Rumor: STAR WARS Sequels to “Redefine Longform Storytelling”; Will Integrate Cartoons, Books, Comics

by     Posted 122 days ago

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By the time Star Wars: Episode VII opens next December, I feel like I’ll know everything about it.  That’s not to criticize the film itself; that’s just the nature of the online reporting, especially when you cover every trailer, TV spot, Vine, Instagram, Twitpic, and social media technology yet to be invented.  However, with where the Star Wars universe is headed, there may be too much to cover.  The entire expanded universe canon has been “scrapped” (I don’t know if you can say something was discarded when it was never seriously considered by its originator), and Star Wars is starting afresh.  But the sequels may be more than a way of launching new tie-ins.  Lucasfilm might be trying to legitimately make these tie-ins a rewarding part of the Star Wars experience.

Hit the jump for more on the plans for the Star Wars sequels, spin-offs, and more.

star-wars-episode-7-mark-hamillAccording to Badass Digest, a Lucasfilm employee says they’re “going to redefine longform storytelling.”  In addition to the new trilogy being planned from start to finish rather than having one filmmaker try to piece together a sequel based on the previous movie, all the tie-in material will help flesh out the world and legitimately be part of the world as opposed to five novels about the adventures of Bossk.

“It’s all going to matter,” reports Badass, and while people won’t have to read the book and comics or watch the animated series (I assume he’s referring to Star Wars Rebels, although who knows what other material is coming down the line), they will be rewarded for doing so.  We’ve already heard one rumor regarding a possible relationship between Rebels and Episode VII.  Trying to bundle everything together though expanded media could be daunting, infuriating, and exciting depending on how you look at it.  Let’s go with “exciting”.  Exciting is fun.

Badass also stresses that the people at Lucasfilm actually care, and while it’s a smart way to expand the IP and therefore make more money, there is a devotion to creating something that’s worthwhile storytelling even if it’s going to actively move away from fan-service.  That’s a tricky balance—respecting what made fans fall in love with the story while also breaking it apart to potentially make it better.

There will be some folks who never go for it.  They want more of the same, and any deviations will make them invoke the tired “raping my childhood” line.  To be fair, Devin states there’s “some spoiler stuff that, if true, will rock the fanbase to its core,” but I think this is a franchise that needs to be rocked.

It’s an increasingly competitive marketplace for franchises, and while Star Wars: Episode VII is guaranteed to make a ridiculous amount of money not only from ticket sales and merchandise, it could also be the start of something amazing.  If this bet on longform storytelling pays off, then perhaps the obscene amount of coverage will be worth it.

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  • ItsNotaSchooner

    Matt feels like he’ll know everything about Ep VII because of online reporting … does online reporting of Ep VII news -_-

    • Thrawn

      It’s all parodie bullshit that doesn’t mean anything. boycott it all and show disney that we arnt sheep.

      • eternalozzie

        whatevs … it’s star wars … you will watch it and gladly turn over your money and cloak your sheepness in the darkness of the theater.

      • agent777

        Thrawn, I will be taking any money I’d have spent seeing these on the Thrawn Trilogy, which I havn’t yet read.

    • guh

      it’s an article about nothing..

    • pullmystring

      STOP talking like that u “hipster”

  • GrimReaper07

    I detest this idea. I don’t want to have to watch and read every single tie-in to get the full story of the trilogy.

    • GunzOfNavarone

      Re-read the article :

      “and while people won’t have to read the book and comics or watch the animated series (I assume he’s referring to Star Wars Rebels, although who knows what other material is coming down the line), they will be rewarded for doing so.”

      • GrimReaper07

        Yeah, do not know about that. They’re basically saying that although you’ll understand what happens in the plot you won’t be getting the full experience.

      • Alan Stowe

        That’s always been the case. During the prequels, there were tons of books and comics that delved into the other Jedi council members, the relationships between main characters and the war. It wasn’t necessary. It was interesting. Made Order 66 carry a little more weight if you read the books. But they weren’t mandatory. They enriched for people who wanted to get that deep and that’s it.

      • GrimReaper07

        None of it was canon though so they never really mattered.

        EDIT: I get your point though.

      • DoctorWhoAmI

        Well, no, they were canon. Only now, after the Great Expanded Universe Purge is everything, but the movies and what will come post-Disney, no longer canon.

      • mbmarquis69

        I assume you feel as strongly about what Marvel is doing as well, since the “full experience” of the MCU is spread out over many different films, a TV series, and a series of shorts.

      • GrimReaper07

        I actually do. It’s one of the things bores me about the MCU

    • Thrawn

      Then boycott it with me. Boycott everything, and buy all of the EU things. Hit disney where it hurts, there pockets. then they will stop making these bullshit parodies rip offs.

      • eternalozzie

        i know i will regret asking this but what specifically do you mean by “paradies rip offs” ????

      • milo

        Since Disney owns Lucas, buying EU stuff doesn’t hurt Disney, it just makes them more money. But whatever. Call me crazy, I’m going to go see the new movies if they’re good and skip them if they’re not instead of prejudging them over a year before they come out.

    • agent777

      Yeah, I’m pretty much good off these new ones now. It such a Marvel comics idea, to force you to have to buy everything to get the full (often disapointing) picture. However it’s being carried out on a Disney level. It’s the horror many feared.

  • Tom-AZ

    Reading Comprehension 101:

    ““It’s all going to matter,” reports Badass, and while people won’t have to read the book and comics or watch the animated series, they will be rewarded for doing so. “

    • GunzOfNavarone

      Re-read the article :

      “and while people won’t have to read the book and comics or watch the animated series (I assume he’s referring to Star Wars Rebels, although who knows what other material is coming down the line), they will be rewarded for doing so.”

      • GunzOfNavarone

        Sorry, wrong comment.

    • Vulcan

      I think what they are saying is, that while it all ties in together and deepens the story, people don’t have to read and watch everything to enjoy or understand the movies.

    • Thrawn

      Boycott it. WE DON”T WANT THIS STAR WARS RIPOFF BULLSHIT! BRING BACK THE EU!

  • Thrawn

    Bullshit. The EU is cannon, not these new fucking cartoons they are making to make money from us hard earned fans. These new movies are nothing but fake disney parodies of the real ones. skip them, and just read the EU, WHICH IS CANNON!

    • Arthur Dent

      Most of the EU was complete and utter shit.

      • Thrawn

        how much is disney paying you?

      • Alan Stowe

        It was utter shit. I don’t need 30 books about minor infractions on tiny planets that barely tests the main characters and ultimately amounts to glorified fan fiction quality writing. They were fine when I was in middle school and didn’t know anything about storytelling. But as an adult? They read like fan fiction. Occasionally its decent fan fiction. But its fan fiction. And most of it is just rehashed and repurposed character arcs and details from the OT over and over and over. Clone Wars was phenomenally better than anything the EU ever cranked out, save for a small handful of gems. If Rebels can be half as good as Clone Wars and if the new trilogy really plays with some inventive storytelling within the Star Wars universe, we’re in for some great work. These are solid filmmakers working on these projects. While there are some utterly amazing directors I wish were on them, everyone involved so far is solid enough to expect something decent. If I never have to hear about another story about Luke flying around battling ANOTHER Anakin-esque fallen jedi or ANOTHER Death Star replica or ANOTHER broken down non-threat of Imperial Remnant, I’m thrilled.

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        Clone Wars didn’t produce a villain half as interesting as Thrawn though, it just went back to the same old well of the rest of the prequels: Sith and their underlings. All of that was just a slight variation on the same flavor. The Thrawn saga, probably the best piece of Star Wars lore outside of the original trilogy, added something new. Clone Wars had its moments, but it left a lot of the bigger more interesting ideas on the table and tackled “minor infractions on tiny planets that barely tested the main characters”.

      • mbmarquis69

        Cad Bane was pretty impressive. And he was also the same species as Thrawn, if I’m not mistaken.

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        You are mistaken, actually. Cad Bane is a Duros. Thrawn is a Chiss (had to look that latter one up). Cad Bane was interesting, but was only really impressive because whenever the good guys were around him, they seemed to act like idiots (aka to make Cad more impressive they had to make the characters around him temporarily worse). That’s bad writing.

    • Mike Bond

      Are you from the future? You must be, since it sounds like you already saw the new films. Please tell us more about your time machine!

  • JBug

    so…it’s getting the disney treatment

    • Thrawn

      i cant wait for when they meet mickey or when they have to rescue the little mermaid or when lindsay lohan shows up. or when Luke marries sleeping beauty or when they fight the evil witch. BULLSHIT BOYCOTT THIS FAKE ASS DISNEY PARODIE!

      • eternalozzie

        ok … now that’s just silly … we know nothing about the story line at this point …

      • LQ

        Let me ask you… has Mickey shown up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Has Iron Man saved the Little Mermaid? Was Lindsay Lohan one of the cameos in Guardians of the Galaxy? Was Sleeping Beauty anywhere to be seen in the Avengers? Thor had elves in it, to be certain, but was there also an evil witch that I did not see? No? None of the above? Oh okay. Well, I guess that since Disney has earned my trust with Marvel, I’m going to go ahead and trust them to turn out the same high quality storytelling in the Star Wars Universe. And until I see Mickey popping up in a Star Wars movie, I guess I’m just going to continue to do so.

      • Mike Bond

        If you actually believe Disney is that blindly greedy to demand those kinds of character crossovers in such a beloved franchise with such a rabid fanbase, well then you’re a very special kind of stupid.

    • LQ

      Disney paid billions of dollars for this property. They are the world’s ultimate marketing machine. Absolutely, we are going to see spinoffs, cartoons, comics, action figures, and Mickey Mouse dolls dressed as Jedi. We will get Phineas and Ferb crossovers, children’s books, lunch boxes, it wouldn’t shock me if we eventually get an Avengers/Star Wars cartoon special. But… as long as they crank out solid Star Wars movies that tell a great story, I’m there.

  • agent777

    David Lynch was a visionary to walk away from Jedi, and proably saw that this was where it was headed.

    I might add Bob Iger who runs Disney is the ass-hat bastard who ran Twin Peaks off of television.

    • Vulcan

      Bob Iger is better than Michael Eisner who was an incompetent lying scumbag who almost destroyed the company. Iger was the one who fought to get Twin Peaks on the air, when the rest of the executives thought it was a waste of time and money. He canceled it because the numbers were so low that he couldn’t justify keeping it on the air, and he was getting pressure from Eisner who hated it. If Netfilx or Hulu was around then, then he probably would of found a place for it there.

  • Let The Wookie Win

    Let’s just hope this effort is in service of storytelling, not in service of what Disney et. al think we as an audience want. I think too often production studios put the horse before the cart. Just tell us a good story

    • mbmarquis69

      Based on the reports from insiders, the stories they are going to tell are certainly not fan service. “…rock the fanbase to its core” is not something generally said about storytelling that plays it safe and gives fans more of the same. Let’s face it, whatever approach they take it’s going to piss off a segment of fandom. I’d rather they take risks and shake up the status quo. Let them be damned for being ambitious.

  • ARMOND WHITE IS MY MASTER NOW

    ‘[...] Will Integrate Cartoons, Books, Comics’

    OMFG! DO YOU MEAN… THAT DESINEY WILL DO MERCHANDISING THE SAME WAY THAT GEORGE LUCAS HAVE DONE SO FAR? MILKING THE COW AGAIN AND AGAIN? INCREDIBLE!

  • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

    I get that George Lucas/Disney didn’t want to be beholden to the Expanded Universe stories (which Lucas authorized and gave his canonical blessing to at the beginning before he got prequel and sequel itch), but it’s kind of silly that after discarding the original EU they’re now saying “We’re going to make a NEW EU that will do what the original EU did but now we get to dictate its terms instead of having to dodge between pre-existing storylines (a problem that really wouldn’t have been a problem if the new movies only gave the returning cast cameo/supporting roles in the stories of new characters – thus satisfying old and new fans alike).

    • RedMercury

      “We’ll make our own EU! With Hookers! And Blackjack!”

      (Sorry….couldn’t resist…)

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        You know what? Forget the EU.

    • Mike Bond

      My guess is that the main reason Disney decided to rule out the expanded universe stuff was because of the sheer number of new characters, locations and storylines that it had introduced. It was likely much simpler to come up with new ideas from scratch than to take all the pre-existing pieces into consideration when plotting the new films, TV series, etc.

  • puke

    The “rocked” comment means JJ kills off main characters …lame leave these movies alone and make something original.

    • Mike Bond

      You seem pretty confident in that statement. What are you basing it on?

  • Fuck Matt Goldberg

    Star Wars franchise doesn’t need to be rocked!

    • Um Sure

      People like you are proof that it does.

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  • Barry_Woodward

    What could rock the fanbase to its core? I’m all for shaking up the status quo, I just hope what they have planned doesn’t completely invalidate the end of Return Of The Jedi.

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