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'Star Wars: Episode 7': How Disney could avoid ruining 'Star Wars'

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(Read caption) George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy discuss the future of Star Wars movies.
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Unless you’ve been living under a stack of rocks, you’ve spotted the news that Disney bought Lucasfilm Ltd., “Star Wars” creator George Lucas’s production company and is planning on releasing a new trilogy of “Star Wars” movies, if not more.

I am less than happy about this, and my devotion to the “Star Wars” film franchise may best be measured by the fact that I considered buying a “Greedo shot first” shirt to wear to bed. I may still ask for it for Christmas. (The line refers to a fan argument about a plot point in the updated version of the first "Star Wars" film.)

I don’t know when I first saw the original “Star Wars” trilogy, but I assume it was when I was very little. Whatever age we were when we first saw the movies, my sister and I were young enough that I distinctly remember my mother consoling my sister, who was aghast that one of the teddy bear-like Ewoks seemed to have bit the dust, and telling her that the Ewok was “only sleeping.” It wasn’t.

In any case, I went to go see “Phantom Menace” in theaters when it came out and wish I remembered the cultural phenomenon that must have surrounded it. It was a new “Star Wars” movie when fans still kind of trusted George Lucas. It was the origin story of Darth Vader, a premise that does sound fairly promising on paper. Obi-Wan was back – Liam Neeson, a respected actor, was on board as a new Jedi – and everything sounded great.

Well, one Jar Jar Binks later (an annoying aquatic creature with strange speech patterns, for the uninitiated) and the future-Darth Vader shouting “Yippee!” a few too many times, fans were distinctly unimpressed. But hey, a new actor was coming on board as Anakin Skywalker, a.k.a. future-Vader, for the next movie, so maybe this thing could be saved.

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