“To Improve is to Change…”

When I moved from my little apartment to my house, I was super excited.  I had lots of time to prepare since I knew when the exact move date was.  Then why did I breakdown and have a crying fit in the middle of packing?  It was a week and a half until everything had to be packed up and I was sitting in the middle of a bunch of boxes crying my brains out, while my best friend listened on the phone.  All of a sudden, I was overwhelmed with all the changes my life was taking.

So that’s an extreme example, but I kind of had that feeling this past weekend.

Ever since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, I’ve been pretty supportive in the way things are going.  And by supportive, I mean, I have no choice so I’ve happily gone along with their plan.  In my book, there’s no point in complaining because it’s not like what I think is going to make a difference.  Also, I love Star Wars so much that I think reviving Star Wars can only be a good thing.  More Star Wars!!  How can that ever be bad??

But the announcement of Gareth Edwards directing the first Star Wars stand-alone film kind of made everything hit home for me. gareth edwards star wars We’ve known that there would be standalone Star Wars films between each Episode since 2013.  Just like when I moved, I’ve had time to digest this information and understand it.  It’s not like it was a sudden onslaught of changes.

But I have this fear that with this constant oversaturation of Star Wars, I will slowly lose my love of Star Wars.  I’ll become less enthusiastic about each film as they get released into theaters at such a rapid pace.  What about Star Wars Episode XX?  Will I be as interested in it then?  Disney is kind of taking a gamble here and thinking that Star Wars fans will turn out in droves for the movies, no matter what (okay, they’re probably right on that).

This is A LOT of Star Wars.  A LOT.  Why didn’t I fully get this before?  This change and transition is throwing me off.  All of a sudden, it feels like everything is more real, more concrete.  Whereas before, we just had rumors and bits of information, now things are being confirmed.

Some of the appeal in Star Wars has been the waiting and the eager anticipation.  Three years gives you a good amount of time to speculate, build up predictions and then wait in line at the midnight showing of the next episode.  Truth be told, I really love saying that I went to midnight showings of the movies.  Will I go to every midnight showing of the movies now?  Probably not and I never thought I’d say that.  Definitely Episode VII if I can manage it.

Has audience participation in movies changed now?  As viewers, do we expect more in less time?  Or is Disney just trying to milk Star Wars for as much as they can?  Or, as another option, are they just trying to shake up our Star Wars world and give us something different?

Why am I so doubtful all of a sudden?  This could turn out well.  I’m trying to think of my reaction with the Marvel universe, but I’m not really into Marvel.  I used to read lot of their comics in 7th and 8th grade, but now I’ve faded out of comic books.  I don’t even see all the movies!  That will most likely happen with the casual fans of Star Wars, just like I’m a casual fan of Marvel.  Sometimes I get to see them in theaters, sometimes I don’t, but I do try to watch them.  And they are doing well…the quality and caliber of actors is definitely good and worth watching.

The only thing I could think of that is similarly on this scale would be the James Bond movies.  They have lasted 50 years and are still going strong, raking in millions of dollars.   I don’t personally know any hardcore Bond fans, so I’m not sure how they’ve felt about the development over the years.

Only time will be able to show me what happens.  I don’t think my fears are unjustified, but I do know there’s nothing I can do about them.  Mostly, I am embracing the changes and adapting, but this weekend, I think a small part of me was mourning what Star Wars was and the experiences that revolved around it.

star wars fans in line

In other news though – I’m happy about Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie being cast in VII.  The cast has now been brought up to 4 females.  But I wonder how big of a role they are going to play?  The fact that they were not in the original announcement could be either a) they are secondary characters or b) they couldn’t get their contracts signed in time.  Either way, I am happy to have two more females added to that list.

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9 thoughts on ““To Improve is to Change…”

  1. I know what you mean with it seeming extreme but coinciding with life changes — a movie seems like a very trivial thing, it’s true, but I’m even more intolerant of a Disney-continued series than I might have been 5 years ago just because the announcement came at a time in my life when everything I loved, valued, thought I needed was being unceremoniously taken away, and it felt like Star Wars was being taken away from me too.

    It’s the difference between deciding for yourself that “a third piece of cake WOULD just hit the spot!” versus the insane school headmaster from Matilda forcing you to eat the biggest cake on earth in 45 minutes. I feel like Disney is the psychotic headmaster pushing my face into more royal icing than I ever wanted in my life and crowing, “EAT IT! YOU WANTED IT! EAT IT!”

    Choosing more = good. Having more shoveled on your head against your will = bad. Unfortunately for me, enough was enough years ago and I do and always will consider the Star Wars saga finished at Vision of the Future. So I think it’s really up to the community to maintain the integrity of the franchise, because Disney will never stop making movies, even when they become as much of a laughingstock as the third reboot of the 14th Jason Vorhees movie. The community needs to recognize that we don’t all have to love the exact same Star Wars things in order to all love the thing called Star Wars.

    • Oh my goodness, that Matilda/Miss Trunchbull reference was so fabulous.

      You make a good point, but I don’t understand how we’ve ever chosen more in Star Wars anyway. Don’t you think there were fans who were complaining and upset when the EU novels first came out? They probably only wanted to keep the Star Wars universe the way it was…with three movies. Having EU novels could have felt like it was forced upon fans, from a certain point of view. And in the end, aren’t many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view? 😉

      So now the same thing is happening with Disney. I guess we could choose whether or not to go to the theater and pay money to Disney to see the new movie. Yes, there are a lot more movies coming out now, but that’s how I felt with the EU after a while and one of the main reasons I gave up. I couldn’t keep up with the EU and felt that some of the stories were too ridiculous or badly written. Will I choose not to go to the movies and watch them if I feel like that is happening with Disney? You know…I might. I’m not sure it’ll happen because Disney will want to make sure these are good, but maybe 20 years from now there will a fair number of hits and misses so that I’ll be able to tell when I want to see one in the theater vs. at home.

      Again, only time will tell but I’m sure we’ll all adapt. Just like we adapted when the Prequels came out, though many people didn’t like them. Look at me – I really dislike AOTC, but I still acknowledge it as part of the Star Wars universe, but I rarely watch it anymore. So I’m guessing that will probably happen with Disney as well.

      • I think the difference is that to get to the EU, you always had to seek it out before. The books were always so optional; many of my Star Wars friends have never cracked the cover of one at all. Action figures, toys, clothes based on the novels or comics are still pretty rare. But Star Wars merch is going to explode with new movies, and I’m already resigning myself to pretty much not being able to buy stuff in the future because it will have these reboot characters plastered all over it. The best future I hope for is one in which I’m allowed to quietly ignore everything produced after 2012, just like I quietly ignore the Holiday Special, Droids, and The Clone Wars.

        • Oh gosh, you bring up a good point about merchandising. Disney does like to milk the merchandising. About 8 years ago, when I was in college, there was a cool little store in Northampton that occasionally sold Star Wars t-shirts. I would get so excited and buy new ones as much as possible! Before that, most of my shirts were from the boys section in Wwal-Mart. There are definitely more now, but it’s not a plethora.

          TCW was not that bad. In the beginning, I was really against it and didn’t want to have anything to do with it. I was embarrassed for the Star Wars community. Some of the storylines made me cringe, but I enjoyed a lot of it. I think Rebels will only be better because they learned what the audience likes.

          I hope you at least see Episode VII before swearing off Star Wars forever! Who knows? Maybe it’ll be good.

          • Nah, I don’t think I will ever see it. I’ve had the “story ends 20 years after the Battle of Endor” rule since, oh, at least 2000, and two entities I dislike (Disney, JJ Abrams) definitely won’t crack that. But I’ll always have my trilogies and my books 😀 So I won’t ever quit Star Wars.

  2. I can see where you’re coming from. I had the exact same reservations when the Disney purchase announcement was made, and especially when they started talking about a new movie each year. However, since then my excitement has only built.

    I love the new cast, and that the old cast gets a chance to the torch. There is definitely some great talent being attached to these new films, both in front and behind the camera. (Side note: I had a chance to see Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla and I NEVER thought I would enjoy a Godzilla movie that much) And have you seen the spy photos TMZ released? I just could not stop myself from peeking, but all the physical props, costumes and set pieces they are using in Abu Dhabi look AMAZING!

    I don’t know. I don’t want to see Star Wars become commonplace, but right now I am hungry for more Star Wars. I continue to be fascinated by the stuff that Disney and Marvel roll out. As long as these films are fun and well made, I’m pretty sure I will continue to enjoy them. As Megan mentions, you don’t have to love everything about Star Wars to really love Star Wars. A sentiment that could not be truer as we enter an era of more and more content from a galaxy far, far away…

    P.S. – Rumor and speculation: did you hear that Hasbro talked about future Star Wars toylines at a recent convention and that one set coming in a few years was labelled Red 5? This shortly before the Gareth Edwards announcement… If it turns out his spin-off is about Rogue Squadron, my inner 10 year-old might burst with joy 😀

    • You liked the Godzilla movie? Mr. Reticent saw it and loved it and I made fun of him. I was like, “How in the world could you ever think watching a monster destroy a city for 2 hours is a good use of your time and money?” He got really annoyed and pissed at me, but felt supremely vindicated when the standalone movie was announced. Now I feel like I have to see it, despite how much I didn’t want to see it.

      I did see the set photos! I’m so happy there are real props and sets being used again 🙂 That’ll give the movie the extra touch of Star Wars awesomeness. However, I am starting to wind down on clicking on the links. I try to stay as spoiler free as possible, which is rare in today’s internet driven leakage world. I just don’t want to click on something that ruins it for me! I like to have as few expectations as possible, so that when I actually see the movie, I can form an opinion while watching it. It also lessens the chances that I’ll be disappointed.

      I did see the rumor about Hasbro and the Red 5! However, I just can’t imagine them going with a Rogue Squadron movie as the first standalone. That seems kind of risky. I think it will work as a 4th or 5th standalone movie, but not the first. I think for the first they’ll go with something really safe, like Han Solo or Boba Fett. I’m still hoping they never do a Yoda standalone. I like the mystery behind him and didn’t like the CGI Yoda.

  3. Fortunately, the Star Wars universe is vast and there is enough story to fill these films. Many times as a kid, I wanted to see the expanded universe on screen. This is the upside.
    The downside is this weakens the Star Wars brand. Instead of being a single grand event, it will be an annual hoopla, with an immediate look to the next movie instead of relishing and memorizing what has already been.

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