If you ask any of the executives at Lucasfilm Ltd. (founded originally by the godfather of Star Wars, George Lucas) the futuristic intergalactic film franchise will never die. While this might sound like a dream for fans, there's the bleak inverse to consider: Star Wars fans will never live to see the conclusion of their beloved series.
At least that's what was Wired's take on the matter. The tech news site published a long-read on Nov. 17 that detailed the studio's shift from turning the Star Wars episodes from a collection of linear installments, or "finite sequences," to a non-chronological, infinite series — or rather, a narrative multiverse instead of a line of prequels and sequels.
According to the article, the greenlighting of 2016's standalone anthology film Rogue One happened more or less after its initial pitch, in a conversation between Lucasfilms CCO John Knoll and studio head Kathleen Kennedy. Essentially, the story uses it as a touchstone to emphasize how easily studio executives can take a single elevator pitch and okay it, all for the sake of the continuous revenue that Star Wars has the certain potential to rake in:
"'I just have this very simple idea,' Knoll said, 'about the rebel spies in the opening crawl of A New Hope who steal the plans for the Death Star.'"
"Kennedy got Knoll's reference, of course. It's at the beginning of the movie, in the ribbon of text that sets the scene: 'Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star.' The plans are the MacGuffin, the thing everyone is chasing. The spies? No one mentions them again."
"'That is a very good idea, John,' Kennedy said. So ... green light."
Adam Rogers, who reported the story, outlined the stark possibilities of a franchise that never dies, especially considering Lucasfilm's particular plan to release one Star Wars film per year, as backed by its parent company, Disney:
"They are making more. A lot more. The company intends to put out a new Star Wars movie every year for as long as people will buy tickets. Let me put it another way: If everything works out for Disney, and if you are (like me) old enough to have been conscious for the first Star Wars film, you will probably not live to see the last one. It's the forever franchise."
However, even if A New Hope and co. springs eternal, how long will the current team stay on board? While we already know that the Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams won't be staying on for Episode IX, an admission he made to Wired helped underscore the massive stress attached to one of the world's most popular franchises.
"I do feel like there's a little bit more of a burden on Larry and me to come up with a story that could at least be the beginning of what transpires over three films," said Abrams.
Check out the trailer for The Force Awakens, which will drop on Dec. 18 in theaters nationwide, in the video below.