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Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Star Wars Episode VII: A new…new hope

Last week Disney announced its $2 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm and its plans to start a new Star Wars trilogy by 2015. While many diehard fans remain pessimistic about the new trio of films, I remain hopeful.

Before explaining why I’m keeping my hope bottled up until the premier, I need to explain how I feel about the franchise as a whole.

Star Wars is a franchise that defined my childhood as well as traumatized my journey to adulthood. The original trilogy (Episodes IV-VI) is a masterpiece. Great character development, a colorful cast of characters with realistic environments and artful puppetry. This trilogy was the result of a dedicated team of people devoted to making engaging and quality films.

The second trilogy (Episodes I-III) is a mess. Starting off with Episode I (a movie with no clear protagonist or plot) one could see the potential of the franchise when left in George Lucas’s incapable hands. By being given free reign over those movies, Lucas was given power that he clearly wasn’t ready for. The second trilogy can pretty much be summed as Hayden Christensen crying in front of a green screen for hours on end, while Yoda (who walks with a cane still) jumps off of walls in high flying (boring) lightsaber fights. No bueno.

There’s an element of the upcoming trilogy that gives me hope: George Lucas won’t be directly involved. I mean, what more do I have to say? As leery as I was of the new trilogy at first, that one fact really brought me back.

Lucas introduced some of the worst ideas to ever sully a franchise. I’m hoping the studio goes a step further and gets a restraining order to keep Lucas away from the set – we don’t need any more of his ideas. No Lucas means that this trilogy truly has the chance to reinvent Star Wars as we know it, in the same way JJ Abrams reinvented Star Trek in his 2009 theatrical release.

I really just hope the new trilogy will be good because I have no choice. Episodes I-III left a horrible taste in my mouth. A taste so bad I’m willing to try whatever comes next on the off-chance that it will be good. I’m willing to wager that anything produced without the direct involvement of Lucas automatically has the chance to be marginally better.

Who knows? Maybe they’ll even ditch the green screen for…ACTUAL LOCATIONS.
nsmith@lanthorn.com



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