No, I did not make a mistake in that headline and you’re not reading it wrong. Remember how Disney CEO Bob Iger said that after Episode VII in 2015 that they wanted to follow up with sequels every 2-3 years? Well, it turns out that their plans are a bit more ambitious than that. Way more ambitious.
It’s at this point that a whole bunch of you are probably shouting out, spittle flying from your lips, fists shaking at the heavens, about how you knew that this whole Disney/Lucasfilm thing was horrible news, and that Disney is milking this property dryer than grandma nipples in record time. Well, you may be right, but there’s just one word that should give pause to your nerd rage: Avengers.
No, Tony Stark won’t be building any red and yellow Death Stars any time soon, what I mean is that Disney has already shown that it can do this: pump out 2-3 movies a year based in the same universe. We’ve already learned that Episode VII will be an original story that will probably feature the original trilogy cast, but there are so many other stories in the Expanded Universe that a lot of fans were disappointed to hear wouldn’t be adapted. But what if they are? What if the Skywalker storyline became the spine of this universe, with all the others featuring peripheral characters/stories that stood alone, but contributed to the bigger picture a la Marvel’s Avengers universe?
Now that is an idea that I can fully get behind. Rogue Squadron, Thrawn, New Jedi Order, Old Republic, Yuzhaan Vong; they could all be turned into their own thing, while the original story continues on separately.
Of course the secret to all of this, and to Marvel’s success, was to have all their creators working together with somebody like Kevin Feige at the top making sure it all works cohesively. As much as I respect Kennedy as a producer, I just don’t think she’s the right person for that job. Feige was a massive fan and comic geek long before he became Marvel Studios president, and that’s the type of person they’ll need if they want to pull this off. And hey, there’s this Joe Johnston guy you may have heard of…
If this shared universe approach is really what Disney/Lucasfilm is aiming for then the risk of failure is bigger than Jabba the Hutt’s backside. And no, I’m not deluded in the slightest to think that this is anything but a business decision to exploit a popular franchise wholesale. As long as all that money making goes hand in hand with more Star Wars stories being told really well though, you won’t hear a peep out of me.