In 2012, when Disney first bought Lucasfilm and its sprawling production war of stars Universe there were those who thought the price tag of $4 billion was a gamble. If so, it’s a bet that has paid off handsomely for Mickey Mouse and co. By 2018, they had already covered their expenses by releasing four new ones war of stars Movies that grossed a combined $4.8 billion lead CNBC announces the deal: “One of the smartest acquisitions ever made in American companies.”
However, a decade is a long time in the heady business of intergalactic space westerns, and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy is now saying the future of Star Wars could look very different from its past on the big screen. In the age of streaming, even the concept of film trilogies has become somewhat passé. “I hesitate to use the word ‘trilogies’ any further,” Kennedy said this week vanity fair. “Because war of stars it’s more about persistent storytelling.”
That means a whole galaxy of innovations war of stars spin-offs; Shows specially designed to fill endless hours on Disney+. The smash hit of Pedro Pascal’s space age gunslinger series the mandalorian, which first debuted in 2019, paved the way for last year’s Boba Fett’s book and a slew of new shows coming out this year. Along with the third season of The Mandalorianon May 27, Ewan McGregor returns as the eponymous Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi, reprising his role from the prequel trilogy. This summer will also see the arrival of Andor, in which Diego Luna concretizes the story of his heroism Villain One Character Cassian Andor.
The prospect of all of these interconnected, interwoven stories coming to our screens is equally welcome war of stars Fans like a nourishing glass of green milk for Luke Skywalker, but there are certain unavoidable issues that inevitably arise when starting to tell new stories about characters from a franchise celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. Namely: do you recast, or do you use the computer?
In the same vanity fair Interview, Kennedy pointed out the relatively dismal returns the Han Solo origin story brought in 2018 solo ($390 million vs. a reported budget of $300 million) as proof that fans don’t want to see their heroes reimagined. “There should be moments along the way where you learn things,” she said. “Now it seems so obvious that we cannot do that.” Online fans weren’t so sure. solo had its problems – not the least of which was the fact that the film’s original directors, The Lego Movie The duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired after principal photography began over “creative differences” – but new actors playing well-loved heroes really were few of them. Donald Glover stars as Lando Calrissian, a role invented by Billy Dee Williams in the 1980s The Empire Strikes Back, was widely hailed as one of the best things about the film. “Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover deserve all the credit for playing Han and Lando,” he commented a fan in a viral tweet. “solos problems had nothing to do with them.”
There is an alternative to reimagining fan-favorite characters, and Lucasfilm has embraced it passionately: CGI deepfakes. Ever since Peter Cushing, who died in 1994, was revived to reprise his role as Grand Moff Tarkin in 2016 Villain OneDeath is no longer seen as the end of her acting career. Certainly age has not proved to be an obstacle. As well as The Mandalorian and Boba Fett’s book, 70-year-old Mark Hamill has delivered performances as Luke Skywalker in his 30s, with younger actors showing off Luke’s movements while deepfake de-aging technology replaced the face. Hamill’s appearance in the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian turned out to be so creepy that a YouTuber named Shamook quickly went viral, sharing a clip that proved he could do a better job at home. Wisely, Lucasfilm’s next step was to hire Shamook for their visual effects company Industrial Light and Magic.
Technology is always improving, but it would be a real shame if Lucasfilm decided based on that solo alone that the way forward was to revive the dead and detoxify the old. Sometimes audiences just need a little time to adjust to seeing a new actor in a role – watch Daniel Craig’s journey from blond misfit to beloved James Bond.
It is particularly ironic that Kennedy would question the value of rewriting classic bits while encouraging the new Obi Wan Kenobi Series. As the first Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace Released in 1999, many wondered if Ewan McGregor could ever convincingly embody a character Alec Guinness played so vividly. Today, McGregor has made the character his own, meaning we can enjoy new stories from Obi Wan Kenobi while we let Guinness rest in peace. Both on and off screen, this is a triumph for humanity.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/star-wars-obi-wan-kenobi-deepfakes-cgi-b2083294.html Star Wars: Does Refusal to Recast Iconic Roles Mean More Shady Deepfakes?