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Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

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SDG   
I read somewhere--Yahoo--I think, and it may be mentioned up above, but if Episode 7 deals with an aging Luke, Leia, and Han in any meaningfully exciting way, I'll really enjoy that! My kids still haven't seen the prequels, would be great to take them to a quality new star wars. Pretty hopeful.

I've always thought that rather than a Trek-style aging-cast story, the best approach would be to focus on a new cast, but include Luke, Leia and Han in appropriately senior roles, with e.g., Luke in an Obi-Wan-esque mentor role.

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I just want an old Billy Dee Williams holding court. And I would love for the small universe syndrome that plagued the prequels to go away.

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I read somewhere--Yahoo--I think, and it may be mentioned up above, but if Episode 7 deals with an aging Luke, Leia, and Han in any meaningfully exciting way, I'll really enjoy that! My kids still haven't seen the prequels, would be great to take them to a quality new star wars. Pretty hopeful.

I've always thought that rather than a Trek-style aging-cast story, the best approach would be to focus on a new cast, but include Luke, Leia and Han in appropriately senior roles, with e.g., Luke in an Obi-Wan-esque mentor role.

I think this would be the wisest role. And maybe they can give Han the death Ford always wanted. :)

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Hey if they can sell us on someone other than Shatner and Nimoy playing Kirk and Spock, I can believe in Luke, Han, Leia being new actors.

Timothy Zahn (author of Heir To The Empire Trilogy and most of the other great Star Wars novels weighed in on his facebook today)

You go away for a weekend...

We got home from Tampa and Necronomicon late last night (after a full day of flying) to the stunning news of the Disney/Lucasfilm deal. It's going to take a little time to process my thoughts, but I'll try to post some comments here later today.

But to answer a few of the most immediate questions:

1. No, I haven't been contacted by either Disney or LFL.

2. There's no indication that anything from the Thrawn Trilogy (or any other EU book/comic will be part of the new movies.

3. There's also no indication that they *won't* make an appearance. Right now, we really have nothing on any of those details.

4. If Disney *did* want to use anything from the EU, they wouldn't need the author's approval or permission to do so. Everything that's been written under the Star Wars logo is LFL properly (as is only right and proper), and they can do with it as they please.

5. If by some miracle Disney *does* want my input on the project, I *will* be on the next flight to California. Heck, I'll charter a plane if I have to.

That's all for now. More thoughts when my brain wakes up a bit.

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This announcement has spawned an entire new genre of Disney/Star Wars mashups and memes. There's Overstreet's trailer and the photo of Luke looking at the sunset shaped like Mickey's head above. There's comments all over my FB feed about "When You Wish Upon a Death Star" and photos of Princess Leia alongside Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, etc. It's going to get old very fast, but there's just so much material out there that's ripe for the picking.

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Tyler wrote:

: Is 40 replies to a new topic in 5 hours some kind of record? Does PTC have an algorithm or something to calculate that?

Alas, I do not.

Nezpop wrote:

: Considering the weakest Star Wars films were the ones Lucas exerted the most control over . . .

Well, maybe. I think A New Hope (which Lucas wrote and directed, just like the prequels) might have the edge over Return of the Jedi (which Lucas only co-wrote and did not direct), myself.

My problem with the whole "the new Star Wars movies will be great simply because Lucas isn't involved" idea is that I can't imagine a corporate-owned franchise taking the kinds of risks that Lucas took with the franchise.

I mean, sure, everyone says The Empire Strikes Back is the best of the films because Irvin Kershner actually workshopped individual scenes and paid attention to things like acting and character development, but would anyone *else* have taken the risk of creating Yoda (i.e. a major character who is actually a puppet)? or, more importantly, of turning the main bad guy into the hero's father, thereby paving the way for the villain's redemption one movie later?

So, yeah, Lucas needed to give the writing and directing over to collaborators; he couldn't be trusted with the nitty-gritty of actual filmmaking. But credit where credit is due: Lucas did things with the broader outlines of the story that probably nobody else -- certainly no brand-perpetuating corporate executive or studio flunkie -- would have done.

And since the future Star Wars movies are now in the hands of the Disney-Pixar conglomerate that was responsible for Tron Legacy... well, colour me skeptical.

SDG wrote:

: If Fox played ball with Lucas on releasing the tweaked editions on home video . . .

FWIW, the Reporter says Fox has *distribution* rights to the first film in perpetuity (and to the other five films until 2020). The actual *production* of the film -- including any re-cuts or re-dubs -- might be something that Lucasfilm has always had control over.

: . . . why wouldn't they be equally amenable to playing ball with Disney on releasing the original edition too? It's more money in everyone's pockets, right?

Such a thing is certainly *possible*. Certainly studios like Warner Brothers have been very good about putting out boxed sets that included movies released by other studios (e.g. the Stanley Kubrick boxed set, which includes mostly Warner releases but also includes Dr. Strangelove, which is a Sony release; there was a big Oliver Stone boxed set that included some non-Warner movies, too). I don't know that Disney has ever been open to such a thing, though.

Plus, as someone noted earlier in this thread, it's difficult to imagine these films without the 20th Century Fox logo at the beginning (heck, even the "special edition" soundtracks released in 1997 included the Fox fanfare before the John Williams music kicked in!). Will Disney keep the Fox logo on the sequels and prequels? Presumably they would feel obliged to at least add the Disney logo, even if they left the Fox logo in there...

Incidentally, Lou Lumenick raises an interesting question regarding the likelihood of Disney making politically-correct modifications to the Star Wars films, the same way they have done to their own movies.

Taliesin wrote:

: Hey if they can sell us on someone other than Shatner and Nimoy playing Kirk and Spock . . .

Actually, they couldn't, not without help from one of the original actors at any rate. (I speak of Nimoy, natch -- and there was some serious discussion about bringing Shatner into the film somehow, too.)

And even there, the only reason it worked was because the new Kirk and Spock were younger than we had ever seen those characters before, and certainly younger than the original actors now were. Ditto the younger Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels (which, I guess, also had a younger Owen and Beru, too; interestingly, the younger Palpatine was played by the same actor who had played the older Palpatine... when he was younger).

But I don't see them "rebooting" the franchise at this point. Not if they're announcing the next film as Star Wars 7. (Besides, when has a franchise ever been "rebooted" when it wasn't based on an existing TV show or comic book or series of novels etc.?) So the next film is going to have to take place within (or beyond) the *existing* continuity.

Back when Lucas changed the franchise from a 12-movie series to a 9-movie series, he said that the nine movies in question would be a trilogy of trilogies, with a gap of 20 years or more between each of the trilogies. So if any of the characters left alive at the end of Jedi are still alive when this new trilogy takes place, they would have to be older versions of the familiar characters. And I really can't imagine them hiring older actors to play the older versions of those characters when the actual actors are, themselves, older.

Meanwhile, here's the video of Disney's Iger and Lucasfilm's Lucas signing the contract:

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SDG   
My problem with the whole "the new Star Wars movies will be great simply because Lucas isn't involved" idea is that I can't imagine a corporate-owned franchise taking the kinds of risks that Lucas took with the franchise.

I mean, sure, everyone says The Empire Strikes Back is the best of the films because Irvin Kershner actually workshopped individual scenes and paid attention to things like acting and character development, but would anyone *else* have taken the risk of creating Yoda (i.e. a major character who is actually a puppet)? or, more importantly, of turning the main bad guy into the hero's father, thereby paving the way for the villain's redemption one movie later?

So, yeah, Lucas needed to give the writing and directing over to collaborators; he couldn't be trusted with the nitty-gritty of actual filmmaking. But credit where credit is due: Lucas did things with the broader outlines of the story that probably nobody else -- certainly no brand-perpetuating corporate executive or studio flunkie -- would have done.

Very well said.

Alas, when it came to the prequel trilogy, it turned out he couldn't handle either end of the creative process. But that's another story…

And since the future Star Wars movies are now in the hands of the Disney-Pixar conglomerate that was responsible for Tron Legacy... well, colour me skeptical.

Yep, I made this same connection on Twitter.

: If Fox played ball with Lucas on releasing the tweaked editions on home video . . .

FWIW, the Reporter says Fox has *distribution* rights to the first film in perpetuity (and to the other five films until 2020). The actual *production* of the film -- including any re-cuts or re-dubs -- might be something that Lucasfilm has always had control over.

Right, I'm tracking that. But after recutting or redubbing, Lucas would still need Fox cooperation for distribution in any media, wouldn't he?

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Anders   

My problem with the whole "the new Star Wars movies will be great simply because Lucas isn't involved" idea is that I can't imagine a corporate-owned franchise taking the kinds of risks that Lucas took with the franchise.

I mean, sure, everyone says The Empire Strikes Back is the best of the films because Irvin Kershner actually workshopped individual scenes and paid attention to things like acting and character development, but would anyone *else* have taken the risk of creating Yoda (i.e. a major character who is actually a puppet)? or, more importantly, of turning the main bad guy into the hero's father, thereby paving the way for the villain's redemption one movie later?

So, yeah, Lucas needed to give the writing and directing over to collaborators; he couldn't be trusted with the nitty-gritty of actual filmmaking. But credit where credit is due: Lucas did things with the broader outlines of the story that probably nobody else -- certainly no brand-perpetuating corporate executive or studio flunkie -- would have done.

Very well said.

Yes, this is generally my sentiment as well, which is why I'm also skeptical of Star Wars without Lucas.

And for all their flaws, the Prequels are clearly products of Lucas, idiosyncrasies and all. I'm pretty sure I don't want to see a "Pirates of the Caribbean"-style Star Wars, with Bruckheimer/Verbinski editing, etc.

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Maybe Disney/Pixar can finally release movie versions of the Timothy Zahn Thrawn trilogy. I'd forgive them all their mistakes for that alone.

Oh..... I personally hope they just leave those stories on the bookshelves.

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We've already seen one "Star Wars" movie without the 20th Century Fox logo, and that was the animated Clone Wars movie. And although it was produced by Lucas/Lucasfilm, it had a new director and less direct input from Lucas. And it was a snooze fest.

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I haven't read through this thread, but wanted to note that it was started just over 24 hours ago -- at 4:10 p.m. yesterday -- and is already four pages deep, at 61 replies.

And to think I came here to post about how depressing I find the never-ending discussion of "Star Wars."

You all have ruined my Halloween.angry005.gif

Edited by Christian

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While I do think there's a definite irony to an independent filmmaker (and a film franchise that's ostensibly about empire) selling out to Disney, Lucas already did that a long time ago.

This is just making it official.

And I'm even foolish enough to hope maybe some good will come out of this, film-wise.

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I haven't read through this thread, but wanted to note that it was started just over 24 hours ago -- at 4:10 p.m. yesterday -- and is already four pages deep, at 61 replies.

And to think I came here to post about how depressing I find the never-ending discussion of "Star Wars."

You all have ruined my Halloween.angry005.gif

Your hate has made you powerful. Now fulfill your destiny and take your place at my side.

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Tyler   

Mark Hamill:

EW: So you met with George this past summer and he told you about his plans to make another trilogy?

Hamill: Yeah, last August, he asked Carrie and I to have lunch with him and we did. I thought he was going to talk about either his retirement or the Star Wars TV series that I’ve heard about—which I don’t think we were going to be involved in anyway, because that takes place between the prequels and the ones we were in and, if Luke were in them, he’d be anywhere from a toddler to a teenager so they’d get an age-appropriate actor—or the 3-D releases. So when he said, “We decided we’re going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,” I was just gobsmacked. “What? Are you nuts?!” [laughs] I can see both sides of it. Because in a way, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that’s the way it should be—and it’s great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories. But on the other hand, there’s this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material. It’s one of those things: people either just don’t care for it or are passionate about it. I guess that defines what cult movies are all about. We’ll see. I’m anxious to know what’s going on, but the main story [yesterday] was the sale to Disney. I have mixed feelings about that, but they haven’t done badly by Marvel and the Muppets and Pixar. It’s one of those big decisions that at first seems unusual but then the more you look at it, the more it makes sense.

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vjmorton   

I haven't read through this thread, but wanted to note that it was started just over 24 hours ago -- at 4:10 p.m. yesterday -- and is already four pages deep, at 61 replies.

And to think I came here to post about how depressing I find the never-ending discussion of "Star Wars."

You all have ruined my Halloween.angry005.gif

But cmon bud ... it SURELY has inspired some awesome jokes.

Like this photo http://twitpic.com/b8zazh

And this photo with the caption "the future Mr. Gittes": http://www.disneydre...ucas-Disney.jpg

These tweets by others, RT'd by me:

I assume this is George Lucas' Eff You to Camille Paglia for her naming him the greatest artist of our lifetime.

I have binders full of #StarWars ideas!!!

Once more: The definitive proof that time travel will never be invented is the fact that George Lucas was not murdered in 1982.

Paul Thomas Anderson presents Star Wars: Episode VII "I'm Pretty Obsessed With Fatherhood as a Theme"

And these tweets by me:

"I want Joe to direct Chewbacca as one of Uncle Boonmee's lives"

"so does the SONG OF THE SOUTH precedent mean Disney will suppress all release of the Jar Jar Binks-related films #SoThereISThat"

RE: Other racist Disney imagery: "Just picture it bud: Jar Jar the Centaur"

BREAKING: Disney buys Bela Tarr, forces him to unretire.

synergy in the Disney-Tarr merger ... part 5 of SATANTANGO to be repurposed as a short extra on the new ARISTOCATS blu-ray

synergy in the Disney-Tarr merger ... toy models of the WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES solar system

synergy in the Disney-Tarr merger ... one word: Potatoes

synergy in the Disney-Tarr merger: TURIN HORSE ride at Disneyworld. Only it just stops running every time

Disney buys the Dardenne brothers, announces plans for trilogy based on LA PROMESSE

in the second film, Jeremie Renier has a kid but tries to get rid of it; in the third, the kid grows up to be rotten orphan, crime-prone kid

Speaking as a STAR WARS / sci-fi nongeek myself yawn.gif

Edited by vjmorton

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Nezpop wrote:

: Considering the weakest Star Wars films were the ones Lucas exerted the most control over . . .

Well, maybe. I think A New Hope (which Lucas wrote and directed, just like the prequels) might have the edge over Return of the Jedi (which Lucas only co-wrote and did not direct), myself.

That is what I meant by the idea that A New Hope might be the exception (it has a definite edge over Jedi, which starts pretty strongly and then stumbles a bit to the finish line). :)

My problem with the whole "the new Star Wars movies will be great simply because Lucas isn't involved" idea is that I can't imagine a corporate-owned franchise taking the kinds of risks that Lucas took with the franchise.

I mean, sure, everyone says The Empire Strikes Back is the best of the films because Irvin Kershner actually workshopped individual scenes and paid attention to things like acting and character development, but would anyone *else* have taken the risk of creating Yoda (i.e. a major character who is actually a puppet)? or, more importantly, of turning the main bad guy into the hero's father, thereby paving the way for the villain's redemption one movie later?

So, yeah, Lucas needed to give the writing and directing over to collaborators; he couldn't be trusted with the nitty-gritty of actual filmmaking. But credit where credit is due: Lucas did things with the broader outlines of the story that probably nobody else -- certainly no brand-perpetuating corporate executive or studio flunkie -- would have done.

And since the future Star Wars movies are now in the hands of the Disney-Pixar conglomerate that was responsible for Tron Legacy... well, colour me skeptical.

I am not saying there is no reason to be skeptical. There are. There are also reasons to think this could work out for the better. We have no way of being sure at this point. I guess I would rather be a little hopeful than charge ahead with total negativity. :):P

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morgan1098 wrote:

: We've already seen one "Star Wars" movie without the 20th Century Fox logo, and that was the animated Clone Wars movie.

But that movie didn't even have any John Williams music, did it?

Mark Hamill said:

: Yeah, last August, he asked Carrie and I to have lunch with him and we did.

Arrrgh! Carrie and *me*! Carrie and *me*!

Interesting, though, that Harrison apparently wasn't part of that meeting.

: I’m anxious to know what’s going on, but the main story [yesterday] was the sale to Disney. I have mixed feelings about that, but they haven’t done badly by Marvel and the Muppets and Pixar.

To quote what I just wrote on Facebook:

Regarding the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney,
writes: "I don’t doubt that the people at Disney know what they’re doing; they bought Pixar, they bought Marvel, and have done rather well with both." But wait a minute: what exactly *has* Disney done with Pixar and Marvel? They basically forced Pixar to start churning out sequels (and while TOY STORY 3 was pretty decent, CARS 2 marked an all-time low for the company; time will tell how MONSTERS UNIVERSITY turns out), and as for Marvel... well, yeah, Disney did a good job *distributing* THE AVENGERS, but the film actually went into production as a *Paramount* movie.

Nezpop wrote:

: I guess I would rather be a little hopeful than charge ahead with total negativity.

Oh, but why charge ahead in the first place? :)

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Attica   

Richard Roeper weighs in.

And so it goes with “Star Wars” fans. Asking us to recapture the passion we had for the original films would be like saying, “Here’s an actress who’s going to play your mother and make some cookies for you. Hope you like them as much as you did when you were in fourth grade and your actual Mom was making ’em!”

.....Names such as Jon Favreau, J.J. Abrams and Christopher Nolan were tossed out as potential directors for “Star Wars” films. Some fans thought Disney should go the motion capture animation route, while others hoped for a return to retro form. One guy suggested David Fincher (“Zodiac,” “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”) take over the franchise and go R-rated dark with the whole thing.

Here’s an idea: Let’s all take a deep breath and see what happens. All great respect to George Lucas and the eternal universe he gave us, he was not the man to lead the way for a new generation of films. If any studio can figure out how to reinvent the franchise from a creative standpoint and turn that $4 billion investment into a profit via movie tie-ins, theme parks et al., it’s Disney.

Edited by Attica

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Tyler   

George Lucas will use most of the money from the sale for an educational foundation.

Lucas plans to quickly put the bulk of the money into a foundation which will primarily focus on educational issues, a spokesperson for Lucasfilm tells THR.

“George Lucas has expressed his intention, in the event the deal closes, to donate the majority of the proceeds to his philanthropic endeavors.”

It's not yet clear which foundation will get the proceeds. Lucas is currently the chairman of Edutopia, which is part of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. He could put money into that or create a new foundation which would be funded from the sale.

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