Star Wars has a vast history in the UK — it’s the spiritual home of Star Wars, with the first film being made here. In fact every Star Wars film has had scenes filmed in the UK, with 5 of the 7 saga films being principally made as British films. Without the support of the British Government in the 70’s and 80’s would Star Wars even have been made without the relatively ‘cheap’ labour provided by its actors and crew.
It’s somewhat ironic then that in 2014, when the British Government is supporting Disney, with the making of the Star Wars (and Marvel) films in the UK, that the UK is being ignored when it comes to releases and information. As the second biggest territory for fans, outside of America and Canada, UK Star Wars fans would like to put into question these decisions and ask why we’re being somewhat alienated.
First there was The Clone Wars: Lost Missions — this was dubbed and broadcast in Germany (the third biggest territory), released on Netflix in the US and Canada but so far the UK has been ignored. Fast forward six months and these have been released on Blu-ray and DVD in the same three territories and again the UK is ignored — we’re beginning to see a pattern here. Do UK fans have to resort to underhand tactics to watch these amazing 12 episodes? Do we have to buy these from other countries and pay extortionate shipping and additional import taxes? Didn’t we already deal with taxation in The Phantom Menace?
Then we move to the excellent new series Star Wars Rebels. Whilst our friends over the pond have the luxury of watching this on their Disney App’s we’re left behind, sometimes two episodes behind! In the digital age a global company such as Disney should be able to work this out, ensuring there’s no such disparity.
Finally let’s consider what is arguably one of the most eagerly anticipated teaser trailers of all time, The Force Awakens. Yet again the UK is being snubbed. Disney’s plan for premiering the teaser encompasses just thirty cinemas in North America this coming Friday but yet again the UK (and the rest of Europe and the world) are ignored. The article at StarWars.com states ‘the tease can be seen in theaters around the world this December’ but why are we being forced to wait? Are we less worthy? News among those living in the western world is available to all instantly, so why can’t Disney and Lucasfilm do the same and coordinate a release that will appease all? The British Board of Film Classification have not passed the trailer yet and incidentally the trailer for Strange Magic has not been passed either. Like Red Tails, will the UK be skipped over for this Lucasfilm production too?
Star Wars is not just for Americans and Canadians. Please take your dark sided blinkers off and see the light (side) and the fact that there’s hundreds of thousands of Star Wars fans eager to share and enjoy the new Star Wars content you’re putting out across the globe. There’s still time to make changes and ensure the UK and other territories are not excluded from your plans – stop taking Yoda so seriously… ‘Do or do not…’ please, just ‘Do’.