After consuming Pixar in 2006 and Marvel in 2009, the mighty Disney empire has once again expanded, and its latest conquest is accompanied by a new hope for three new Star Wars films.
As of Tuesday, Oct. 30, the Walt Disney Company officially acquired Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 billion.
Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, spoke optimistically about the new relationship in the press release detailing the new union.
“This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”
Along with Lucasfilm Ltd., the deal includes all facets of Lucasfilm, from the effects developers, like Industrial Light and Magic and Skywalker Sound, to the rights to all of Lucas’s franchises, such as Indiana Jones and, yes, Star Wars.
“It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers,” said George Lucas in the press release. “I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. Disney’s reach and experience gives Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment and consumer products.”
And blaze new trails they shall. With Kathleen Kennedy, the current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, acting as executive producer, Disney announced that plan to create at least three more Star Wars movies (VII, VIII, and IX), the first of which will hit theaters in 2015, along with Avengers 2.
Opinions on the matter are, of course, polarized. While some may argue that the new management will rejuvenate the franchise after the disappointment many fans felt from the recent trilogy, others, like Jake Fredericks, South Lyon sophomore, wishes that the original trilogy and its greatness would have been left in peace.
“I’m telling myself I won’t go see the new movies,” Fredericks said. “But will I? Yes.”
Regardless of one’s stance on the issue, Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars creates a world of possibilities for fans to theorize about. What will be the plot of the next trilogy, and who should direct it? Is a Star Wars-Marvel Universe crossover in the foreseeable future? Will Ewoks be included in the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disney World?
For now, the answers to these questions remain shrouded by the dark side of the Force. So until the metaphorically, metaphysical haze is lifted, feel free to express your concern and excitement in the comments below.
Photo Courtesy of Toonbarn.com
i personally think it would be cool to see the new trilogy about the Old Republic.
I hate it when they do this. I don’t care if Disney wants to make an animated film or a live action, as long as they come up with an entirely original idea. I feel like these new Star wars movies are cash-ins on the star wars franchise. The first 3 films were great, but the prequels were unnecessary. They weren’t horrible but there didn’t need to be another 3 films to help you understand the first trilogy. There was a reason Indiana Jones rode off into the sunset in The Last Crusade. The 4th indy film was unneeded and honestly didn’t make a good use of the franchise anyway. I’m looking forward to a Star wars movie that makes good use of the franchise. I want new characters to follow in a completly brand new trilogy. Its not hard. Disney just needs to find what made the series great in the first place. Movies often turn out bad because the creators pull punches to make it the “best” for the audience. A movie has to be a labor of love by everybody involved with it. I have faith that this new trilogy can be great. Make it happen Disney.
Okay, I can’t help but pipe up on this. Rant mode engaged. Here are the problems with this acquisition:
1. George Lucas is still involved. The deal retains him as a “creative consultant,” which means Lucas is more than likely to exert plenty of creative control over the development of the new trilogy. We all know what a festering heap of CGI-saturated, narratively incompetent, intellectually trite slog the prequel trilogy turned out to be, so don’t delude yourselves into thinking that Lucas is entirely out of the picture. He isn’t.
2. Disney is no better than Lucas. Many people claim Disney managed to reinvigorate the Marvel universe with the release of the Avengers following their acquisition of Marvel, but (and this is an unpopular opinion to be sure) The Avengers was astronomically overrated. There’s no doubt it sold well and there’s no doubt this new trilogy will fare well at the box office, but as Andrei Tarkovsky once said, “Cinema is an unhappy art because it is dependent upon money.” Given Hollywood’s status as an industry, a film’s success is often evaluated on the basis of profit rather than quality. When Disney churns out this trilogy, they won’t be thinking of reinvigorating the Star Wars universe with whatever inkling of artistic integrity the original trilogy may have had (not very much); they’ll be thinking of every dollar bill they can and will end up milking out of this franchise. If that means pandering the the legions upon legions of rabid Star Wars fans in order to squeeze out a few extra dimes, rest assured they will do it. Maybe that’s what you want, but it won’t be genuine; it’ll be just another cash-grab from Disney. Hell, that sort of pandering doesn’t even result in a quality product. People thought The Avengers was good because they confused somewhat witty banter for a quality script, orchestrated effects work for impressive visuals, and a group of good-looking actors, a ravishing femme fatale, and Samuel L. Jackson for a stellar cast. What they really got was a script that appeared to be clever, another bland barrage of Hollywood CGI, a monumental list of cliches (who would have guessed the final battle would take place in *Manhattan* of all places?), a good-looking cast that cruised disinterestedly through the film with sub-par performances because there was a hefty paycheck waiting at the end, and Samuel L. Jackson, who manages to be badass in even the most atrocious movies. It was basically Transformers with superheros instead of robots — not as blatantly or insultingly stupid as Transformers but every bit as shallow. Disney will do the same thing with this new Star Wars trilogy — just another disinterested venture that panders to the lowest common denominator they possibly can. Every single idiot will line up come release night garbed in Stormtrooper armor and Jedi robes, practically throwing their money into the ticket booth with reckless abandon. This isn’t going to be a reinvigoration of the Star Wars franchise; it’ll just be beating a dying horse that should have died long, long ago (in a galaxy far, far away).
3. My real qualm isn’t even the fact that Star Wars is now owned by Disney; my qualm is that another Star Wars movie is being made. Even if another studio acquired the rights to the franchise and intended to release this new trilogy, the end result would still be the same — a shallow, lifeless endeavor at milking out a profit that completely disregards any notion of artistic innovation or artistic integrity. It represents the bastardization of a franchise that has already been butchered beyond repair. Enough damage was done with that intolerable prequel trilogy. At this point, everything that was fresh and innovative and imaginative about the original trilogy has been entirely exhausted by the slew of sequels and spin-offs. Hell, Star Wars didn’t even have a particularly original plot in the first place; it regurgitated the same monomyth story structure that we’ve all seen and heard a thousand times before, but it had technical mastery, interesting lore, and sheer spectacle working for it upon its release in the 1970’s. It was just one of moments of pop culture brilliance that effectively altered an entire cultural consciousness. But this… this needs to stop. Nay, it needs to die. Yeah, you heard me: the production of Star Wars needs to die. At this point it’s just another tawdry cash-grab that undermines any artistic merit the saga may have had in the first place. The original trilogy at least had allegorical interpretation working for it, and the effects work at the time was unprecedented, but by perpetuating this godforsaken franchise it only ensures that the most popular movies will continue to be the crappy ones. We wonder why Hollywood never puts out anything original anymore; it’s because we keep paying for the same tired crap.