The Force Awakens, New Canon/Legends and the future of Star Wars
By: Gerard Baer (Editor-In-Chief)
Let me start out by stating that this is our first official blog post for The Alliance of Star Wars Fanatic’s website. This may be a bit lengthy, but I have a lot to say to kick off this new feature. Both myself and the entire admin team for the Facebook group would like to thank each and every one of you in the group, for making it one of the best and FASTEST growing Star Wars fan groups on Facebook. With all the new content headed our way in the future, it is an exciting time to be a fan of the Star Wars franchise. We look forward to sharing our love and passion for this franchise with you, long into the future.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Some may find this a bit strange, but as a 41-year-old man, just seeing those words on screen for the first time brought goose bumps to my arms. In fact, there is very little doubt that I will be choked up and shedding a tear or two at the premiere of The Force Awakens. Star Wars makes grown men and women cry. It’s funny how people are drawn back to the days of their childhood, when life was simpler and you could spend your afternoons after school using your imagination to whisk yourself away to Tatooine, Hoth or Endor. For many who have had some serious struggles and challenges in their lives, these times were some of the best days of their lives. The emotions drawn up are real, and they are strong. A major contributor in drawing out all the emotions and feelings is the music. The musical scores penned for this franchise by John Williams have never ceased to be anything short of amazing. Some pieces are simply breathtaking. The music he has created for these films is bound to stir something in both diehard fans and the casual fan alike. The music helps bring the stories together to draw you into it, to the point where if even for a short while, you feel as if you are there and part of the saga.
Flashback to 1983: As a 10-year-old boy having seen and been blown away by Return of The Jedi, I couldn’t wait for the next movie in the franchise to come out. As a child I just assumed the story would continue. As I sat and waited, and waited, and waited…it was very disheartening for me to realize that there was likely not going to be another Star Wars movie. I was not really into the expanded universe at the time, and I will go into that in a little more detail shortly, but with the movie creation being complete that was pretty much the end of new Star Wars material for me.
Then came the Prequel Trilogy…
Many have strong feelings about these movies. I realize that some individuals who despise them are very vocal about their position on the matter. This article IS NOT conceived to start a debate on this matter. Let me state clearly and firmly that I love them. No amount of discussion will change that. I am also not an ignorant person blinded by fandom. I can be objective when discussing these 3 films. Are they a perfect representation of what every fan expected them to be? No. Unfortunately, what many fans expected was unrealistic. I will not sit here and tell you that there were not parts that could have been handled differently, but the end result is the origin story for one of the greatest villains in the history of film. Revenge of the Sith is one of my favorite movies, not just Star Wars, but of all genres. After these films were completed, many believed that this was now the end of the Star Wars movies.
But fortunately for all of us, ROTS was not the end. What is coming next in the Star Wars universe is a new trilogy in the Star Wars saga. In addition to this, we also get 3 new Star Wars Anthology films. New Books, comics, video games, etc. And this is just what is currently scheduled. It really is a good time to be a Star Wars fan. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.
The future of Star Wars is strong.
The new Canon/legends
This is another subject that can bring out both the best and the worst in fans. As a boy, I had the viewpoint that if it didn’t come from the mouth or mind of George Lucas, it wasn’t “really” Star Wars. Please don’t read this as me “bashing” the “EU”. This is just how I felt, at the time. As I got a bit older, I was willing to take a stab at a couple of books, and read a few. They were ok. As I investigated further I had some frustrations with the various storylines, some of which were contradictory. It seemed to me as if it was a free for all in the story department. To top it off, I just couldn’t shake the deep-rooted feeling that if it didn’t come from George Lucas it wasn’t Star Wars.
That being said, with time and experience ones perspective on things can change. I have come to think a bit differently than the 10-year-old version of myself, and realize that George Lucas created a universe. The foundation for this universe is there, but others can take this foundation and build upon it. With the purchase of LucasFilm and its IP by Disney, it was decided that something had to be done with the “EU” in order to move forward with new material for the franchise. As it stood, this could not be easily done without having to reference the convoluted collection of material that had amassed over the previous 4 decades. They made the decision to disregard as canon all but the six films, The Clone Wars and Rebels television shows, and some new books and comics. This “clean slate” approach was desperately needed to be able to exercise the creative freedom required to successfully continue the franchise. Some were outraged, but this had to happen. It has worked very well so far. I have read the new canon material and have been thoroughly pleased with what I have discovered. Aftermath was good. Tarkin and Lords of the Sith were great. Dark Disciple and Lost Stars were spectacular! I have also been reading some of the old expanded universe, currently called legends books, and I love some of them as well. Plagueis was simply awesome. For me, this years most pleasant personal discovery was that of Star Wars audiobooks. I know…I’m late to the party. What really blew me away was listening to the audiobook Revenge of the Sith. Combining this with watching the Clone Wars series give me an entirely new and much deeper understanding of why Anakin turned on the Jedi, and deepened my love of the prequel trilogy. The production quality of the recordings make the already fantastic stories come alive. I look forward to downloading many more, and hearing what all of you have to say about them.
The future of Star Wars is strong.
The future of the Star Wars Universe
Our lives are going to be filled with Star Wars content for the foreseeable future. The Walt Disney Company paid a lot of money for this franchise. And this is a very, very, very good thing. They need to recoup their investment and turn a tremendous profit. This will be done by not only by creating an abundance of new material, but by making sure this new material is amazing. Nobody is going to pay to see garbage. It may work for one movie, but you cannot build a worldwide entertainment empire by turning out trash. The bottom line is, Disney buying LucasFilm is the best thing that could’ve happened to the franchise. This fact cannot be disputed. People can complain about it, they can whine about it, and they can gripe until they’re blue in the face. The fact of the matter is Disney buying LucasFilm is giving us The Force Awakens. It also gives us everything that comes after it. I would like people to remember that the next time they want to complain about how “Disney is going to ruin” the franchise. Simply put, Disney saved the franchise.
Sorry for the long post (I hope you actually made it this far!), but I had a lot to say, and our team will have a quite a bit more to say in the future. There will be posts expanding on the above, and discussions on the new material as well. The evening of December 17th, 2015 can’t get here soon enough.
The future of Star Wars is strong.
Gerard Baer is the creator of www.taoswf.com and Senior Administrator for The Alliance of Star Wars Fanatics, and Administrator for Star Wars Exposé & Star Wars Fanatics Facebook groups. He is also the Co-Founder of The Alliance Group and The Alliance/Exposé Network, along with all their associated properties. Main duties include webmaster, content creator and graphic designer for www.taoswf.com, as well as general all around control freak.