Mickey Mouse with a lightsaber?

Brian Golden

Yesterday’s news of the Walt Disney Corporation’s purchase of all things Lucasfilm, including the Star Wars franchise, hit me like a ton of bricks … or maybe the swat of a wampa (inside Empire Strikes Back reference there). Born the same year that Episode IV: A New Hope (as it’s now known) was released (1977), I was raised on the original Star Wars trilogy, a fascination that’s continued over the course of my 35 years.

Am I a Star Wars geek? I most certainly am. Does that embarrass me? Not … one … little … bit. Long live the über-geek.

In addition to this startling news, the rumor of an Episode VII; something I never thought would happen; not in a million years (or should I say a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away?); and I’ll be the first to admit I’m worried. Granted, I have no problem with the creation of additional Star Wars films, series or television programs (all rumored), although I’m unsure which direction the franchise’s new owners should (or will) go.

Here are some ideas, however …

1) Star Wars Episode VII: Heir to the Empire, Episode VIII: Dark Force Rising, Episode VIIII: The Last Command
These three novels, penned by the fantastic Timothy Zahn and also known as the Thrawn trilogy, or Heir to the Empire trilogy, are – far and away – my favorite post-Return of the Jedi Star Wars novels. They’re extremely well written (you can almost hear John Williams’ famous soundtrack playing in the background as you read them) and take our heroes in new directions, all while maintaining the pace, tone and excitement of the original Star Wars trilogy. The only problem? Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are all getting up there in years, and the thought of re-casting Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia (now a Disney princess?) and Han Solo just doesn’t sit well with me. In fact, it’s blasphemy, when you get right down to it.

2) Reboot the entire franchise?
This, if you ask me, is a fairly decent idea, considering the fact that – if you did episodes one through six in order – you could … a) lose Jar Jar Binks (or have him killed off immediately, something many fans would willingly pay good money for) … b) find actors young enough so that the possibility of the Thrawn trilogy becomes more of a reality (what can I say, the books are simply awesome) … and c) set the stage for any number of offshoot films and/or television programs.

Regardless, I’m still more than a little concerned with the direction Disney will go with one of my all-time favorite sci-fi franchises, and it’s with trepidation that I await some hard news on said direction. Until then, I guess I’ll just have to hope that the Force is with them, and pray for the best.

Boba Fett lives!