Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been out for several days now and the general consensus regarding the film has been positive. I myself have reviewed the film and, yeah, Rogue One is really, really good. Critics mostly agree with this assessment as well. It also made a killing at the box office over the weekend, raking in a little under $300 million worldwide since its release. I guess it’s a pretty safe bet that Disney’s experiment into releasing Star Wars related films that aren’t actually full-on “episodes” was a success.
Rogue One is Disney’s first entry in their proposed Star Wars Anthology film series, which will be just side stories. The events in these films may indirectly affect the events of the regular “episodic” films, but they can be skipped safely without hurting any of the “episodic” film’s continuity. They’ve already proposed future Anthology films focusing on the adventures of a young Han Solo and even Boba Fett. Rogue One’s success does open up a lot of possibilities and probably has a lot of Star Wars fans excited about the franchise’s future.
However, the pessimist in me can see this bright future falling into the path of the Dark Side of the Force. Much like how Emperor Palpatine carefully pulled the strings in the background of the Prequel films, Rogue One is Disney’s sly way of worming its way into making an unstoppable empire that will march along the big screen on an annual basis.
As much as I love the Star Wars brand and the idea that Disney is going to deliver a movie set in a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I’m cautious about it as well. I don’t really have any concrete memories about Episodes IV, V and VI but I’d like to believe that it was a magical time. Not Disney magic but more Force magic, in a sense. There was a palpable kind of excitement with the release of those films and each film’s release was a huge event.
I do have vivid memories of the build up and the release of the first Star Wars Prequel film, however, Say what you will about Episode I: The Phantom Menace. I will agree that the film was pretty bad. I actually remember watching it and thinking that… well, it was bad, especially if you compared it to the Original Trilogy films. I thought the podracing was dumb, the kid that played Anakin Skywalker was just plain bad, the plot about a Trade Federation was stupid and the midichlorians explanation irked me. Oddly enough, I was okay with Jar Jak Binks. But I still thought The Phantom Menace was a huge misstep… not that many fans at the time thought so.
But you have to admit, despite the general quality of the Prequel films, there was a certain magic and excitement to each release. People were enthusiastic with each release. That’s because it was a Star Wars film! We don’t get one each and every year. Well, with Rogue One and Disney’s Star Wars Anthology plans, this is precisely what we’re going to have moving on! We’re going to have a new Star Wars film on an annual basis. This does seem like a good thing but I feel this will cut into the majesty and splendor of each release.
You can argue that Disney will still pull out all the stops when it comes to marketing the films but I wary about oversaturation. If we get too much of a good thing, you know they’ll be the eventual backlash against it. Take the current trend of superhero films. We’re getting to a point where people are saying they’re sick and tired of getting nothing but films about comic book heroes. Never mind that the quality of superhero films are still pretty good. There are still going to be people tired of seeing spandex clad heroes jumping all over the screen and talking space raccoons and walking trees.
If people can get tired of superhero films, the same thing can happen with Star Wars. If Disney does intend to push through with their plan to release a Star Wars related film on a more regular basis, you know there are going to be some viewers, even Star Wars fans, who’ll think it’ll be too much. There’s just going to be too much Star Wars for them!
Also, I’m also wary about the quality of these new films. Sure, Rogue One was a good film and a must watch. But there are definitely problems with it and there’s a possibility it’ll be all downhill from here. Disney may take some shortcuts in future Star Wars films, which will make the quality suffer. This is generally the problem with sequel-itis in Hollywood. Paranormal Activity was a good movie. But with each sequel, the franchise becomes worse and worse. Same thing can be said with one of my personal favorite films, Robocop. The first one was fantastic. The second one was still good. The third one was a piece of garbage and a simple cash grab for MGM and Orion films.
I have a feeling Disney are getting their best people to work on those Han Solo and Boba Fett projects. But after that, where do they go? Oh, I bet they’re going to make Rogue Two, the story on how the Rebels got the plans for the second Death Star and we’ll get to see many Bothans die. They may make a few Clone War movies as well featuring squad something-or-other. I would even be interested in a film showing the adventures of a young Yoda and his training to be a Jedi.
But, after that, where does Disney go? Will they just lose their minds and just try to make movies about really mundane ideas? Will we eventually see films like Greedo’s Big Score, Follow that Jar Jar, Leia Organa’s Quinceanera Quandry, Luke Skywalker and the Hunt for Power Converters, Romancing the Kyber Crystal (featuring Han Solo and Princess Leia) or, heaven forbid, a Star Wars Holiday Special 2: Electric Boogaloo? It could happen! And on the big screen this time!
I’m not saying that this will happen but I can’t ignore the possibility. I’m confident that Star Wars as a brand can survive the onslaught of bad movies. It already did with Episodes I and II (Episode III was okay). But I don’t want people to think of Star Wars as something that you can get sick of.
Besides, there’s no way Disney would think of milking their franchises with releasing sequel after sequel, right?
What do you think of the possibility of Star Wars becoming passe? Let me know in the comments section below!