Worlds Without End
There’s something about these film series that release around this time of year. For me, it probably goes back to
“The Lord of the Rings”. I seem to recall feeling vaguely odd after “Return of the King” because it marked the end of an annual tradition that had been going on for a fifth of my life. I definitely remember the unmet expectation of a cinematic sequel to “The Golden Compass”. I don’t think that I even fully realised that it wasn’t getting one for a year or two. In retrospect, I’m not too disappointed, for that first novel was the trilogy’s high point for me anyway. Peter Jackson’s recent return to Middle-earth with his tripartite adaptation of “The Hobbit” obviously brought the feeling back in force, which is just another reason for acceptance of its arguably grandiloquent expansion of the relatively brief book upon which it was based.
The impending arrival of a new “Star Wars” triogy, moved to the holiday season from the springtime debut that its predecessors favoured, brings this to mind. But all of those ended. Even “Harry Potter”, which lasted for most of a decade and popularised the strategy of splitting final books into multiple films, ended eventually. But Disney makes the big plays. They have plans, and they own “Star Wars” now. They’re not just planning to turn the venerable space opera into a Christmas tradition for a few years. There’s no reason for it to stop, and in their hands, it actually will go on forever. It’s rather heartening.
And now I’m also putting this beside the imminent arrival of a “Harry Potter” spinoff movie and thinking about what this could mean for it and other franchises. Like . . . I’d never fight against the creation of more good stuff. Things like those split adaptations and the rise of cinematic universes attest to a growing willingness to draw from these vast reservoirs, but right now it’s starting to seem as though some of the faucets may never turn off.
Lightsaber of the week?