By Kurtis Burke
Picture yourself standing in line outside the local theater. Your anticipation builds as you’re about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. You’d heard stories about what was to come, but nothing could sum up the experience you’re about to have. The date is May 25, 1977. The adventure is “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope”.
Now 36 years later, Lucasfilm, recently acquired by The Walt Disney Co. for $4.05 billion, announced that it will produce three new “Star Wars” films that would add on to the original trilogy. It has also been announced that famed director J.J. Abrams would be directing the first of the trilogy. Abrams is known for titles such as the most recent “Star Trek” and “Mission Impossible” movies, “Lost”, and “Super 8”.
As with any continuation of a trilogy or series with a different director, you get a rise of controversy and discussions from fans over whether they think it’s a good idea that they continue the saga. A few Fitchburg State students in the film/video major had a few different things to say about the continuation of the saga.
“I don’t really care for the idea, I personally think they should have stopped after the original trilogy,” said Rhiannon Moriarty, a senior. ‘They’ve gotten progressively worse as they’ve continued on and it just feels like it’s a way for them to showcase special effects now.”
Junior Morgan Roberts feels the same way saying, “I think that it’s an interesting idea because I know fans who really want it to continue but I see it more as a money-maker scheme. It may or may not drain the fun that the series is. However they did get Harrison Ford and the others to sign on to be in the next one so that’s cool.”
Many believe that Abrams working on “Star Trek” will influence the final look of “Star Wars” as its own style, bringing the two completely separate worlds closer together. Moriarty believes that it will benefit the “Star Wars” movies saying, “I think that because he was able to give ‘Star Trek’ a more realistic or as realistic vibe as you can give sci-fi, he’ll be able to do the same for ‘Star Wars’. There’s no question that it will be visual effects heavy since that’s basically Abrams’ calling card, but it has potential. I think that its going to have a very different look than the other ‘Star Wars’ films.”
In regards to the clashing worlds, Roberts had this to say, “I think it’ll have pros and cons. Pros because he knows the world of an intense fandom that come with the series, he’s an amazing director, his editors are amazing so that can work. On the other hand it may mix together – they both may be in space but their very different at the same time.”
On the other hand, junior Lindsey Camuso said, “I feel [Abrams] could bring a lot of plot twists. However I wonder how much control Disney has over this production. Despite J.J. Abrams working with successful shows and films, I question whether he could do this justice.”
Another major worry for some is the fan base. It’s been many years since the original, so there are the original die hard fans, but there are also the new, younger fans to appeal to. “Of course they need to attract new fans if they want it to keep going and also keep the merchandise selling, but I think they’ll also stay true for the older fans,” said Camuso.
Moriarty agrees with this by saying, “I think it’ll be a bit of both, however considering that the original fans are much older now they will be less apt to cater to them and instead put more focus on bringing in the younger generation to the fandom.”
“I believe they are going to try and create a new fan base, most likely in an attempt to attract children and teenagers. They most likely will attempt to focus the story on a love life,” says Camuso. “It’s really hard to attract the Disney audience with a film that had such strong dialogue and strange meanings for children. I just think since Disney’s target is a younger audience they might simplify the plot making it just another action film.”
Moriarty sums up her overall feel towards the movie by saying this, “If done right I think it has the potential to be big again, as long as they stick to it being more realistic and less cheesy. I think more people will gravitate towards it, but its got to have a good story as well. Visuals are great, but if there’s no substance there’s no way it’ll stand the test of time.”
There’s only one way to find out whether Star Wars VII will stand up to the test of fans new and old: head over to the theater when it’s released in 2015.