pessimists I will point out that on a random Saturday in 2009, THE PHANTOM MENACE, THE MATRIX RELOADED, and THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING all aired on regular cable at the exact same time. Jar Jar won the ratings war in spades.
Now, for the other side of my personality to rear its ugly head. The dark side has engulfed me; the flanneled one has betrayed me for the last time. He wasn't content enough to destroy my fondest memories of the the saga himself; he's grown too lazy for that. Who's ready for a Len Wiseman STAR WARS? Or better yet, how about Andrew Stanton gets his shot at redemption with Disney and he hires Taylor "movie poison" Kitsch to assume the role of a sexy/brooding/angsty Luke Skywalker-type that can appeal to all those TWILIGHT fans out there! For that matter, who gives a crap? Lucas told his story and was done until Woody and Buzz brought the Brink's truck up to the ranch. STAR WARS is the story of Anakin Skywalker and he's a floaty ghost at this point, so what's EPISODE VII going to be about, a poker game between all the dead Jedi in force Heaven? That leaves us with one conclusion: money. Great filmmaking should start with an idea, not a contract. I don't need to start listing crappy movies that came into fruition purely for greed. Normally, I wouldn't care about the studios motivation, but this is STAR WARS! Can we please leave well enough alone, or is it too late for that?
Now, I realize that these dueling personalities may seem like a coward's way of avoidance. A real writer would formulate an opinon and express it, but this is just too damn big. My mind has exploded and I am currently incapable of concocting a thesis, so this is what you get.
Who am I kidding? I can't wait! Jedi-Mac has won the day and more STAR WARS is always a good thing! This is the best news I've heard for at least an hour, when I learned that Bryan Singer was coming back to the X-MEN franchise. Now off to find a broomstick.