Star Wars has always been a franchise with incredible staying power. It has lasted generations, and where’s what I wish for the franchise and its fans.
As we near the end of November and hurdle into the holiday season, I can’t help but start to think about what a magical time it is for kids, a time to fill them with a sense of wonder. That exact sense of wonder is what got me thinking back to when I was my kids’ age and how I viewed Star Wars.
For me, I looked at it as more than just a movie. I had never seen anything like it. I really do think it started me on a path of wanting to recapture that magic. It’s no surprise to me that I eventually wound up writing for kids. You see, I’m an author of books for middle graders, and that’s roughly the same age I was when I first saw Star Wars. I can undeniably say that it had a pronounced influence on me in terms of storytelling.
More from Editorial
- How animation changed Star Wars: Ewoks and Droids
- The Acolyte might change Star Wars storytelling
- No Star Wars for Feige, and I’m ok with that.
- 3 major ways the Star Wars Holiday Special changed canon
- If Jon Favreau remakes the Holiday Special, it needs to star Peli Motto
I wanted to recapture the feeling of discovering that new world for the first time. It’s something that I think resonated with me, and what I try to emulate when I write now. Because seriously, that first trilogy was so magical, and now so ingrained in the public consciousness.
What storyteller doesn’t want their work to have the lasting power of that saga? I mean, here we are, 40 years later, and that story still has impact. It’s not a stretch to say that any author in my age range, wants to capture lightning in a bottle for their own work.
When the prequels began in 1999 with The Phantom Menace, I had hopes of recapturing the magic that I felt in my youth. To say that none of the next trilogy didn’t come close is an understatement. I am friends with people who swear by them, but by and large, the middle three didn’t have that same sense of wonder or staying power for me. To this day, I’m betting that other than the most hardcore Star Wars fans, few can give you an accurate description of plot points of those three movies.
I mean, they can say its Darth Vader’s story, and throw in some joke about Jar Jar Binks, but overall, they can’t give you a full description.
Still, even with those three films in the rearview mirror, I was genuinely excited when it was announced three new movies would be released, which featured much of the original cast. I had high hopes for and will sincerely give props to The Force Awakens for recapturing the spirit of the originals. There was enough of a respect given to the original cast, while introducing a new set of great characters for a younger generation to root for. Heck, I think my younger daughter’s first introduction to the universe is The Force Awakens, and not the original Star Wars.
Honestly, I watched The Force Awakens quite a few times, and was transported back to that same feeling I had when I was a kid. As a matter of fact, I had flashes of being in that theater when my dad took me to see the original. I was sincerely enthused for the future of the franchise. I was even more excited when it was announced that there would be a new Star Wars movie being released every year. Those in the continuing saga and then in the off-years, standalone films.
Little did I realize what effect that would have on the audience. I believe part of the magic of the original trio of films was the anticipation and the wait. Every three years.
By coming out with a movie every year, there was an overload. Especially, with there being varying degrees of critical reception.
I did like Rogue One, even though it was a bit of a downer. I felt Solo had enough going for it to make it fun, but coming on the heels of the mixed-reviewed, The Last Jedi and being the fourth movie in four years, it might have impeded some movie-goers from actually going to see it.
And as for getting back to The Last Jedi, there are probably less divisive lines politically, than on whether TLJ was a good movie. Admittedly, I fall into the ‘Not’ camp. And, while I do know that there are many people who loved TLJ, I also know some who couldn’t bring themselves to see Solo, just because they were turned off by TLJ. I think that’s going way too far, but seriously, I could write a thesis on all the things that I felt were inconsistent storytelling in TLJ, but that’s a post for another day.
Instead, what I want to accomplish here is what I hope for in my Star Wars Wishlist.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
To start, I hope for Star Wars Episode IX to give fulfillment to all the fans, to round out the saga for the older characters, and the great new ones.
I hope Mark Hamill gets a proper sendoff for Luke Skywalker.
I hope that if the fans aren’t happy, they stick to criticizing the movie, and not attacking the actors just playing roles.
I hope fans can just disagree on issues without taking it to heart and exhibiting anger at those who have differing views.
I hope that after Episode IX, the movies are spaced out a little more to prevent overload.
I hope this won’t be the last we see of Rey, Finn, and Poe.
I hope there are future standalone films, in particular, ones with Ben Kenobi and Boba Fett.
I hope to write something with even a fraction of the staying power of Star Wars.
I hope kids coming in new to the saga get that same sense of magic and wonderment that I got when I was that age.
I hope to one day find my Star Wars land speeder that my mom misplaced.
Let’s add to that, and hope she finds all my old action figures, as well.
I hope that we can still be talking about these characters in another 40 years.
And above all else, I hope that all of you, no matter what you celebrate, get what you wish for and have a very happy holiday season!