Mike Fleming

My kids constantly bring up a quote they attribute to Benjamin Franklin, which is, roughly, “don’t believe everything you read on the internet.” I continue to be less than dazzled about the casting progress made so far on a relaunch of Star Wars, web reports continue to have me concerned and underwhelmed about the picture that JJ Abrams is putting together over there at Disney.

First, we have rumors that Harrison Ford will sign a three-picture deal to return to the new Star Wars films that JJ Abrams is putting together. Now, in a magazine called Palm Beach Illustrated, we have Carrie Fisher confirming on the record that she will bring back Princess Leia. The other thing she does is confirm what we are all thinking when asked what Princess Leia is like today. “Elderly,” she said jokingly. “She’s in an intergalactic old folks’ home.” Fisher long ago moved on to become a successful script doctor and author, and this feels to me a bit like Sally Field returning for one more installment of Gidget.

Even though George Lucas came as close as humanly possible to running Star Wars into the ground with that prequel trilogy and the unsuccessful attempt to launch all six pictures as 3D conversions before selling the whole thing to Disney, JJ Abrams is two for two in fixing franchises, after working with Tom Cruise as producers to relaunch Mission: Impossible with Ghost Protocol, and in the reboot of Star Trek. Am I the only one who finds the prospect of the original Star Wars cast to be profoundly unexciting, in the same way I felt about the last Indiana Jones movie, when Ford stayed too long at the dance? I also wish Abrams was expending his considerable talents on original projects the way his hero Steven Spielberg (excusing that Indy Jones pic) continues to do.