Wednesday, 24 April 2013

More Star Wars Sequels and Spin Offs Every Summer

Disney has announced that every summer for the foreseeable future will now see a new Star Wars film unleashed on audiences. Starting in 2015 with J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, every summer will now be dominated by a sequel or spin off from George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away.

The news comes as little surprise to any fan keeping their eye on the internet for updates on the new Star Wars films since Lucas decided to sell the rights. What is slightly disconcerting is the sheer regularity of product that Disney intends to dish out for fans of Star Wars.

Following hot on the heels of Abrams’ hotly anticipated trek into a new science fiction franchise, what can fans expect from future Star Wars films?

Created by Josh Lange

With the announcement that Abrams’ is responsible for the seventh entry in the main timeline of films, following on from the prequels and the original trilogy, it is safe to say that once every two or three years, we will be getting a Star Wars: Episode VIII and Episode IX. With those potentially taking up the summers of 2017 and 2019, the next question is will there be an extension in the future? Could the summers of 2020 and beyond feature a fourth trilogy of Episodes X, XII and XII? Will Abram’s stick around long enough to shepherd the franchise boldly forwards?

In the meantime, my thoughts have turned to what will be the Star Wars films filling multiplexes between the main episodes of the franchise and who will be taking the reigns for Disney?

Spin offs have already been rumoured for a young Han Solo, Boba Fett, Yoda and Lando Calrissian. The prequels already gave us the back-story on Anakin, Leia and Obi Wan but there is still plenty of room for further expansion with a huge range of characters from the universe.

The spin offs have an impossibly huge universe as set up by Lucas but also by the endless amounts of fan fiction that have already been written around the characters and even the most minor and insignificant ones at that.

Created by Josh Lange

The trick for Disney will be to keep the franchise fresh and approachable to newcomers without alienating the long term fans. Too much introducing of new cute and fluffy characters will lead to accusations of trying to sell toys as with the introduction of the Ewoks back in Return of the Jedi. Too much focus on existing characters might take away some of the mystery and allure surrounding particular characters.

With J.J. Abram at the helm of the first in the new summer Star Wars films, Disney has made a smart move and will likely get off to a good start. His Star Trek managed to appease long term fans while attracting a whole new audience to that science fiction franchise. The question is will he be able to do the same with Star Wars and what will his involvement be in the further sequels and spin offs?

More to the point, will this Disney cash cow continue to deliver the goods for may summers to come or will the Star Wars udders dry up pretty quick?

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