Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Thoughts on Disney’s Lucasfilm Purchase

About a week ago in, well, this galaxy, the Internet was abuzz in reaction to shocking news that The Walt Disney Co. had purchased Lucasfilm, Ltd., for a whopping $4.05 billion dollars. As if that bombshell wasn’t enough to send the geek world into a tizzy, The House of Mouse revealed that it would be bringing Star Wars: Episode VII to theaters in 2015

This was a lot to process — especially considering the fact that many of us on the U.S. East Coast were dealing with the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy, which left millions without power (myself included). Nevertheless, it seems as though just about everyone has an opinion about Disney’s latest acquisition, including the belief that Disney will forever tarnish the legacy of one of the film world’s most beloved properties. Will Mickey Mouse ruin Star Wars?

To answer that question, no. If the prequels didn’t ruin Star Wars forever, the franchise can withstand anything.

Jokes aside, though, I firmly believe that Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm is the best thing to happen to George Lucas’ empire in more than a decade. The 68-year-old filmmaker’s decision to hand the keys to his kingdom over to the caretakers of the Magic Kingdom will no doubt allow for fresh, new creative minds to play in the sandbox the Flanneled One created nearly four decades ago. By essentially relinquishing control of the franchise and serving as “creative consultant” on this new trilogy of films, Lucas has ensured that Star Wars will live forever.

That’s the big thing that seemed to be lost on many people hearing this news last week: a new director (or directors) will helm the next Star Wars trilogy. When Episode VII hits theaters in 2015, we will witness the first-ever live-action Star Wars film directed by a fan. There’s an entire generation of talented directors that was weaned on the classic films, and all of them are surely anxious to take the Star Wars franchise into hyperspace. As we’ve seen with Dave Filoni’s work on the stellar animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network, modern Star Wars is at its best when fanboys are in charge.

But what about the other stories to be told in Lucas’ far, far away galaxy? Will we finally get that Star Wars live-action series we’ve been hearing about all these years? What about some traditional 2D Star Wars animation? Can we expect Han Solo and Chewbacca to join Woody and Buzz Lightyear in the next Toy Story film? We can only speculate on the future of Star Wars at this point, but I feel we can rest assured that it will be a bright one.

No comments: