Well, if you hadn't noticed, a little trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dropped early this morning in a masterful planning fashion from Lucasfilm to coincide with the DVD/Blu-Ray release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens! We are still riding the high of seeing Force Awakens in theaters only 3 and a half months ago, now we can replay at home over and over. I'll admit I've watched it twice, and ALL the special features Tuesday night when it came out... You know what's wrong with that? Not a god damn thing!
Here's the trailer if you missed it:
Force Awakens, was the first in a new era of Star Wars films where a new one will be released every year! We already know Episode VIII and IX in 2019. The years in between those we will be given spinoff or anthology films such as Rogue One, A Young Han Solo and Bobba Fett spinoff film. That was a MOUTHFUL of movies we have coming.
We live in an age of film where Marvel Studios (Disney) will soon be giving us 3 superhero movies per year not including Fox, Sony and Warner Bros. characters. Filmmakers and audiences are already discussing the possibility of superhero film fatigue. Only time will tell if that's true but that is a fate that I don't want to see happen to the Star Wars Universe. You can argue that die hard Star Wars fans will flock to the big screen no matter what is coming out, but can the same be said for general audience members who aren't huge nerds like myself?
P.S. If you would like to see my Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review you can watch that right here :)
In this article I will be comparing Lucasfilm to Marvel Studios simply because they are both owned by Disney. Lucasfilm could take some strategies from Marvel Studios, but in other areas they should avoid them. Here are 5 Ways We Can Avoid Star Wars Fatigue:
1. NEVER MORE THAN 1 FILM PER YEAR
As I stated above, Marvel Studios (Disney) in 2017 will be giving us 3 films from their Marvel Cinematic Universe every year. I'm a mega nerd, so I'm not upset about that turn of events at all. However, general audiences who aren't superhero nerds don't share the same excitement over this development. They think that is simply way too much. There's almost no anticipation between films due to the abundance of them.
The obvious reason Force Awakens had so much anticipation is because the last Star Wars film was released nearly 10 years prior. That time jump combined with the poorly received prequel trilogy left fans dying for more. Even between Return of the Jedi and Phantom Menace was over 15 years. No more waiting!
So far, Lucasfilm has only announced 1 film per year. The problem is that with all the billions and billions they will be bringing in, it'll be tempting for them to jump from 1 to 2 films per year or eventually more. I think this would be a mistake because that would make Star War films common place and not have a special lure feel to them.
From the current announced slate of films we have the anthology films staggered in between the actual episode films. It's a fun variety opposed to getting 3 straight years of Episodes 7-9 and blowing it all in a sprint. They need to look at these like a marathon!
2. TRY NEW GENRES
But Brandon, Star Wars has always been a space opera adventure!!!!!!!!! I know reader, but hear me out. What has made the MCU feel fresh on almost every film they produce? It's because they are able to blend different genres into the superhero film. MCU gave us a political thriller (Winter Soldier), it gave us a fantasy feel outing, (Thor) as well as a traditional heist film (Ant-Man). I believe this is an example on where Lucasfilm should take after the MCU.
Not every single Star Wars film can't just be all action, space battles, lightsaber fights and lasers. Star Wars can benefit by branching out into other genres. From first looks at Rogue One it seems like they are tackling more of a spy/war film. That feels fresh! Perhaps years down the line they can give us a horror film? Maybe a sort of buddy cop action comedy? I'd watch it if it were done well AND cause it's in the Star Wars Universe! Bend the genres and experiment to prevent the formula from becoming stale.
3. DON'T RELY ON OLD CHARACTERS
What made Force Awakens such a fun Star Wars film was J.J. Abrams having the ability to mold new characters mold right into the old cast of characters that we grew up with. In order for these spinoff/anthology films to work, they need to continue to create memorable characters. For those who don't know, in 2018 we are getting a Young Han Solo prequel movie. Sure, that sounds like a ton of fun exploring sort of the origins of a character that is considered one of the greatest film characters of all time. I know it'll be fun.
My main worry is that the producers will try to shoehorn in old fan favorites just because they are afraid of how new ones will work. Perhaps they will be skittish of having another Ewok or Jar-Jar in their hands. It is always safe to go with what we know, but after awhile the characters become overexposed and the spectacle can diminish. I'd rather meet a new Finn, or a Rey or even a BB-8!
4. USE EPISODES TO INTRODUCE THE SPINOFFS
I don't mind Rogue One taking place in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. I don't mind them dabbling some prequel/origins with Han Solo and Bobba Fett... For now... Once we enjoy some of these older stories we should continue to move the narrative as a whole forward and not take steps backwards. A big reason to push forward is because if you jump back and forth too much in a timeline audiences may be confused.
This next sentence upsets me as a nerd but it's sadly true. Even though the Prequel Trilogy (1-3) has been over for 10 years, there are STILL people that don't understand why it was made AFTER the Original Trilogy (4-6). So an easier way to follow the stories would be to use a film like Force Awakens or Episode 8 that crosses generations and many demographics, to introduce a character to spinoff later.
This is a total example but, Maz Kanata (played by Lupita Nyong'o) is a character that was given enough screen time for audiences to follow her into her own film. She could be the main role while introducing all the cooky characters at her establishment that is apparently 1,000 years old. Not saying SHE needs one but this way you skip all the introductions and get right into the story! Just an idea.
5. DON'T OVERLOAD ANTHOLOGIES WITH SEQUELS
The final key to not overwhelming audiences with too much Star Wars content is to keep these spinoffs/prequels/anthology films to SINGLE film outings. Once we get this Young Han Solo prequel? That doesn't need it's own trilogy. The Star Wars universe can be so vast and literally go millions of directions with the stories. We don't need to make these anthology films bloated and turn into terrible movies like Transformers (boom another Bay jab.)
As I stated in my previous point, general audience members can be confused easily. Hopping from prequel to sequel of a prequel to a spinoff of that prequel's sequel...? Do you have a headache from reading that sentence? I got one just writing it. We don't need any more headaches in films, that's what Michael Bay and Tyler Perry are there for. Giving headaches to people and make them dumber. ZING! High five through the screen to you reader. If you don't high five the screen you must just be too cool for school.
Thank you for sticking with me this long in my article. I know a lot of this is wild speculation and prediction. Lucasfilm could entirely know about all of these things and be way ahead. I just want what we ALL want and that's tremendous Star Wars movies for us to enjoy for generations and generations.
If you enjoyed this article please FOLLOW me and go check out my other written work. I also write, direct and produce work with my production company Entertainment Buffet and you can SUBSCRIBE to us on YouTube for reviews, sketches and other web shows.
Lastly, we recently started a podcast called The Entertainment Buffet Podcast if you'd like to find us on iTunes, Podbean, Stitcher or Blubrry. You can find more information on the podcast by CLICKING HERE
As always feel free to comment so we can chat on what you think! Have a tremendous day anyone who is reading this!