As a fan of science fiction I’ve never put the Star Wars films up on a pedestal. For me it’s the same as putting ET up on a science fiction pedestal, while Star Wars has made ‘good entertainment’, and so did ET it doesn’t in my opinion make for great science fiction. ET followed the tradition of early science fiction films, of alien visitors to our planet but that’s not to say ET was great science fiction either, at the end of the day it was just entertainment too. 🙂
Great science fiction films are few and far between (even the trashy B-movies of the 40’s and 50’s made sense for the time period and could be considered great science fiction films or not at least they followed the literature that was out at the time) but Star Wars has never been great science fiction – I’ll site Blade Runner and 2001 a Space Odyssey as great science fiction films of more recent times. Even new films like Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (with all the shine and pretty) didn’t do it for me, I thought it was just a rehash of the Alien films but with less ‘Alien’. Same story, nothing new / move along.
My point is more to do with the social sphere and their reaction to this selling of a ‘great science fiction’ franchise.
LucusFilm was sold to Disney for a cool £2.5 billion. As soon as this story broke, the social internet lit up like a Christmas tree, mainly with negative comments along the lines of WTF how can you (Lucas) do this to our beloved franchise.
It would be a mistake to judge something now with adult eyes when growing up with Star Wars, I was a child myself in the 70’s so for me the franchise got worse with each iteration, or perhaps as I got older I appreciated them less and less.
I used to like Star Wars as a kid, (emphasis on kid here) I watched the films and played with the figures, but I was never really a hardcore fan. I was just a kid. As I got older my tastes changed and my appreciation for science fiction increased. I read more, and I watched less, mainly in part because Hollywood didn’t and still doesn’t (to a large degree) know how to make great science fiction films.
So it doesn’t come as a surprise to me that Lucas has recently sold the company to Disney. It makes perfect sense to me. Lucas has a point in that he feels he wants to hand Star Wars to a new generation of film makers, and by selling off LucasFilms he has achieved that, but I suppose the financial side of it must have been tempting too, I think Lucas is just realistic he’s not even putting Star Wars on a pedestal because it was never on (a science fiction) one – Besides selling it off will make Lucas a nice little nest egg.
Sure it has a loyal fan base and why not, it was an iconic set of films for the 1970’s and 80’s, I think there is a certain level of care needed when making a ‘Star Wars’ film sure, and I believe Disney are the ones to do it, it’s a family entertainment kind of deal.