December 18th, 2015.
That date is one that Star Wars fans have been looking forward to since Disney made the huge announcement back in November of 2013 that the Star Wars saga would continue on that specific day.
There had been rumblings since 1977 of a nine-movie tale, but George Lucas and others had all but squashed those rumors. When Episode III: Revenge of the Sith first hit theaters back in 2005, most fans in the galaxy assumed that this would be the last time they saw Star Wars in an episodic form on the big screen.
After Disney had purchased Lucasfilm and revealed they were working on new installments, word initially had the film being slated to premiere in May of 2015, mirroring the other six films’ release dates. Nonetheless, the film has been pinned to that December date – until, perhaps, now.
It is no longer news that Harrison Ford broke his leg on the set of Episode VII, but what is news is the debate on how long he will be out. Some reports indicate that he could miss just eight weeks, while some are saying six months, and others have even put the death sentence on the character of Han Solo. Ford is still in London, though, and if the new photos are any indication, he appears to be ready to fight to get back to work.
No matter what happens with Ford and his recovery, there is a story out there from Latino Review that Disney will simply not allow this film to be pushed back beyond the original release date.
Here’s a few nuggets from the site’s report:
- The movie will not be delayed because of Harrison Ford’s injuries. (I can actually second source this, thanks to Star Wars 7 News). This information is from this week – it’s not old, it’s not speculation.
- Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams want a May 4, 2016 release date.
- Disney CEO Bob Iger is not giving it to them.
Let me be the first to say that I doubt this film will be made without the character of Han Solo. All indications point to Solo being the main protagonist in Episode VII, and with him being one of the most popular characters in the saga, the movie would be at a significant loss without him. If push comes to shove – and if that report is correct – Bob Iger and Disney will just have to get over it.
Ford and his camp are preaching that they want to return to the set and finish the job, so you can expect his return as soon as he is physically able to. So, if Ford’s recovery time takes around six months or more, would it be a big deal if the movie was moved back to May of 2016?
No, and it shouldn’t be a debate.
There are some logistical issues with moving it back for Disney, but other than that, there aren’t really any issues. Disney has May of 2016 slated for the next Captain America movie, and releasing two potential billion dollar films at once could cause some issues with finances. By releasing the movies six months apart, it would maximize their earning potential.
The big thing that Disney needs to realize is that they didn’t just buy a simple film franchise back in 2012; they bought one of the most passionate – and sometimes crazy – fanbases. Star Wars fans aren’t just fans – they live the saga. Part of what makes Star Wars so successful is that the fans have turned it into something that even George Lucas himself couldn’t have imagined.
There are multiple conventions in a myriad of countries every year. There are video games, toys, literature, and costumes, plus the fact that cities hold Star Wars days. People are just downright passionate when it comes to Star Wars, period. Disney should keep that in mind when they make their final decision on the release date.
Star Wars fans don’t want a revised script that was hurried and patched up because of an injury. Lucas was known to take his time on his films, and his waiting three years between movies is mostly unheard of nowadays (with a few exceptions, such as Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy). It seems as if the movie industry has really started to focus on the dollars instead of the quality, and that is what has made Star Wars remain so special after all of these years.
So would it be a big deal if they moved back the release date of Episode VII? Absolutely not. I think if you told fans that they would have to wait five more months, but they were able to see the full script and story played out with all of their favorite heroes, they would take that deal in a heartbeat.
Star Wars: Episode VII is arguably the most anticipated movie of all time, and I think I speak for all fans when I say it’s okay for J.J. Abrams and company to take the time to get the best movie available – even if that means waiting just a little bit longer.