New Star Wars, new audience?

By Glenn Battishill

It was announced Oct. 30 that Disney purchased Lucasfilm and will put out “Star Wars: Episode VII” in 2015. When I heard this, I laughed, believing it to be a hoax (since a similar rumor circulated the Internet earlier this year). As I researched the source of the information I began seeing pop up on every news site I follow I slowly began to accept the information as the truth.

Every “Star Wars” fan’s hopes/nightmares were about to come true. There would be more “Star Wars” movies and the best news was that George Lucas wouldn’t be writing or directing any of them.

“Star Wars” fans have a bizarre relationship with George Lucas. On one hand his original trilogy of films inspired several generations and changed the world, on the other hand the prequel trilogy is considered by fans to be an abomination and to say otherwise is a sin. “Star Wars” itself is far larger than the films. Beginning in the early 90s novels bearing the “Star Wars” name began being published followed by hundreds of comics and dozens of video games. The “expanded universe” as it is called by fans spans everything before after and in between the films and is one of the biggest fictional universes ever created.

The expanded universe is the glimmer of hope that fans are clinging to currently, desperately hoping that the future films will be based on any of the hundreds of acclaimed novels or comics. However, if it’s one thing “Star Wars” fans are reluctant to do it’s believe in hope.

Personally, I don’t really care about the prequels any more. I saw the prequels as an 8, 11 and 14 year old but I was fortunate enough to have seen the original trilogy countless times before I even turned 8. I’m a second-generation “Star Wars” fan having grown up on both trilogies but always preferring the substance of the original. Never the less “Star Wars” played a big part in the formation of my imagination. And isn’t that what really matters?

Sure, the new trilogy will probably be disappointing and not live up to the impossible standards I will assign to it because I am a lifelong fan. And that’s really okay, “Star Wars” and I have grown up together and as we have our relationship has changed. As a child “Star Wars” was a gateway to far away worlds of adventure and fantasy, as a teenager “Star Wars” was the book series that got me passionate in reading books, and as an adult I see the “Star Wars” expanded universe as an old friend always willing to share one more story with me as long as I’m willing to hear it. I don’t need another “Star Wars” film because the books will always be superior in my mind. If the new “Star Wars” can inspire others the way the old “Star Wars” inspired me then there’s no way I can hate it.