Matt’s View: Phantom Menace of Star Wars remakes

Star Wars poster

Star Wars poster - Credit: Archant

A LONG time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, director George Lucas made his trilogy of seminal Star Wars films.

Slightly less long ago, Lucas wheeled out the franchise again for a trio of prequels. Though less seminal, they made the director a ton of cash and introduced the world to one of the big screen’s most annoying characters, Jar Jar Binks.

With computer games, cartoons, and more merchandise than you can shake a light-sabre at, you might think that every last bit of money has been wrung from the series.

But no, having brought the rights to Star Wars last year, Disney are planning some new films. With director JJ Abrams – the man behind the recent remake of Star Trek – already signed up, they are also keen to enlist the old cast too, with the likes of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford all rumoured to be in talks to reprise their roles in the original films.

“I’m assuming, because I haven’t talked to the writers, that these movies would be about our offspring,” said Hamill.

“Like my character would be sort of in the Obi-Wan range [as] an influential character,”

This may be exciting news for Star Wars aficionados, but I find the film industry’s constant need to remake, reuse or recycle old franchises a bit sad. Hamill is 61, Ford is in his 70s, and even the fragrant Fisher is now 56. Does anyone really want to see a geriatric Luke Skywalker hobbling around the screen? I don’t care if he’s going to be the new Obi-Wan, I’d prefer to remember him as he was in Return Of The Jedi thanks.

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Star Wars isn’t even the worst offender in this regard. There’s a fifth Pirates Of The Caribbean film in the pipeline, despite the fact that the three Pirates films made since the 2003 original have been about as entertaining as a trip to Davey Jones’ locker. A reboot of the Spiderman story was released last year, even though three other movies about the web-slinging hero have been released in the last decade.

There are plenty of good, original, movies out there, but more and more studios seem happy to fall back on the old favourites they know will draw the crowds.

I hope this trend doesn’t continue, as for me all these remakes and sequels often ruin the magic of the originals.