My Thoughts on Disney Acquiring Lucasfilm

Ok, so I’ve had a night to think about this, and it’s still huge news.  I can’t deny it.  I also want to encourage my readers to comment and let me know what you think!  I can see my stats and I know a lot of people read my blog, but only a few of you comment and let me know what you think…and this is a BIG  topic in our world and I want to know what’s going on in other people’s brains.

I have so many thoughts on this topic, but I’m going to keep it as few as possible because otherwise, you all would be reading a 10 page essay.

Notice the computer desktop in the background!

When I first heard the news and posted, I was a little sad.  This is George Lucas giving away his baby and George Lucas, is, well, the Jedi Master!  Is this a giant mistake?  How could he?  Then, upon thinking about it some more, I began to realize that maybe this is the breath of fresh air the Star Wars universe needs.  If Disney plays their cards right, this could be a very good thing.   As I followed twitter, articles, and blogs, I rounded up what my thoughts are.  I listened to the live ForceCast last night and actually took notes as the questions I had poured through my brain.  I never take notes!  I mean, most of the time, anything I want to blog about can be kept in my head – but there was just too much going on yesterday.

In a nutshell, Disney told us that we are going to have so much more Star Wars stuff.  Merchandising galore.  George has kept such a tight rein on the merchandising and if you’ve noticed over the years, there’s been a lot of potential for so much MORE.  I think Disney will take full advantage of that.  Keep in mind – this could lead to a STAR WARS THEME PARK.  Man, oh, man, that would be amazing.  Universal Studios did an excellent job with the Harry Potter Theme Park.  Can you imagine what Disney could do with a park devoted to Star Wars?  There have been complaints that Disney already has too much Star Wars events/rides going on in their park…so let’s take that out and give Star Wars it’s own park.  Sounds AWESOME, in my opinion.

Disney envisions a Star Wars presence on its channel.  How do I feel about that?  Ick.  The Disney Channel…with Star Wars on it?  But then again, we all know I was firmly against the Clone Wars for about 2 years and then warmed up to it.  My thoughts were, what does this mean for Seth Green’s Star Wars Detours?  They haven’t found a channel yet, will they move to Disney?  I don’t know if I can see Detours on Disney.  Not much has been said about the live action series too, but Disney has the money to pull it off, right?  But then again, it also brings back us back to the point that the live action series will probably be on the Disney Channel and I’m having a really hard time envisioning this.  Maybe I’m just balking at the change, maybe it will work out…I’m not sure.  However, Disney also owns ABC so shifting the shows to ABC  is more favorable in my eyes.  And what about the Clone Wars?  Will it eventually be shifted to the Disney Channel?

I also read that Disney is going to focus more on social and mobile platforms instead of console games.  I know a lot of people who are not going to be happy with that.  What does this mean for Star Wars 1313?  Apparently, not much, and word has it that the project is proceeding as planned.  However, there is still no release date and the platforms haven’t been announced which makes me a little nervous.

Now, finally, let’s talk about Episode VII.  I hate that people are writing it “Episode 7” because that is not Star Wars.  Let’s stick with roman numerals, folks.  First – it’s not going to be directed by George Lucas or even a Lucas-picked director.  This is kind of huge.  George is apparently staying on as a consultant for the new trilogy.  It’s a new look and feel to Star Wars, and it almost kind of makes me think that Star Wars may be going the way of Star Trek.  Secondly – what does this mean for the EU?  I’m sure tons of people are questioning that right now.  Will they include some EU storylines?  Will it be based on the Skywalker family?  How many years after ROTJ will it take place?  All we know is that a LucasFilm source says it’s an “original story.”  So no Thrawn, guys, and no Mara Jade either, sorry.  If they do have some Skywalker elements in it, even if it takes place way after ROTJ, will they throw in something like: “Jedi Master Luke and his wife Mara Jade who founded the New Jedi Order…”?  I LOVE THIS SPECULATION.  I haven’t felt like this since before TPM came out.  And what is awesome about this, is that I feel like there was so much expectation when TPM was being made.  People went in there feeling like they had a vision of how Anakin’s life was going to play out and were severely disappointed when George presented them with something else.  Now, with VII, the slate is blank again and I really hope fans don’t start thinking of how THEY want it to be, and instead keep their minds open.

As an FYI: I am not big into spoilers, so as we head toward 2015 and Episode VII, I ask that for the sake of everyone reading this blog and the author, that you keep spoilers few and rare.  I like going into a movie theater and not knowing what’s going to happen, as I’m sure others do as well.

Overall – I am excited.  I get to start a new countdown to a new trilogy and what could be better?  New possibilities are opened because of this.  It gave me goosebumps all last night when I thought about this news.  I just got a little thrill in my stomach when I added a category on the right hand side of my blog labeled “Episode VII”.

Just remember, no matter what your views on this news is: KEEP CALM AND LOVE STAR WARS.  Oh, and Happy Halloween!

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7 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Disney Acquiring Lucasfilm

  1. I’m excited, but I can’t tell if its good excited or bad excited. I posted on this earlier today too – http://epicipseity.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/star-wars-vii – I’ll paraphrase it here:

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe could have been a disaster, but it wasn’t. You can give credit to Disney … or to people like Joss Whedon, Kenneth Branagh, the screenwriters, the actors, etc. I think its the people that will make this work, the right team of people, and now its wide open. That can only be a good thing in light of certain directions Lucas pushed the prequels, and edited the originals. Star Wars is bigger than Lucas now. The EU is massive and canon. It may be too big for Disney to handle efficiently. You can say Marvel is way bigger than Star Wars (hell, it kind of includes Star Wars), but Marvel is not just the Avengers, the X-Men, and Spider-Man. Star Wars is not just Skywalker. I don’t think Episode VII can be Skywalker.

    I think the EU poses a slight problem for any future Star Wars films, I think the latest chronological EU story is around 50 years after the Battle of Yavin. I think it would be wise to pursue storylines a century or two beyond that.

    The prophecy says “balance”, but there’s been no balance. I think it would be interesting to go WAY beyond the Galactic Empire or the Galactic Alliance – to the near end of the universe, a dying universe where balance exists in the absence of life, and a final struggle not Sith vs. Jedi, but Grey vs. Black and White, brings the force and all it unifies, Dark and Light, to a final climactic end.

    Another issue is that science fiction as a whole, of which Star Wars is a hugely visible part of, has its worshippers, but it also has its fickle fans and its pseudofans riding the neo-geek wave. Yeah, sci-fi and fantasy are having a good run in the mainstream at the moment, but who is Disney going to market to? Answer: As many people as possible … that could definitely stretch the franchise too thin.

    Optimistic, I am, but confident, I am not.

    • Nice comment! I love long comments that make me think.

      I agree with the right team of people, this could work. I remember coming out of the AOTC being let down and thinking “Well, it wasn’t all George Lucas. Some of the problems go with the script writers, etc”.

      I also agree with pursuing Star Wars a lot later than the EU has covered thus far. It’s what I was trying to say with this being a chance to start fresh. I think that by going beyond the Skywalker family, gives them the ability to work with the story lines in a completely new way. It also keeps them safe with the fans and they won’t get upset if their plot conflicts with an EU plot.

      With your thoughts on balance, it made me think of this blog post on Tor that you might enjoy: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/09/the-qtrue-nature-of-the-force-is-way-more-complicated-than-you-think

      I love how you say “sci-fi and fantasy are having a good run in the mainstream at the moment”, because I recently wrote a blog on that last week or two weeks ago labeled “The Rise of the Geek?” and how all of a sudden it’s a lot cooler to be a geek…when it was so hard for so long.

      At least you have your optimism. I am def optimistic and will be excited until VII comes out, I’m sure. After that, we’ll see where this goes…

      • :E I don’t always write long comments, but when I do I prefer Dos Equis. Fantastic post on Tor, thanks for the link. I was always most partial to the Unifying Force school.

        Wait and see is a good position to adopt, but I doubt either of us, or any other fan for that matter, can quiet our minds until then. Difficult to see, the future is.

  2. This is huge news. If anything it has surprised me how invested I still am in the Star Wars universe. As I’ve been talking to friends and reading articles, it looks like there is a lot of excitement out there. As of right now, I have high hopes for future adventures set in a galaxy far, far away.

    Not to knock George Lucas, he’s created some of my favorite worlds, but I will reiterate what has been said several times: He is a great world builder, but a much weaker storyteller. Getting this material into other hands is not a bad thing, as long as those hands are talented and themselves Star Wars fans. A lot of my optimism comes from what epicipseity already mentioned about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Assembling The Avengers was a huge undertaking and the Mouse House handled that very well. They put the right people in the right roles and let them do their thing.

    Taking a cue from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I think Disney would go a long way in making this transition easier for fans by delineating that there is a Star Wars Literature Universe and a parallel Star Wars Cinematic Universe. This way the movies can go on without stepping on people’s toes regarding the canon of their favorite novels. Its worked well for comic books for years, and even the recent Star Trek reboot earned a lot of goodwill with a separate timeline plot device.

    As for Star Wars on TV, I don’t think some Star Wars themed cartoons are out of question. There were “Droids” and “Ewoks” cartoons back in the day. Now, the live action series is another beast. Interviews with producer Rick McCallum have indicated they are having trouble finding a market for it with the adult-themed and ambitious stories he’d like to tell. It apparently just doesn’t fit on network television and cable audiences are too small for the budget. He’s likened the series to “Deadwood in space” and claimed that each would essentially be a small Star Wars film. It sounds like the technology to produce the quality they are shooting for on a regular basis just isn’t there today. Maybe in a couple years? When publicity for the new trilogy is at its height?

    Anyway, the most common rumor I’ve heard so far is that the Episode VII story will center around a 30-40 year old Luke, to me this is the biggest hurdle. I understand that Hollywood is addicted to name and brand recognition right now, but how is it going to be received to have new actors in the roles of Luke, Leia, and especially Han? I don’t think the story has to be set beyond the timeframe of the EU novels, but should focus on the adventures of the next generation of Skywalker/Solos with our favorite characters in only minor support roles.

    Apologies for my ridiculously long comment, I’ll just close with how one friend put it in perspective. As much as we love the Star Wars properties, we don’t own them. We do own our experiences with them however. And whether the new stuff is great or terrible, which over the years this franchise has experienced both, when you drop in the original ANH DVD (or Blu-Ray?), Luke and the gang will still be there fighting the Dark Side in all the awesomeness we remember. 🙂

    • Nathan-I know this is a tangent, but I’m so jealous that you can end your comments so fluidly, with such a nice conclusion. I always struggle with conclusions…

      Anyway, I have also heard the rumor of the older Luke in Episode VII, but I am actually hoping not. However, I read an interview with Mark Hamill yesterday where he said that George invited Carrie and him to lunch a year ago and said they were making an Episode VII. Mark mentioned that the lunch was just to let them know and so they heard it from George first. However, why would George invite them to lunch like that out of the blue? It kind of raised my suspicions that maybe he was cluing them in so that they weren’t really surprised when they continued the story of the Skywalkers. Anyway – that’s totally a hunch/speculation.

      I have heard that “Deadwood in space” comment before. I agree that I don’t think we’ll see anything for another 5-10 years in that area. I would assume they would wrap up the Clone Wars before trying to invest in a live action series. But Disney does have the money so hopefully when the time comes around, they stick to it and pull it off. I really hope they do it though, only so I can send in an audition tape haha.

      Conclusion.

      • Heh. Thanks for the compliment.

        I completely agree that I hope that the middle aged Luke rumors are just that. If Lucas was talking to Hamill and Fisher about continuing roles their roles, it would be great to see them in mentorship positions, but the action could focus on new characters. That would allow for continuity with the original trilogy and provide a jumping off point for future stories. One thing that hasn’t been getting a lot of attention is Disney didn’t just commit to a new trilogy starting with Episode VII. The comment was to do these three and in the long term release a Star Wars movie “every two to three years”. Imagine those possibilities…

        So, good luck on those audition tapes! Disney may be looking for a lot of Jedi in the future. I’ve started practicing staring intently at objects with my hand outstretched to catch them. 🙂

        Nice unambiguous concluding statement by the way. The End?

  3. Yes, I did notice that Disney didn’t commit completely to a new trilogy, but then to future films as well. However, I thought Lucas was consultant for 7-9 since he has that story already penned out? So in a way, it is a trilogy. A trilogy, and then it’ll turn into a Marvel-like franchise with other movies coming out every once and a while. I wonder if we’ll ever have neatly tied up trilogies again?

    I hope the staring intently ends up working out for you because you’ll have a one-up on my audition tape.

    Life would be so much easier if I could just write “conclusion” at the end of everything. Or even say it in life. Sick of talking to that boss of yours? “Conclusion!” No way to end a blog post? “Conclusion!” Not interested in sitting through the stupid movie anymore? “Conclusion!”

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