All this talk of the original Star Wars trilogy being released on Blu-ray makes me think Disney might have a plan. A cunning plan.
Clearly, unbounded by ego, Disney feel that there’s profit to be made in giving the fans what they want, a bizarre concept I know, but Disney have long since proven to me that they know what they’re doing with valuable franchises.
Is that the only reason though? Is it simply profit or is there a deeper motive at play here? I think there might be!
Call me mad but I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Disney’s ulterior motive might not simply be to increase their profits but also test the waters for a reset of the franchise.
Consider these facts:
The Expanded Universe is gone, consigned to the dustbin of history. Disney may choose to cherry pick material from it that they want or feel has value but ostensibly they’re starting from scratch.
The new movies are now in the hands of a capable director who prefers shooting on film and is clearly intending to put a stake in the ground when it comes to practical effects. He’s doing everything Lucas eschewed in his making of the prequel trilogy.
And now the unaltered original trilogy’s release on Blu-ray is being touted as a possibility.
What does all this point to? Well, in my mind, it points to the Blu-ray release of Episode IV, V and VI acting as a barometer for the movie going public’s love of the original trilogy. If they were to sell well it could influence the future direction the franchise takes.
How so you ask? Well I’ll tell you.
There are only three more movies that Disney can make in the original, nine movie sequence, right? Although they’ve commited to making a “back story” movie for a selection of fan favourite characters, to fill in the gaps between the larger “episode” movies, that’s still only a schedule of around six years worth of movies without doing something drastic (like, shudder, a reboot).
Disney have proven with their Marvel franchises that a six year plan isn’t something they trifle with.
So what could they do?
Well the easiest and most lucrative approach (considering original trilogy fans are now well into their forties and fifties and in possession of sizeable chunks of disposable income) would be to excise the prequel trilogy from Star Wars history, like the EU, and start again.
Think about it, no Jar Jar Binks, no trade dispute bullshit, no stiff teen queen, no Darth Vader as a kid, no pod racing, no Jar Jar Binks, no bizarre virgin birth nonsense, no midichlorians, no piss poor green screen sets, no awkward romance, in short none of the bollocks original Star Wars fans hated about Lucas’ money grabbing exercise in cynicism, just a true set of Star Wars prequels that show the fall of Anakin Skywalker (already a great pilot!) and the rise of Darth Vader the way we really wanted it to be shown in the first place.
It would also pave the way for a Boba Fett movie that didn’t need to unpick the nonsense that Episode II injected into his mythos before it could continue with the badassery that we’d come to expect from Boba Fett prior to the prequels.
Put simply, it would be a brilliant move.