1977 was a pivotal year for me. Having been taken to see a new movie, Star Wars, that had just hit the theaters, I was introduced to the genre of science fiction. Even my first comic book was a Star Wars comic. Following the rest of the original trilogy along with Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactic, and even the Buck Rogers TV show, I grew to love all things scifi. It was history in the making…
The Empire Strikes Back was a collossal continuation of the series and I could not wait years later for Return of the Jedi. Unfortunately, Jedi was not the movie I had hoped for. Somehow it had become something for the kiddies. It was now 1983 and at 13 I had no interest in being associated with that sort of thing.
1992 rolls around to find Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire novel. Rumors spread that a new trilogy was inthe works and the fire was rekindled. A flood of new material flowed out in the form of comic books, novels, trading cards, and games. Now in college, I ate up all that I could in my little free time.
When Phantom Menace finally came out I was thrilled to see the new characters and get a hint at the origins of the first trilogy. Sure Jar-Jar Binks and young Anakin were annoying, but as a true fan I could look past that. Attack of the Clones was an even better movie, and I knew was a setup for the last movie. Without the kiddie themes found in the first, it had better action and a more involving story. In restrospect, that first movie only hinted at the machinations at work in the politics of the Old Republic. Now Revenge of the Sith is out, and it’s everything I wanted out of the story. George Lucas has really brought the circle of his story complete in a satisfying conclusion that I feel redeems Return of the Jedi and Phantom Menace.
Now that the whole story is wrapped up, fans are caught up in the craze, hungry for more. This could only be a mistake. The franchise should go out on a high note, as any further tinkering risks tarnishing the legacy of Lucas’ work just like the later Star Trek movies and TV series did to that franchise. George Lucas has stated that for the new trilogy the meat of the material was in Revenge of the Sith and the remaining material was in Attack of the Clones with a little bit of fluff left over for Phantom Menace. I feel that if we push too strongly for a new trilogy we may end up with more Jedi Babies movies. The man says he has no more material for the Star Wars universe outside of what he has put forth as canon – let’s take his word for it. Let Anakin Skywalker’s universe rest in peace.
There has been talk of a TV show in the works. One idea would be to get as far away from the original stories and explore the origins of the Jedi and Sith which take place 4000 years before. Recent movie rumors center around a Yoda: The Early Years style of movie, with an appearance by the rumored Sith Lords from 1000 years ago (now adjusted to be 800 years to shoehorn an infant Yoda into the picture). A number of games such as Knights of the Old Republic have proven immensely popular and reveal that there is interest in more than just the Skywalker family. Doing so would leave the original series untouched, and not go in the direction of a “Star Wars: The Next Generation” or “Jedi Babies” type of series. George Lucas has stated that the show would involve the years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, but without the main characters I’m not sure that it could be a hit. Threat of cancellation would only bring about a string of “guest appearances” by characters from the original trilogy in an embarrasing attempt to stay afloat, much like UPN did in mismanaging Enterprise. At 14 now, my son loves the Star Wars franchise – please don’t make this into his Return of the Jedi.