YES – Huw Fullerton

I was horrified by this news. So much so that I’m not even going to open with a clever Star Wars pun about how horrified  was. I really did not expect it at all. Like most people, I did not enjoy the prequel trilogy; they had their merits, but they really just weren’t Star Wars. And, over the years it’s been hard not to become disillusioned by the direction the franchise has taken. TV series, video games, action figures,books, backpacks, hardware. Ugh, and don’t get me started on those Dixons adverts.

To me, the renting out of iconic figures like that seemed like desecration, and so very, very crass. Creatively, there didn’t seem to be much point in propagating the franchise – it has seemed driven by profit. And that’s the tone that I read the announcement in. I have a real distaste for the culture of endless sequels, reboots and adaptations that has infected cinema in the last decade, at the expense of any originality or real merit in favour of wanton profiteering.

The announcement that Disney will have a Star Wars film out ‘every two years’ sounds like the death-rattle of creativity; you should make a film if you have a story to tell, not to fill a schedule or a profit margin. I was thoroughly disturbed by the news. But something occurred to me – was I really saying that I didn’t want more Star Wars films? I loved them as a kid, and with George Lucas’ role scaled back, who was to say that the worst excesses of the prequels wouldn’t go with him? Disney had done a good job with Pixar’s takeover and – more importantly for me – they managed to somehow not screw up The Avengers when they bought Marvel.

Perhaps we won’t really be able to judge until Episode VII comes out, but Mark Hamill said something in an interview that really only increased my uneasiness with the new films. He said that “there’s this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and morematerial.” I think this is completely untrue; most fans would agree the series was complete, all the loose ends tied up. There is really no need for new films; Lucas’ abdication shows that he certainly thinks that. Maybe Star Wars has become a business, and I’m sure that business is booming. But in this case, I think, less is more.

 

NO – Alexandra Sutton

 

So, Disney now own Star Wars. I can practically hear the Leia-loving sci-fi boffins of our galaxy sobbing into their cuddly Ewoks. I can certainly see their Facebook statuses: ‘We trusted you, George!’ ‘But, how will Luke operate a lightsaber and a zimmer frame at the same time?!’ Come to think of it, it all seems vaguely familiar. The fact is, Mr Lucas has been steadily whittling down his fan base ever since he (presumably) got bored one Saturday afternoon and invented a chap named Jar Jar Binks.

Surely people could see this coming? We had The Phantom Menace (to be said in hushed tones, like The Scottish Play or You-Know-Who), we had the Clone Wars, the Lego, the video games, the Jar Jar toys in cuddly, keyring and lunchbox form. In short, the franchise became a business. Of course, I am of the generation who met Anakin before we met Luke, and so I can’t qualify the emotions that the original series inspired.

The truth is, I do love Star Wars. It walks the fine line between epic and camp, and it’s plastered onto my subconscious as if Yoda himself had placed it there. What’s more, I also have a lots of respect for Pixar. There are lots of reasons to admire them as a production company, not least the genuine care they show their films. I feel safe in the knowledge that I won’t be subjected to a Toy Story 9, in which Robo-Andy sells off an antique Woody in order to fund his drug habit. But who knows, Disney have whole galaxies to play with. I for one am just excited to see small children once gain running away from Darth Vader models in the Disney Store.