Now, the shiny coating of joy that Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has lathered onto three or so generations of Star Wars fans may still be drying, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't take a moment to glance around at the pop cultural world around it, and at just what the astonishing box office success of the movie will mean for the cultural world at large.
After all, the roaring success of the original Star Wars trilogy prompted a fundamental shift in the nature of the movie industry, paving the way for the franchise and merchandising-centric business model that still holds true today. Could we, then, be set to see The Force Awakens exert a similar level of influence on the movie landscape of today?
Well, perhaps, or perhaps not. Episode VII is, after all, more riding the wave of nostalgic sequels than causing it, and there's no particular aspect of the film that seems all that imitable (except perhaps its strident - and awesome - feminist and egalitarian overtones). While there is sure to be a surge in the commissioning of big-budget sci-fi (as is always the case when a genre movie opens big), the genre wasn't exactly dying off before December 18th.
For one particular franchise, however, the arrival - and rampant success - of The Force Awakens may well prove incredibly important. Y'see:
We Might Be Set to See a Sequel to 1987's 'Spaceballs'
The reason for that particular suspicion?
Well, on the one hand, there's the fact that the original movie's director (and all-around comedy legend) Mel Brooks revealed earlier this year that he was contemplating the possibility of reviving the series, based on its potential ability to ride The Force Awakens's coat-tails...
"And I’m thinking now, if I said, if I did a movie that came out right after Star Wars comes out, you know, maybe a couple of months later, Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money, I’d have a big weekend, you know, no matter what, even if it fell on its ass and you know, didn’t get that money back."
...and on the other, there's the fact that Episode VII looks increasingly likely to make more money at the box-office (not to mention in merchandising) than many nations' annual GDP, making Brooks' logic all the more sound.
The big question, then?
Will We Actually Get to See a 'Spaceballs' Sequel?
Well, perhaps - but it sadly doesn't look all that likely at this precise moment in time.
Brooks hasn't actually spoken about the hypothetical sequel since his initial comments early this year, suggesting there may well not have been much movement on the 'actually getting the movie off the ground' front. What's more, the actors that played two of the movie's most iconic characters, Dot Matrix and Barf (Joan Rivers and John Candy) are no longer with us, and Rick 'Dark Helmet' Moranis is pretty much retired from the movie industry.
Add in the fact that the original movie was only able to be made thanks to a gentlemen's agreement with George Lucas - one unlikely to be upheld by new owners Disney - and the whole thing might just be impossible to organize.
So, is all hope lost, then?
Well, perhaps not...
There is a New Hope...
Specifically, Rick Moranis, the man without whom - as Brooks revealed back in February - no Spaceballs sequel will be made. As he put it:
"Without Rick, I wouldn’t do it... I’ve got the helmet in storage, just waiting for him."
Which, with Moranis being more-or-less retired, seems an awful lot like confirmation that we won't be seeing a sequel anytime soon.
Except, of course, for the fact that Rick Moranis isn't retired. Instead, as the actor himself revealed in a recent interview with THR:
"I took a break, which turned into a longer break...But I'm interested in anything that I would find interesting. I still get the occasional query about a film or television role...and as soon as one comes along that piques my interest, I'll probably do it."
The imminent Ghostbusters sequel apparently didn't appeal to him - he was uninterested in returning to a 30-year old project for just a brief cameo - but could Spaceballs 2, and a leading role, perhaps prove more enticing?
It might not be anything close to a given at this point, but even so - here's hoping...
What do you think, though?