It is a weird feeling when your younger sibling becomes more successful than you, especially when you were on top of the world before their little sniveling ass came along. In its heyday, “Star Wars” was not just a blockbuster, it was THE blockbuster. It made all the money, had all the fans, and got all the publicity. Sure, there were always other big film franchises, but “Star Wars” always sat comfortably on its throne, knowing full-well that most other films should be honored that theaters would even use the same projectors that they used for “Star Wars” to show their movie. Life was good and their rule was absolute. And then Marvel released the 1-2 punch of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame”…
Now, “Star Wars” has been cleanly checked and their trajectory is not looking nearly as favorable as its adopted counterpart’s. Mom and Pops Disney are thrilled that they can go around showing off to their neighborhood frenemies just how successful their children are compared to the other kids around town, but “Star Wars” is starting to feel a bit insecure in its place at home. The last “Star Wars” film, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” was the first certified dud the franchise has ever produced, and “The Last Jedi” which preceded it was so divisive that many fans campaigned to have it removed from the official canon. The films aren’t making money and the fans aren’t loving the product being released, all while its younger sibling leapfrogs it in the hearts of the world. It’s a tough scene.
Hopefully, “The Rise of Skywalker” can stick the landing and make an otherwise shaky sequel era end on a strong note, but “Star Wars” knows it’s too late to change the course of its current trilogy. They are on their fifth movie and at this point, they have accepted that whatever will be will be. But where this upcoming film might be a finale, it is also the genesis of a brand-new opportunity to reignite the franchise with creativity. “Star Wars” has always had the financial resources available to it, but now that it lives under the roof of Disney, it can get some much-needed help from the family. Enter: Kevin Feige.
Feige is best known as the Marvel Studios executive who is the frontier brain behind the massive success that is the MCU. Not that everything he touches is guaranteed to turn to gold, but he had been at the helm of the largest cinematic undertaking in history and made it universally beloved. Feige is the man that turned obscure characters like “Ant-man” and “The Guardians of the Galaxy” into pop-culture mainstays. If there is ever an individual to put your faith in to make a likeable film with unconventional material, this is your guy. And, as an employee of Marvel, he works for Disney, meaning it really is not that complicated for him to head on over to “Star Wars” for a project or two. Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “Star Wars” has indeed brought Feige onboard to develop a new Star Wars movie outside the parameters of the main saga that they are currently working on.
This is easily the smartest move for “Star Wars”, which I have criticized ad nauseum for lacking focus and a true vision of storytelling since Disney acquired the rights in 2012. Feige is very open to the idea of introducing new characters and unexplored eras of “Star Wars” and he is a self-described “die-hard fan” of the franchise. Loser nerds like me will rejoice in the idea of someone who truly understands the source material taking the helm for a film and hopefully steering the franchise in a more positive direction. This is a franchise that has its engines stalling at them moment. They are unable to successfully do anything fresh because they fear it’ll be too different than what older fans remember, while simultaneously undoing a lot of the ground underneath its feet. It’s time to stop playing not to lose and Feige is the guy for the job.
So, what is fair to expect from a Kevin Feige led “Star Wars” film? While it may be easy to say he’ll make a Marvel film in “Star Wars” clothing, I think that is too easy. Feige is a leader who understands how a franchise operates, so maybe we shouldn’t be too quick to assume that he will treat both franchises the same. Will he use stories and characters from Legends? Possibly, but don’t hang your hopes up on this. While I am sure there will be plenty of references to Legends materials, Disney is fairly set on telling their own stories, and personally, I am fine with this. Sure, I would like acknowledgments of the stories that have been otherwise ignored, but to me, those stories do exist. Let’s be inspired by those stories to be creative and show that the simple good versus evil trope doesn’t have to be the only philosophy explored in “Star Wars”. Either way, I think we can all agree that if he takes even a little bit of inspiration from “The Old Republic” stories and video games, we are in for a treat. Take a look at their cinematics here!
What do you guys think about this move by “Star Wars”? Do you think that Feige is the right man for the job or do you think he is just going to turn the franchise into a clone of the MCU? What do you hope his movie will be like? Let’s discuss your thoughts!