Currently, Disneyland has been doing its utmost to hype Star Wars. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is set to open in theaters in December and kids at Disneyland are riding Star Tours, getting Wookie hugs, and coming face to face with Darth Vader. But what else is coming down the line? Could the Disney brand eventually change Star Wars into something unrecognizable?
Even before the “Star Wars” franchise was obtained by Disney, it seemed like George Lucas was trying to put a Disney spin on the films. First, he created those little ewoks that seemed to be in “Return of the Jedi” for the sake of the children in the audience. They were adorable, living teddy bears, and what child couldn’t love them? Then, later on, the original trilogy was re-released in 1997. That’s when we got “Han shot first.” For those who are unaware, Han Solo shot Greedo from under a table in the 1977 version of “Star Wars: A New Hope.” But the scene was changed in 1997 to show Greedo taking a shot at Han and Han subsequently shooting Greedo in self defense. That caused fans to lash out and proclaim, “Han shot first.”
Recently, George Lucas admitted in a Washington Post article posted on Nov. 30 that he chose to change the scene for the following reason:
“Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, ‘Should he be a cold-blooded killer?’ ” Lucas asks. “Because I was thinking mythologically — should he be a cowboy, should he be John Wayne? And I said, ‘Yeah, he should be John Wayne.’ And when you’re John Wayne, you don’t shoot people [first] — you let them have the first shot. It’s a mythological reality that we hope our society pays attention to.”
Trying to make the movies more wholesome for the young ones persisted into the prequel years. The invention of Jar Jar Binks, with his annoying facial expressions and toddler-like antics were only appealing to people with the mentality of a toddler. The pod racing scene with what looked like cartoon characters from a Nickelodeon show didn’t help matters. Were we supposed to feel threatened by them or amused?
Who knows what unpleasant surprises await us all. When Disneyland finally brings us a fully operational and completed Star Wars Land, reflecting the original trilogy, the prequels, and all the sequels, will it still look like something from George Lucas?