Lucasfilm Acquisition Reboots Star Wars

Natalie Li, News Editor

“Luke, I am your father.”

The infamous Darth Vader, possibly the greatest villain of all time, first shocked audiences with these words 32 years ago. This legendary character and pivotal turning point launched the fantasy film series, known as Star Wars, to galactic stardom.

Created by George Lucas, the tale of Star Wars has captivated audiences for 3 decades with 2 trilogies: the prequel Episodes I to III following Anakin Skywalker’s Vader transformation, and original Episodes IV to VI following Luke Skywalker’s ultimate confrontation with Vader amid a rebellion against the Galactic Empire.

On October 3o of this year, Disney announced its acquisition of the multibillion dollar company Lucasfilm, as founder Lucas himself stepped down from the company’s chair. Lucasfilm, which holds the rights to both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, will be officially headed by co-chair Kathleen Kennedy.

The most stunning news, however, was not the $4.5 billion purchase. It was the company’s announcement that it plans to launch the production of new Star Wars films, with Episode VII set to be released in 2015.

When I heard the news, I admit that I spent an entire day with one word in my head: “WHY?!”

A big Star Wars fan, I have cherished my memories of growing up watching Princess Leia outwit her captors and Han Solo being frozen in carbonite. While I do enjoy Disney, I do not understand how Lucas could simply allow the company to continue his beloved series without his direction. How could he leave the potential of destroying fans’ childhood memories like the Rebel Alliance blowing up not one, but two Death Stars?

Since the original trilogy was produced before the prequel episodes, the current “end” to the series, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, came out in 1983. Rebooting a plot 29 years after the supposed end would truly be a daunting task. Nearly all the original actors, such as Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford, are near their 60’s. The new films would undoubtedly require fresh faces and a new tale of Star Wars to be told.

Rumor even has it that if Harrison Ford should return, he may get the true character death he has apparently always desired for his role as Han Solo.

I do not approve of Disney’s decision. The franchise has generated enough fame and profit over the past 3 decades, forever immortalizing Star Wars in our cultural history. The production of additional films is not only excessive, but extremely prolonged, like a TV show continuing past its 6th season. Disney runs the risk of stretching the story too thin, of failing to meet the high expectations.

Despite these reservations, I probably will see the new movies. While they may never reach the same level of respect that I hold for the original trilogy, I will still be drawn to this series. There is no doubt that many Star Wars fans will do the same. I believe that this is because despite our doubts, we still cling to “a new hope.”