The world has gone Star Wars crazy. This isn’t a surprise. It has been ten years since we had a genuine Star Wars movie and that one wasn’t exactly an event as it ended a disappointing prequel trilogy. When Disney announced the new trilogy, sci-fi guru J.J Abrams as director and then released the awesome teaser trailer, the excitement built to fever pitch.
The climax of this was my first experience of a midnight screening with all of the local Star Wars fans. I have never been to a screening filled with so much excitement and when the Star Wars logo, accompanied by that iconic theme, blared onto the screen, the cheer and goosebumps were unique.
Now the dust is beginning to settle, I’m realising that this experience is probably one that won’t be repeated. That hype and furore was for a film that only comes along on very rare occasions. As of this year, Star Wars will no longer be a rare occasion.
Disney have already announced next year’s instalment, Rogue One, and then Episode VIII following in 2017. The worst thing that can happen to a movie franchise is people becoming bored by it. I’m sure the ticket sales will always be high but will the same excitement, goosebumps and awe follow?
The perfect example is another Disney acquisition; Marvel. We are now in a cinema age where we expect at least two Marvel Universe movies a year. The first “phase” built towards the incredible Avengers movie. That was event cinema and the last film that warranted a midnight screening (although I’m not sure one was available). This year saw the release of the follow-up, Age of Ultron and unfortunately, the hype and spectacle has disappeared. Too much saturation in the market and lots of rival superhero films has meant that even a super team-up doesn’t bring the same excitement.
It also seems to have had a knock-on effect to the other superhero movies. Batman vs Superman should be the biggest draw next year, and although I’ll be first in line, I can’t see it being as exciting as the Star Wars instalment released this month. This isn’t just because of the quality of the franchises, it is because team-ups and superhero crossovers just aren’t unique anymore.
Disney could change this. Their decision to release a Star Wars movie a year means that we will soon expect each instalment rather than feel a sense of nervous anticipation. That boom of John Williams’ theme and the scrolling text will be normal rather than thrilling and soon, much to the chagrin of many a fan, Disney will be churning out Star Wars movies, of varying and middling quality, and people will accept it, knowing that another movie is only a month away.
I’m sure to many a fan the prospect of another Star Wars movie being just around the corner is a great one but having to wait at least two years for each instalment can only help the franchise. It will improve quality, make the experience special and ultimately mean that we get this level of Star Wars excitement every time a new film hits the screens.
Overall, I think this is the last time that we will be this excited for a Star Wars movie. Disney have decided to produce a Star Wars film a year and with that frequency the shine and excitement will have to dissipate. The best thing the studio could do is delay the release of each movie and build the hype, not just helping make more money for the franchise but keep it event-cinema.