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George Lucas Planning a Trilogy of Trilogies

Everyone loves a good, juicy rumour and this is about as juicy as it gets. Apparently George Lucas is working on a new trilogy of Star Wars films in order to capitalise on the 3D film-making craze – apparently remastering the originals isn’t all he had in mind. This sounds like something resembling a mixed blessing to anybody with particularly strong feelings about the original trilogy, but there is one grain of hope: apparently Lucas won’t be directing.

Maybe by the time he makes them, technology will be able to generate good performances from bad actors...

Maybe by the time he makes them, technology will be able to generate good performances from bad actors...

Not that that is necessarily a guarantee that we won’t get any unpleasant surprises – Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was a collaboration with Stephen Spielberg, after all, and we know how that turned out – but it does look like a more honest attempt to recapture the spirit of the original films as opposed to the prequel trilogy (as Lucas only directed one of the original three). Part of me thinks that the reason that the original three films worked so well is that Lucas did not have complete creative control, which he does now – there’s no going back really. The original Star Wars saga was undoubtedly a gambit for the studio and one which they maintained tight control over, and keeping Lucas on a leash may have pulled in some of the more cringeworthy cheese we saw in the later installments.

As for the rumour, at the moment it seems to be just that – and a lot of people are skeptical. It does make a bit of sense, what with the impending rerelease of the movies in 3D. It could be considered a scouting mission to see if fans are still interested after a lacklustre three movies, or simply a proof of concept. Lucas attempted something similar through his remastering of the original trilogy and their cinematic rerelease before getting down to serious work on the prequels. It makes logical sense to whet the appetite of your fans and also just to see how a 3D Star Wars film would look before going ahead to make another three.

I’m not sure how I feel about all this. The last three movies averaged out to be worryingly mediocre and the more recent forays into the Star Wars universe (the cartoons and the CGI) have all seemed like unapologetic cash cows, getting as much money out of the property before the audience also becomes sick of it. It’s also worth keeping in mind that Lucas had twenty-odd years to get his prequel trilogy right and couldn’t do that, so having another three movies released in under a decade has alarm bells ringing in my head.

Literally the only argument in favour of this rumoured project is one that stems from my own person OCD. A trilogy of trilogies is a nice concept to have, particularly if it is structured as such (rather than, you know, just being nine movies). It has a nice symmetry to it that four movies (a duology of duologies) just doesn’t have – and I think sixteen movies is a bit much.

It’s worrying that that is the only reason I can think of in favour of three sequels to one of the most impressive film sagas of all time, one which demonstrated what could be done through special effects in the 1970s and 1980s. Maybe I’m far too cynical. Or maybe the memory of the new prequel trilogy is too fresh in my head.

One Response

  1. Actually, Lucas originally envisioned Star Wars as nine films. We knew from the beginning that the first Star Wars film was episode four. I, for one, would like to see him complete the story before he dies, or I die (not that we are racing, mind you).
    -Michael

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