Like a real-life game of Monopoly, Disney continues to acquire new properties. With the recent news release that that George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4.05 billion, Disney has big plans on expanding the beloved Star Wars franchise. Already in the planning stages of a seventh episode, Disney also announced that they will be making an episode 8 and 9 to be released over the course of the next several years. But there is more in the cards than just more movies. According to the Associated Press report, “Disney plans to make movies, games and TV shows and expand on “Star Wars” theme park attractions that are already present in parks in Anaheim, Calif., Orlando, Fla., Paris and Tokyo.” Which leaves fans both leery for the handling of the films (George Lucas will be a consultant) but excited about the potential for Disneyland level theme parks.
Just imagine, instead of Disneyland Paris, a Disneyland Tatooine. If anyone could pull this off, it would, alone, be Disney.
Lucas remaining as a consultant has lead some people to question what Lucas said in his interview with the New York Times, about never making another Star Wars film. But Lucas believes that he has stayed true to the statement, by letting others do the actual film making. Lucas’ trouble with Star Wars was no a lack of ideas or creativity, but with his own fan base, who criticized his cinematic choices. Lucas told the New York Times, “’Why would I make any more when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?’” So Lucas is passing on the torch to Disney, and his right hand woman, as another report on the topic says, “Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.” And as a feel-good bonus to this take over. All the current Lucasarts employees will get to keep their jobs.
I, like many other fans of the wonderful things to come out of Lucasarts (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Pixar just to name a few), am also fearing that in the next installment of a third Star Wars trilogy will result in Jar Jar Binks characters running around a Leia teaching young girls the importance of being pretty and waiting for someone to come along and change their lives for them. Simply replace magic with the force and it is entirely conceivable. On the other hand, the idea of Disneyland Alderan is a fascinating prospect.
All we can do is look at other companies that Disney has bought out, such as Marvel and Pixar (purchased from Steve Jobs, who purchased it from George Lucas in 1986) and shrug our shoulders, admitting that, at the very least, they haven’t ruined those names. It is my sincere hope that Disney will utilize Lucas’ creative consultation as well as stay in tuned with the mass following of fans. Disney does know how to cater to a specific audience, the only question now is if Disney realizes what kind of an audience they have purchased.
All images taken from Google.