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Thursday, January 15, 2004

Wars Without End...

Big buzz making the rounds on a lot of websites this morning are the substantiated rumors that George Lucas might yet make a Star Wars sequel trilogy - episodes 7, 8 and 9 - after wrapping up Episode 3. TheForce.net was first to break the story about Peter Mayhew being contractually obligated to reprise his Chewbacca character in future sequels (this comes in addition to his appearance in Episode 3). Then comes word from Ain't It Cool News about a couple of companies getting licenses on the Star Wars franchise getting re-upped for quite some time after Episode 3's bow next year. This goes hand in hand with a number of other things that have percolated to the surface during the past year or so, about how a sequel trilogy might yet appear.

My thoughts? George Lucas has spent most of his professional life on this saga. I can't help but think that the reason he's stuck with it this long hasn't been for the money, but just to give the fans a sense of completion. This coming at considerable expense to his own personal aspirations. After Episode 3 (officially - for now anyway - the final Star Wars movie) Lucas has stated he wants to go for smaller projects, films that he can experiment with for his own sake, for his own happiness. He's owed that, definitely. Is he tired of making Star Wars? Well, who wouldn't be? The only constants in life are change, and learning new things from those changes. Whether he wanted it or not George Lucas has been chained in place - excepting a few years' respite in between - to one era of his career for three decades now. After Episode 3, he'll be free to fly as far and high as he wants. And yet, at the same time there's been plenty of evidence that Lucas has some ideas for episodes 7-9 (when asked years ago why he never gave Luke a girlfriend, Lucas replied "wait until the final trilogy") and wants the story to continue, in some fashion.

I don't see why there couldn't be a final Star Wars trilogy, with Lucas acting as writer or co-writer, and executive producer. That would dramatically free up his hands to do whatever directing he wanted. There's already plenty of directors chomping at the bit to direct a Star Wars movie... Steven Spielberg, for one. Lucas handed that hat over to other directors on The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, so there's precedent already. That is, if Lucas wanted a sequel trilogy greenlighted to begin with.

If not, I'll watch Episode 3 next year, and thank God for a great way to have spent the first 30 years of my life. But if it happens... well, I suppose childhood will potentially get pushed into my early fifties. But while we're waiting for that to happen (or not), check out this other great saga from the Seventies... coming soon to a theater near you!