The last few months of 2012 yielded a double whammy announcement that blew the collective minds of nerds the world over, and made the Internet crap its digital pants:
Disney has purchased Lucasfilm for $4.1 billion… AND Star Wars: Episode VII has begun pre-production, and is due for release in May of 2015.
For the next several months, websites like ours had little else on their minds but Disney, Star Wars, and everything their union implies. First bit of info released was the identity of the Episode VII screenwriter: Little Miss Sunshine scribe Michael Arndt. I can’t tell you how many news reports I alone wrote on the subject of Episode VII rumors and suppositions–and by the time I joined Nerd Bastards, the news was already three months old!
I WAS, however, on board for the next world-shattering revelation from the House of Mouse: J.J. Abrams, best known as the creator of Lost and director of the 2009 Star Trek reboot, had been tapped by Disney to helm Episode VII.
Another few months of general online madness followed: A bit of a virtual fracas broke out between those who approved of Abrams as director, and those who thought it was the worst idea they’d ever heard. More news reports, and even a Top 10 list tangentially related to the subject were composed by yours truly as well.
That was late January when Disney confirmed Abrams as director… and Mickey has barely let out a squeak about the project since. For the past 6-7 months we’ve heard little but unsubstantiated casting rumors, and vague notions of Star Wars “side projects”. Standalone films about everyone from Boba Fett to Yoda, and possibly a live-action TV series. And yes, John Williams will return to score the new trilogy, but was that ever in doubt?
That’s all peachy keen and all… But what’s the skinny on Ep 7? Remember that, Disney? The single most anticipated movie in… well, probably EVER?
Disney COULD have thrown SW fans a bone either at SDCC 2013, or their own recent “fanstravaganza”, D23… But no dice.
What goes on?
Well, I suppose we should start with good old Occam’s Razor: There’s been no news because there IS no news. Nothing noteworthy has yet happened in the film making process. Nothing definite as far as casting goes, no plot details are ready to be publicized, not even a title has been settled on. It’s possible that this is all we’re dealing with.
But then, we have to remember that this is a J.J. Abrams film… this is a director not only notoriously secretive about his projects, but willing tell bald-faced LIES about the films he’s working on in order to keep plot elements secret (Thanks for making me look like an asshole on Tumblr, J.J.–I took you at your word when you promised the villain of Into Darkness would NOT be Khan!).
In all honesty, the most likely explanation is probably that Star Wars is one of the VERY few cinematic properties that needs little or no “selling” to the public. The audience is built-in. If it opened tomorrow, with no further information revealed about its plot or characters, it would STILL break box-office records, and we all know this. Look at the prequel trilogy. As much as we as nerds pan these films, fact is, Revenge Of The Sith earned $380 million in the States alone… and this was AFTER the crushing disappointment of the first two installments.
Disney isn’t saying anything because Disney doesn’t NEED to say anything.
And that’s probably the best way to go. It decreases the chance of over hyping the films, only to let the fans down when they learn the steak doesn’t match the sizzle…
And if the films really ARE great–keeping relatively quiet about them will only increase the impact they’ll have once they’re released (Disney’s not going to stay ABSOLUTELY quiet from now until 2015–that would be bad for business).
In the end, I think Disney will speak up about the new Star Wars films when they’re damn good and ready.
Special thanks to Cinema Blend.