Despite being 16 months away, and still in the middle of production, Star Wars: Episode VII is always going to be a hot topic of conversation. The very fact that they’re making new movies is cause for excitement, though our enthusiasm is cautious at this point, we’ve been burned too many times. We hope that J.J. Abrams and the crew at the Disney-owned Lucasfilm will not only make a good movie, but also reinvigorate the franchise, and some new information floating around indicates that they have a plan for the canon moving forward that aims to do just that.
Though many of us have a deep love of Star Wars, that love has been tested. Between George Lucas going back and tweaking the original films (and not for the better) and the prequels, not to mention the rampant over merchandising, it’s not always as easy as it used to be to unequivocally love Star Wars. Like many things, as we get older, the situation gets much more complex. You can say, “I love Star Wars,” and mean it, but then there are a bunch of caveats. In an article over at Badass Digest, Devin Farci (a guy roughly my age, with a similar history with the franchise), wrote a nice essay about this topic, but at the same time, he also reveals some information he’s gathered from sources that should give you hope and get you stoked about that far, far away galaxy once again.
Very mild potential SPOILERS lurk beyond this point.
According to one of BAD’s sources, one who works for Lucasfilm in some capacity, they’re “going to redefine longform storytelling.” What that means sounds similar to what Marvel is going with their Cinematic Universe, where everything we see from now on has a big impact on the entirety of Star Wars. We’ve been told the upcoming Star Wars Rebels animated series, the first official post-Disney addition to the canon, will have a strong connection to Episode VII, which certainly fits into this larger approach.
For the first time, they reportedly have the entire new trilogy planned out, all the way through Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII and Episode IX. They’re not just making it up as they go along (something George Lucas did) and that apparently also includes the Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank-directed standalone films that are going to alternate with the Episodes.
The idea of them creating a single, coherent core across multiple platforms—films, books, comics, video games—is enough to get you pumped up. Instead of random stray stories that have little to no impact on anything else, it is all going to be connected.
If nothing else, this shows that the people in charge of Star Wars are putting a great deal of thought and planning what they produce. This is easily going to make them an absolute mint when it comes to money, but you’re starting to get the definite impression that they’re more interested in creating a high quality product than simply snatching up as much cash as they can.
Audiences will be there regardless. They could show two hours of J.J. Abrams playing with a toy lightsaber in his garage, call it Star Wars: Episode VII, and we’d all pay money to see it. But they’ve they hired filmmakers who are not only trying to do inventive, interesting things, but they’re also lifelong Star Wars fans who are every bit as passionate about the franchise as fans—there’s not as wide a gulf between fans and filmmakers as there once was—and know what they want out of these movies.
We still have a long time to wait and see how this all works out, and while all of this is just rumor, you have to appreciate the direction things appear to headed in the Star Wars universe.