Rogue One. This could be the name of a historical romance book. But instead, it’s the title of the newly released film in the Star Wars anthology series breaking box office records.
“There be more Star Wars movies?” you ask.
“Yes,” according to Rolling Stone Magazine.
The promise of more Star Wars stories in production is good news for fans who had to wait 10 years between the third film of the prequel trilogy and last year’s release, The Force Awakens. Plans are for subsequent prequel releases in 2017 and 2019, and anthologies for 2018 and 2020, according to reports from Lucas Films.
The prospect of yearly installments of the space drama for movie buffs is as enticing as a book series from our favorite author in a year’s time or less. That’s because we can be impatient, insatiable – or just darn needy when it comes to getting our fix of great storytelling. Who wants to wait a week between TV drama episodes, for example, when we can binge watch them instead?
Whether on the big screen, small screen, local book store shelf, or as an e-book on Amazon, the time has come when writers must produce more complex stories, involving multiple series, quicker than ever before.
Take George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series on HBO, now filming the seventh season to be released in the summer of 2017. It will consist of seven episodes, not the standard 10. The series is outpacing the books it was based on – five tombs written over fifteen years with the last one published in 2011.
Even Martin backed away from most of the hands-on duties he took on in the earlier seasons. He said he’s been focusing on writing his sixth and seventh “Thrones” books and is opposed to rushing them to match the series. Martin said he wants his novels “to stand the test of times for decades, like J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.”
His message was good storytelling shouldn’t be rushed. However, when storytelling becomes big business, and the public’s thirst for it is great, authors and scriptwriters are pressured to answer the 911 call to be successful.
If money is the best barometer of successful storytelling, then the Game of Thrones books and the Star Wars films have reached the pinnacle. Author Martin earned $51 million between 2013 and the end of 2015, according to Forbes Magazine. In addition, it has been reported that The Star Wars franchise has earned an estimated $42 billion from its inception. Of that, The Force Awakens was the fastest film to gross $1 billion dollars. It took just 12 days. That’s due in part to return of Harrison Ford as Captain Hans Solo and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia.
Yet, as we mourn Fisher’s untimely death, she will continue to have immense box office power and will no doubt fuel the latest entry in the beloved franchise. Her character will live on in the Star Wars scripts yet to be written as fans eagerly await for her story to be told and your readers wait for yours.
As princess Leia would say, “May the Force be with you.”