Walt Disney + Star Wars = endless possibilities - Macleans.ca

Walt Disney + Star Wars = endless possibilities

A Star Wars movie every year? Scott Feschuk imagines the synergies

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Photo illustration by Sarah MacKinnon

Walt Disney Co., which paid $4 billion for George Lucas’s film company, has announced that, beginning in 2015, it will release a Star Wars movie every year—yes, every single year. Let’s look ahead:

2015: Although many are eagerly anticipating J.J. Abrams’ take on the series, some are apprehensive that he will introduce to the Star Wars universe the element of time travel—which would enable a middle-aged Luke Skywalker to encounter his younger self, his older self and, quite possibly, a very confused Spock. On the other hand, it could also bring together seven Yodas for the most backwards-talking, ass-kicking climax in film history. Let’s agree to let the time-travel thing slide so long as Abrams uses the device to have two incarnations of Jar Jar Binks beat each other to death.

2018: The franchise is entrusted to other directors, beginning with Michael Bay—who opens his film in flashback with a 14-minute shot of a young Princess Leia (Megan Fox), clad in cut-off jeans, leaning over a landspeeder to tinker with its engine. On the radio we hear the sounds of Alderaan’s best Aerosmith cover band.

Meanwhile, Shia LaBeouf is lending his frenetic acting style to the role of Luke: “Wait, what? A Jedi? A Jedi knight? You’re joking. You must be joking! Whoa whoa whoa, this is a total misunderstanding, this isn’t happening, what’s happening can’t be happening to me—to this person who I am! Daaaaaaaad!

2020: A rift in the space-time continuum leaves citizens of the Galactic Republic suddenly vulnerable to encounters with a wide variety of officially licensed Disney characters, resulting in myriad story and marketing opportunities (mostly marketing opportunities). After all, aside from the merchandising potential, it’s hard to justify the scene in which Lightning McQueen dresses up as a stormtrooper.

The fun and vertically integrated cross-platform synergies begin with the Imperial fleet being mobilized to find Nemo. They continue through a thrilling adventure that takes moviegoers from Tatooine to Andy’s bedroom, where the sinister plans of two Sith lords are foiled by Mr. Potato Head’s angry eyebrows. Long story short, turns out it was Darth Vader who killed Bambi’s mother.

2021: A movie every year gives filmmakers the opportunity to explore the rich backstories of minor characters from the Star Wars universe. This episode follows Admiral Ackbar, as a number of obvious things slowly dawn on him, prompting his delayed exclamation of surprise.

2022: Steven Spielberg takes the reins and suddenly, Star Wars is in the Oscar conversation, with Meryl Streep as Leia, Daniel Day-Lewis as Han and Peter Dinklage as R2-D2, who may just be the most human of them all.

As this movie from the director of Lincoln begins, gridlock has engulfed Congress. Increasingly, the universe is split into red and blue planets. As representatives gather to debate a bill that would require expanded background checks for the purchase of moon-sized superweapons, a plucky Gungan senator—the son of Jar Jar—gives an emotional address: “Dellow feligates, whatta weesa needs to be okee-day is mooey stoppa dem Intergalactic Rifle Association lobbyists.”

The legislation is scuttled, however, after the Grand Moff of the Galactic Empire testifies that he mostly uses the advanced weapons system of the Death Star to hunt space deer.

2024: Wrinkled and balding, his lightsaber dangling below his paunch, Luke Skywalker gets the gang back together to blow up one last Death Star. But they’re in for a surprise when they find that the evil Emperor—who appeared to plummet to his death in Episode VI, and again in Episodes IX, XII and XVI (not to mention the climax of Episode XVIII, in which it was revealed his cholesterol is off the charts)—is somehow . . . ALIVE (?!). All hope for the galaxy seems lost until Luke, the turn signal blinking on his X-wing fighter, directs a proton torpedo through a hole no larger than the screenwriter’s imagination.

In other developments, Han Solo spends the entire movie saying, “I’m too old for this s–t”—which proves to be accurate when he dies from a massive stroke. Han’s death is mourned by loyal companion, Chewbacca, who, in his sorrow, can barely finish eating his old friend. In a touching denouement, C-3PO comes out as robogay.

2025: This one’s probably going to be a musical. Deal with it.

Follow Scott Feschuk on Twitter @scottfeschuk