As a followup to Star Wars Must Die, SF Signal gathered a number of science fiction pros and fans to ask if it really is time for Star Wars to go on hiatus?
This is a question that’s weighed on my mind on and off through the year, as I obligatorily blogged the two big Star Wars events that utterly fail to grab my personal interest. The Clone Wars? Meh both before and after. The Force Unleashed? Not even remotely tempted. It even came up in regards to the Expanded Universe during our Legacy of the Force discussion at JadeCon. Does the franchise need a break? Do we?
I know a lot of my personal fatigue with The Clone Wars is mostly a matter of apathy to the era, and bridge stories as a whole. (I wasn’t that thrilled with Shadows of the Empire back in the day, either.) And TFU is a game, and I’m not a gamer. (Of course, let’s not forget that The Force Unleashed was originally supposed to be the big event of 2007.) And then there’s the whole matter of actually blogging it all… It’s not that there’s nothing going on that I am actually interested in: It’s just that stuff is on the back burner for the franchise at the moment. (Or, at least as far as the EU goes – the eternal back burner? Red-headed stepchild to the more visual mediums? Hrm.)
I don’t think there’s too much to fear if Lucasfilm did pack up the Star Wars stuff for a few years. Do fans need a big event every year or two, like clockwork? Not really: We’d lose some to the brand new shiny fandoms wandering by (it happens anyway) but overall I think we’re big enough to survive a few years. It’s Lucasfilm that needs to keep the pendulum swinging and the big bucks coming in. $26,080,000 might not be record-breaking movie cash, and they might not even need it – but it sure helps to keep the paychecks rolling in. For now, anyway…
The trick for Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise this very moment is to keep a fine balance between keeping fans satisfied without gorging their appetites to the point of disgust… And that’s where I’m afraid that The Clone Wars theatrical release – and all the attendant spotlights and expectation-raising – may have been a mistake. It’s just too soon to tell if it’ll be a fatal one.
Fandom? Whatever happens, we’ll make our own way. (Hell, the thing in all this that I’m most excited about right now? A fanfic, literally one of the best I’ve read in years.) But it’s a two way street, and part of us does need them up and active, just as much as they need us bright-eyed and willing to spend. LFL has been particularly fandom savvy these last couple decades, so they’re well aware of this – we can just hope. And keep in mind that there’s far more going on here than just one person or group’s vision of the GFFA.