I can’t help but write a column about STAR WARS. I’m a huge fan — I saw the original at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre back in summer of 1977 after standing in line for at least five hours. I sat in the 11th row (yes, that’s how geeky I am) on the far right of the screen by myself — all the other seats were full.
That first scene of A New Hope was awe inspiring.
OK, I can hear the naysayers now: “Enough with the STAR WARS memories, already!”
Well, I can’t help but gloat as the announcement hit the airwaves Tuesday afternoon that there would, in fact, be a STAR WARS 7, 8 and 9. YES! YES! YES!
If any one studio can make a big STAR WARS comeback hit, it’d be Disney. And, Disney has a lot riding on it since it paid $4 Billion for the company that made STAR WARS famous — Lucasfilm. Those in charge will want to build more STAR WARS rides (even heard rumors from a very good friend of mine that works at Disney that they, in fact, want to build an entire STAR WARS theme park), more STAR WARS videogames, more STAR WARS TV shows — even a show that follows the life of Luke Skywalker between Episodes 3 (when he was born) and 4 (when he’s found by R2D2 and C3PO). Disney has a big investment in STAR WARS so the company will take its best Pixar and Disney Studio folks and assign then to the project (rumor is they’ve already offered the directorial role to Batman’s Christopher Nolan).
And, it’s not only Disney and George Lucas (the one who cashed the $2 Billion check on Tuesday and filed the $2 Billion stock certificate for his company) who stand to gain a lot for the return of the STAR WARS franchise. What about Harrison Ford — who’ll have either a central role in STAR WARS 7 or at least make a cameo? Plus, Carrie Fisher — who’ll likely be asked to shed a few pounds and return as Han Solo’s wife. (Yes, I’ve read all the STAR WARS novels. They got married between Episode 6 — Return of the Jedi — and the yet-to-be-named Episode 8, and they had twins, amusingly). And, of course, Anthony Daniels will be back as C3PO and Kenny Baker will do doubt be back as R2D2. The nine stories of STAR WARS are really all about the life and death of these two beloved robots — didn’t you know that?
But, who’s the biggest winner of all in the return of STAR WARS and the upcoming Episode 7? Well, Mark Hamill – Luke Skywalker himself.
Well, we all know the hit career Harrison Ford’s had playing Indiana Jones and a handful of other world-saving roles — and even Carrie Fisher (Leia Skywalker) has had a job — bet you didn’t know she’s the voice of Angela on Family Guy, did you? And, she wrote a best selling book turned movie called Postcards from the Edge and Wishful Drinking where she chronicled her alcohol abuse. That even garnered a stint on the Oprah Show. She’s made millions.
Well, Mark/Luke, he’s done NOTHING since the 1983 finale of STAR WARS #6 — Return of the Jedi. Nothing. OK, sure, he starred in The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia and Village of the Damned in the 1990s — seriously, did anyone see those movies? Oh, what about is memorable role in The Bill Cosby Show and the live-action TV series The Flash? Oh, maybe you actually remember him in the direct-to-DVD hit Comic Book: The Movie? Seriously doubt it.
Nope, Luke Skywalker, err, I mean Mark Hamill has been Luke since 1977 and just can’t get a break at being anything else. In fact, statistically, his highest rated appearances have been, well, when he’d played Luke or himself taking about Luke in shows like The Muppet Show, a skit on Saturday Night Live when he was playing himself being sold to the highest bidder of a spoofed home shopping channel.
Nope, he’ll forever be Luke Skywalker.
And, now, he’ll be back as Luke on Episode 7. I’ll guarantee it.
Why? Well, Disney wants a guaranteed hit. And, to get that, all they have to do is show Luke, Leia and and Han for just a few minutes — work them into the plot just a bit — and they’ll have kids from 8 to 80 standing in line for days waiting to see the originals back where they belong — fighting the Empire.
Yes! Yes! Yes! I will be standing in line with them summer of 2015 — and I might even see the IMAX 3D version first!