I was witness to the Disney Renaissance— the years between the late 1980s and 2000 when Disney returned to making animated films based on well-known stories and saw major success.
In the first 10 years of my life, I learned you could make your sisters laugh by brushing a fork through your tangled hair at the dinner table, that the circle of life meant your parents would die one day, and that a woman can dress like a man and kick-ass in war.
In 1999, my parents shared some movie lessons they grew up with: Use the force, don’t choose the dark side, and trust small green men. A dusty and worn VHS box set with images of aliens and creatures printed on the binding was pulled out of a box in the garage, and I was introduced to the Star Wars trilogy.
That same year, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released. It was nothing like the originals, and at the time I loved them for that. The animated creatures, the realistic landscapes and the recognizable actors were appreciated by the 9-year-old me. (And I LOVED Jar-Jar Binks). I was 15 when the final episode was released.
As I grow older, episodes 4-6 become less lame and way more awesome. I really can’t say the same for episodes 1-3.
It has been reported that J.J. Abrams has been chosen as the director for the 2015 Disney Star Wars release. Abrams, currently working on the new Star Trek reboot, has already done justice to a sci-fi franchise with a dedicated fan base.
“There were the very early conversations and I quickly said that because of my loyalty to Star Trek, and also just being a fan, I wouldn’t even want to be involved in the next version of those things. I declined any involvement very early on. I’d rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them.”
Critics and fans are excited. The groundbreaking series is now off to its best start at a second chance for revival.
And we get a second chance to watch it happen.