And start hyperventilating... now. No, not because of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy or the election. This is bigger than those things, judging from the reaction of the world.
That's right - I'm sure you've already heard. Disney now owns Star Wars and George Lucas's associated businesses. And they're making new Star Wars movies.
I think the internet is already full with fan reactions. Opinions are as diverse as the alien species in Star Wars. If the emperor wanted to start a galactic civil war all he had to do was announce Disney purchased Star Wars, not go through that whole big convoluted thing with clones. Disney clearly didn't see that it was stepping on a landmine called the "EU." That's right - the extended universe. Fans of the Thrawn Trilogy won't accept anything less than 100% adherence to the EU "cannon." But let's get real. Disney didn't pay $4,000,000,000 to adapt some novels. Word has already leaked that the stories are going to be ones never before seen by fans.
Now I'm hoping "never before seen by fans" means "in line with Lucas's original outlines." If Disney is going to call this movie Episode VII it's got to continue the stories of Luke, Leia, and Han in a meaningful way. Fans who insist that nobody else can play those characters except for the original actors are going to have to face facts. It is very possible for new actors to come in to a well established role and make it their own. Christopher Reeve capably replaced George Reeves as Superman. Daniel Craig made James Bond his own despite Sean Connery's long shadow. It was long thought Cesar Romero owned the Joker role until Jack Nicholson put his own trademark on it and then Heath Ledger once again raised the stakes.
Making new Star Wars films is a tricky business. There's a lot to get right and a lot that could go very, very wrong. But 1LR is ecstatic at the development. If you're a Star Wars fan the idea of more Star Wars movies can't be a bad thing. To me, Disney saved Star Wars from slowly becoming irrelevant. In today's world, if you're not moving forward you're dead in the water. By continuing to produce new films Disney will keep Star Wars relevant for generations.
But the first film will be a $4 billion gamble. Much of the good will Star Wars had with fans has been erased by the prequel trilogy. If that first film doesn't hit all the right notes and "feel" like Star Wars, Disney might as well go jump in a sarlac pit.
And please. No Jar Jar.