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Star Wars Forever

November 18th, 2012

It’s been more than two weeks since the out-of-the-blue announcement that Lucasfilm been sold to Disney and that the first installment in a brand-new Star Wars film trilogy had been scheduled for release in 2015. Like many, I was not only blindsided by the news, I was–as a certain smuggler once said–totally blown away.

While some hyperventilating fanboys expressed concerns about the Disneyfication of the Galactic Empire–as if someone other than George Lucas had invented Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks–I’m pretty okay with it.

For many of us in the Star Wars Generation, the last fifteen years have played out as a prolonged disillusionment. We learned that Lucas was surprisingly tone-deaf when it came to revisiting his creations, obsessing over picyune details while neglecting the need for interesting plots and engaging characters.

So the possibility of a new trilogy at a remove from the technological ministrations of Emperor Lucas was welcome news. As was the word that it would abandon the played-out prequel era in favor of a proper follow-up to the films that we old-timers liked in the first place. And if Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and/or Harrison Ford showed up to the party, so much the better.

And yet, all of this comes with a realization. Just when I was getting used to the idea of Star Wars being an image growing ever-distant in my rear-view mirror, it’s now a thing that will outlive me. Untethered from George Lucas’ own mortality, purchased at great price by a company that never, ever allows its intellectual property to reenter the public domain upon which it built its own fairy-tale kingdom,¬†Star Wars truly will be forever.

There will be a new trilogy, and a trilogy after that. There will be cartoons and novels and comics and toys and videogames and on and on and on. It will continue to be remixed and mutated. And somewhere down the line the whole magilla will be rebooted for a generation yet unborn.

I used to worry that I wouldn’t live long enough to see the final adventures of the Skywalker clan, as if that was something worth fretting over. And now I know that it’s impossible.

It’s freeing in a way. I can stop trying to outlast it. I can rest assured that my collection will never be complete.

There’s comfort in knowing that this story that ignited my childhood passion will be passed down through the decades. Kids will continue to chase each other around with lightsabers. Their bedrooms will be protected by R2-D2 night lights. And they’ll dream about living in a galaxy far, far away.

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