Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Disney acquires LucasFilm, new Star Wars Films Starting in 2015.

I may not write as often as I used to, but considering my interests and areas of expertise, now and again a story comes up that absolutely cannot be allowed to pass without comment. This is one such story. The media giant The Walt Disney Company has been snapping up or producing geek-friendly properties for a while, with a recent buyout of Marvel Comics, their publishing of the Percy Jackson teen olympian series through Hyperion and a general increase in science fiction and fantasy on network programming (They own half of A&E and all of ABC Television.) Today, they dropped a bomb on geekdom. They bought out LucasFilm and ILM for just over $4 Billion USD and are getting straight to work on cranking out new Star Wars movies.

"I've got a bad feeling about this" jokes will be EVERYWHERE in a day or two.

Reactions have been immediate and scattered. We're not prepared for this. The automatic knee-jerk reaction to a huge media conglomerate buying a beloved property and making something new out of it is supposed to be fear and disgust, but this is Star Wars. More importantly, this is Star Wars without George Lucas at the helm, which is something geeks have been praying for in the "never gonna happen but wouldn't it be nice if..." category.  Every geek is going to have to face something that we may secretly dread. We're going to have to judge new Star Wars films based on their own merits, and confront the possibility that we might not just be able to blame George Lucas if the franchise moves on past being something we can enjoy, and we just plain... hate the new stuff, trapped in our dreamy memories of the originals. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

Lucas will be kept on as creative consultant, but the new films will have LucasFilms' Kathleen Kennedy (I'm calling it now, this is a name that in a few years will be thoroughly idolized or vilified, spat like a curse in geek circles) at the helm. They are in active development for a new trilogy, with Episode VII to release in 2015, and beyond that, Disney plans to continue making a new Star Wars movie every 2-3 years until people stop paying to see them.  They know there is money to be made whether the hardcore Star Wars fans approve or not, and so long as that is true, there will always be a new Star Wars. Maybe, just maybe... that's a GOOD thing.

Hey, even if it turns out bad... an Evil Empire ruining the franchise is TOTALLY Star Wars,
so... there's that.

Hear me out. I am tentatively excited about this announcement.  Maybe the new films will be great, maybe they'll be crap. We know that without George Lucas running the show, even if they are crap, they'll be crap for different reasons, not because one guy decided that his creation wasn't bigger than him after all, and it'd be his way or not at all. Even if the new films are bad, there's an opportunity there for new Expanded Universe fiction, new video games, all sorts of properties that traditionally make the most money by being satisfying to US. Those properties are way more likely to be developed and put in the hands of someone capable of doing them right if there's a new film coming up to tie them into. No matter what they say today, geeks are going to go see every one of these films, and more science fiction is pop culture means one thing for sure...

There is gonna be sexy cosplay in 5 years of characters that don't even exist yet. Nice. Best Blogger Tips
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Jay said...

the marvel films have been doing very well since disney's acquisition....hopefully the stars wars films will follow suit....

Kelly said...

I'm not sure how I feel about Disney owning the Star Wars franchise. We were watching TV and watching the Disney Christmas parade, that they held at Disneyworld and Disneyland went it came on. At one point during the parade... They had people dressed in Stormtrooper outfits and one guy was acting like a goofy version of Darth Vader.

It made me cringe a little. I have to admit. Have a Happy New Year!

Static said...

Hmm, I guess we'll see what happens, but I have to admit this new development makes me cringe a little too. It's no surprise really — any good idea that is as successful as the Star Wars series is, is usually bastardized and exploited to the living end.

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