When Disney acquired Lucasfilm and the rights to distribute Indiana Jones, rumors began circulating about the studios’ intentions to reboot the franchise and cast a younger actor in Harrison Ford’s iconic role. That’s not the case, however, as Ford is reuniting with Steven Spielberg for Indiana Jones 5, while recent comments from studio chief Bob Iger suggested that there are still plans to reboot Indy sometime in the near future. As it turns out, those plans may be a bit bigger than Iger implied.
The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 was a big show. Idina Menzel sang “Let It Go.” Elton John sang a hit or two from The Lion King in the shadow of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. But for a particular kind of movie fan, the highlight of the night was an appearance by Harrison Ford (who, mercifully, did not sing) introducing what he called “The Star Wars Experience.” Those are the massive Star Wars worlds coming soon to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and the show featured some of the first looks at concept art and animation from the upcoming attractions.
Back in June of last year, Harrison Ford was injured on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens when the door of the Millennium Falcon fell, dislocating his ankle and breaking his leg in two places. The production was put on hold for six months while Ford recuperated and director J.J. Abrams would later say of the incident, “Once we knew that Harrison was going to be okay, we all realized this was this greatest gift to the movie.” Abrams, and his bosses at Lucasfilm and Disney, may be disagreeing with that sentiment today as officials in London have brought four criminal charges against the Star Wars: The Force Awakens production company.
On February 21, ABC will broadcast a new special titled The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60, a commemoration of the Anaheim amusement park’s sixtieth anniversary and Star Wars devotees just got a reason to tune in that can’t be ignored.
When you’re out promoting a movie, you’re often asked to do a lot of things, most of them pretty silly. With the amount of press the cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was being asked to do, there were asked to do a lot of silly things, none perhaps as silly as going on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and singing a medley of Star Wars music a cappella. But the entire cast — including Harrison Ford! — actually commits, and it actually turns out to pretty fun.
The original Star Wars was driven by nostalgia for pulp magazines, Saturday-morning serials, and a simpler era with clear-cut heroes and villains. The new Star Wars is driven by nostalgia for the original Star Wars, and a simpler era when that title evoked words like “adventure” and “excitement,” and not words like “the taxation of trade routes,” and “Jar Jar Binks.” The characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens are all searching for something of great importance to the galaxy far, far away. I won’t reveal what this MacGuffin is, but I will tell you what it represents: that old Star Wars magic. Can director J.J. Abrams and the rest of the saga’s new creators find it?