It’s never a dull moment at Disney. In a span of a month, Spider-Man was out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which had a lot of geeks gnashing their teeth in frustration. Then, just a few days ago, Disney and Sony reached an agreement that would allow our friendly neighborhood Web-Slinger back in. With all of that going on, you may not have heard but another bombshell was dropped involving two of Disney’s largest franchises, the aforementioned Marvel movies and Star Wars. A couple of days ago, it was revealed that Kevin Feige, the man behind everything Marvel movie-related will be taking the reins of one of the movies set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
This news delighted a lot of Star Wars fans, to be sure. After all, you can’t deny the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it all started out as an idea in Kevin Feige’s head. All Marvel movies, even the mediocre ones, are still enjoyable, leading to an almost perfect batting average with both critics and audiences alike. This is juxtaposed with Star Wars. Once the biggest franchise in all of geekdom, its recent string of films have left fans alienated, no pun intended. There was the incredibly polarizing The Last Jedi which has split the fanbase into two warring factions who either love or hate the film. Then there was the disappointing Solo: A Star Wars Movie, which was, let’s face it, kind of boring. Suffice to say, there is a lot riding on the upcoming Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker but it’s clear that the franchise needs to regroup and rethink their future plans.
This is why putting Kevin Feige, the man who is behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the most successful franchise in modern history, seems like a no-brainer. If there’s anyone that can turn Star Wars away from The Dark Side, even if it’s just for one film, it’s him, right? Well, that’s the expectation anyway. I do want to be all positive about the decision and I can clearly understand the reasoning for this change, the pessimist in me can’t help but think that jubilant joy that Star Wars and Marvel fans are feeling is premature. In fact, this move can potentially be the worst thing for Marvel and Star Wars. Did I mention that I’m a pessimist?
Now, Kevin Feige has proven that he’s a really huge Marvel comics fan. A lot of people, including myself, will say that he’s the biggest contributing factor to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s success. He does have a proven record with Marvel. But Star Wars? That’s a big question. I don’t really know if he’s a Star Wars geek of if he himself even knows that he’s a Star Wars geek or not.
Is Kevin Feige even a Star Wars fan? Apparently, a lot of people say he’s a die-hard fan and he even wanted to be a part of the Star Wars films when Disney bought it from George Lucas. But it’s easy for anyone to come out and say, “Yeah, I love Star Wars and Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, The Force and everything about Star Wars.” I know a lot of fans who think that’s all there is to Star Wars and, well, just because you’ve watched the movies with a passing interest, that doesn’t make you a true-blue fan. Heck, I consider myself a huge Star Wars fan but, even though my knowledge of the subject matter is vast, it doesn’t compare to those who have invested all their time and money to the franchise. I just know there is that uber-fan that knows who owned R5-D4 before it got captured by the Jawas in Episode IV. I just know it!
Kevin Feige obviously doesn’t have to be on that level. But he will definitely need more than a cursory understanding of what made Star Wars so fantastic in the first place. He will have to tap into the fanbase and incorporate what made them fall in love with it and, at the same time, put his own spin on it. He’s done it with the Marvel films so it’s possible to do it with Star Wars. However, I do believe that Star Wars fans are a different breed than Marvel or comic book fans in general. They are more “rabid” because the Star Wars mythos hasn’t gone to through a lot of major revisions unlike in the comics universe. Things are more set in stone with Star Wars so any major veering off in direction will put fans in an uproar. This will make it much more difficult to find that balance. While I hope that Kevin Feige is up to the challenge, there is no reassurance that he is.
It’s also important to note that Kevin Feige will just be working on one Star Wars film at the moment. That doesn’t mean he has full control over the entire franchise as of now. Officially, Star Wars is still under the watchful eye of Kathleen Kennedy as she’s still president of LucasFilm. Whether you think she’s the problem or just collateral damage from all the flak the franchise has been getting, she’s still going to be one of the producers of the Kevin Feige produced Star Wars film, whatever it will be. Also, Bob Iger, Disney’s head honcho will also be behind the curtain as well. That means that, ultimately, there are going to be as many as three people, Kevin Feige, Kathleen Kennedy and Bob Iger, who are going to be cooking up this new Star Wars films. This could just lead to there being too many cooks in the kitchen.
Thinking about it now, Kevin Feige had it easy. As the undisputed head of Marvel Studios, he could make all the decisions without anyone contradicting him. Edgar Rice’s vision of Ant-Man clashes with his? Fire his ass. Joss Whedon wanted to add a scene where the Avengers ate shawarma even after the film wrapped up? Give the man the budget to film the actors after the premiere.
In fact, the only time he clashed with someone else was regarding the Inhumans since that one Disney guy wanted something to compete with the X-Men franchise. Guess what happened? A television series based on the Inhumans was made! Now, imagine if Kathleen Kennedy, the still official head of LucasFilm, and Bob Iger, the man who runs Disney, decide to stick their noses in Kevin Feige’s dream version of Star Wars? It’s not hard to imagine those two doing just that. After all, Kathleen Kennedy would want to prove that she can still hack it and prove her worth as the head of LucasFilm. Bob Iger definitely doesn’t want Star Wars to fail after paying billions of dollars to George Lucas to acquire it. They have some vested interest in seeing Kevin Feige’s Star Wars film succeed. With all of this interference and the eventual compromises that need to be made, we may end up getting an even worse product than what we have now!
Now, both of those situations I mentioned are merely hypothetical. Those are things that may or may not happen when Kevin Feige starts making that one Star Wars film. The thing I’m worried the most about him doing a Star Wars movie is that, well, he’s going to be doing a lot of stuff and he’ll spread himself too thin.
Think about it. This guy not only has control of the Marvel movies, but he’ll also have to oversee the production of the Marvel television shows that are coming to Disney+. Now he’ll also has to go look after Star Wars? That’s a lot of hats he’ll have to wear! Something will have to give and it may be Star Wars or the Marvel movies or the Marvel shows or, worse case scenario, all three. Oh, I’m not saying that he’ll have to carry the burden on his own but does he have anyone he can entrust Marvel to right now while he goes put in the time and work to try and fix Star Wars?
I will say that I was excited to hear that Kevin Feige will be doing a Star Wars film. But, the more I think about it, this could actually be Marvel’s undoing. I can’t say this’ll happen… but the pessimist inside me just can’t help but think, “what if…?”
Do you think Kevin Feige will do good while handling both Star Wars and Marvel? What are your thoughts on him handling Star Wars? Let me know in the comments section below!