Lighten up on Star Wars
Gosh, there's a lot of negativity online about the Disney Star Wars deal.
I guess when you burn a generation with a film as constipated as The Phantom Menace, they are going to be wary of any new Star Wars film. Once bitten by a wookie, twice shy of said wookie.
But the cynicism and vitriol expressed on Twitter about the deal has been interesting.
Yes, I know the above picture does not bode well. But, I believe there are reasons to be cheerful.
For a start, there has been a lot of snootiness about Disney. Why do people hate on Disney? Am I missing something here? Anyone would think their founder was a racist, Nazi sympathiser. Oh, hang on a sec.
Anyhoo, history aside, Disney seem like a good fit for Star Wars. If anyone knows how to shepherd, nourish and grow a significant, but slender, cinematic legacy it is Disney.
Also, Disney has been responsible for some truly beautiful works of cinematic art. It's a legacy that runs from Snow White to Fantasia and Tron to Toy Story. Yes, I know Toy Story is Pixar, but without the Disney distribution deal those films would not have happened.
I don't think its fair to respond to the name Disney with an eye roll.
There was also criticism of Star Wars fans wanting good directors to take on the franchise. Film critic Devin Faraci tweeted this:
"When you hope for a great filmmaker to make a franchise movie, you're allying with product, not art."
This seems a little unfair. What is wrong with wanting the best directors to work on the biggest canvas available? Franchise films, due to a series of depressing economic and cultural factors that don't bode well for the future of cinema, are the biggest canvas a director can get their hands on. There is nothing wrong with wanting to see talent work on a grand scale.
And the machine doesn't always eat the talent. Look at what Alfonso Cuaron achieved with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Also, a lot of people were worried that Disney would want its pound of flesh for the $4bn it paid Lucas and so would make the lowest common denominator versions of Star Wars possible.
I'm hopeful about this too. Disney knows that, when it comes to making money from a cultural property, there is more than one way to skin a mouse. In other words, theme park rides!
I don't know about you, but I think they should build a Star Wars park next to Epcot. There could be a Death Star quarter where you could get a coffee and watch those little remote controlled car things scoot about and a large forested area where you could hunt gungans. It would be lovely. Then, while you wait for your Jar Jar head to be stuffed and mounted, you could nip to the Mos Eisley cantina for a pint, a pie and a tussle with a troublesome local that can only end in dismemberment. He'll never play piano again.
But, back in the real world, a permanent Star Wars museum would be nice. I can't find the picture online, but I remember seeing a photograph once of George Lucas in a huge warehouse full of props, models and sets from the Star Wars films. It would be nice to put that collection, unless it only exists in my childhood imagination, on permanent display. Disney has the funds and the know how to make that happen. Exciting.
So, in short, I think we should all just calm down and see what happens. There have been some early hints here about the shape the new trilogy might take. Intriguing. It seems they are going to continue the story told by the first two trilogies.
But, what do you think? Is this deal good or bad?
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