Disney owns a large part of my childhood.
Growing up, I read and collected comic books and was loyal to the Marvel line. A few years ago, Disney bought Marvel.
I was also a Star Wars fan. I was into Star Wars when it seemed like no one else was and all we’d have is three movies in a galaxy far, far away. Well, today Star Wars is pretty popular, with three more movies and a lifetime’s worth of extended universe media. Oh, and a new owner. Today, Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas for $4 billion.
Disney isn’t buying Lucasfilm to just hold on to the intellectual property. They’re planning on making some serious money, starting with some new Star Wars movies. From the official release:
In 2015, we’re planning to release Star Wars Episode 7 – the first feature film under the “Disney-Lucasfilm” brand. That will be followed by Episodes 8 and 9 – and our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years. We’re very happy that George Lucas will be creative consultant on our new Star Wars films…
The first I heard of today’s news, I didn’t know about Episode 7. My reaction was negative. This looked like George Lucas was selling out.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized this is a good thing. The truth is, George sold out when he signed on with Fox to make Star Wars back in the 70s. Star Wars was a branded commodity even then, and the money it made helped ensure more entries in the franchise. I had some issues with the prequels, but overall, I enjoyed them.
Sure, Disney will Disney-fy the Star Wars franchise. But that’s nothing different from what George Lucas has been doing with Star Wars over the past two decades.
As for the future movies (and I can’t tell whether the Disney release means the saga will end with 9, or whether there will be more after that), if I’m ever worried about the story being diluted, I always have my copies of the original three episodes. Additionally, according to reports, George has been working on these new movies over the past few months (and won’t be doing any writing or directing). Additionally, Disney has made some quality movies based off its newly-acquired Marvel properties over the past few years while respecting the source material. Sure, there will be a lot more Star Wars material for kids (and that’s who the saga is aimed at), but as for the movies, with the Disney/Marvel track record, there’s nothing to be worried about.
I’m excited about this, and the biggest reason I’m excited really has nothing to do with the quality of the movies. I saw all the original trilogy in the theaters, first run with my father (well, technically, we saw the Empire Strikes Back as part of a double feature the month before Jedi came out). And I still remember that. I can say that I’ll get to take my kids to see new Star Wars movies in the theater in a few years. That’s so cool.
And for that reason alone, as a member of the Star Wars fan universe, I for one welcome our new corporate overlords.