As you surely know by now, everyone's going crazy about "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The movie has a 94 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes right now, and the movie's $238 million opening weekend set a new record.
I caught a showing at the Senator last night, and ya know what? It was really, really good—maybe not so good that it did the impossible and exceeded the insane hype, but good enough that it vanquished the sins of the awful prequels.
The Senator was packed and the audience seemed to be having a great time, clapping and cheering when their favorite characters appeared on screen. What's not to love?
Well, here comes The Washington Post's Aaron Leitko (disclosure: a friend of mine) with a necessary bit of cynicism (though he had not seen the film when he wrote this piece, he reported on fan speculation, which, it turns out, ended up being correct, so spoilers ahead). The problem, as Leitko sees it, is there's no clear end for the franchise in sight, because every franchise "returns eternally in reboots, rethinks, spinoffs, and revivals."
And that's certainly the case when there's millions of dollars to be made.
"As media consumers, we seem to have outgrown a need for closure," writes Leitko. "Or maybe there's just no incentive to provide it. We always want more. And by wanting more, we have created a bleak new reality in our genre fiction."
Given this, some of the people who grew up with original movies face the prospect of the series outliving them, and our children and grandchildren will watch new characters Rey (Daisy Ridley) or Finn (John Boyega) grow old as "a fourth trilogy series groans to life."
One commenter points out that Lucas long ago stated his original vision for "Star Wars" included nine total films; "The Force Awakens" only brings us to seven. But, as Leitko points out, Lucas sold the rights to the Star Wars galaxy to Disney, and it's not hard to envision them trying to squeeze every last penny out of the franchise—"A young Han Solo spinoff flick is already in the works," he notes.
So, while part of me is thrilled "The Force Awakens" was so enjoyable and is already counting down to Episode VIII, there's another part that hopes this cycle of sequels doesn't carry on for the rest of my days.