On October 30, 2012, the Walt Disney Company announced their purchase of Lucasfilm for more than $4 billion dollars.
So, what does this mean?
For George Lucas lovers, the news probably tied their stomach into knots, but for others, this may look like a step in the right direction.
The visionary private film and television production company that is responsible for the legendary Indiana Jones and Star Wars franchises, handed off their precious baby to a different owner. This shouldn’t have come as too much of a shock because the truth is that Disney and Lucasfilm are good ‘ole pals. They have collaborated on features in the past and with George Lucas’s announcement in January 2012 on his pending retirement from producing large-scale features, it seems as though this is perfect timing. You can’t blame the guy for wanting to move on to something else after thirty-five years.
This does not mean that Disney is going to stick mouse ears on Chewbacca or make up a Death Star “Ball of Terror” ride at its theme park. Yes, they have milked the franchise quite a bit over the past few years, but let’s not get too pessimistic here. New eyes are going to be looking through the lens of the camera and I am confident that Lucas wouldn’t hand over his beloved story of a galaxy far, far away into an unqualified director’s hands if he didn’t feel it was right.
For those who are still skeptical, remember that Disney has not messed up every movie they have produced. In 2010, Disney remade a film called Tron fantastically starring Jeff Bridges, Garrett Dedlund, and Olivia Wilde. More recently, Disney absolutely nailed it on The Avengers with Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson. And who could hate on their collaborations with Pixar film studios like Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Up, and The Incredibles.
According to starwars.com, the anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII will be released in 2015 along with two others to follow in the future. George Lucas explained that, “It is now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars would live beyond me and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I am confident that Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy (soon to take over George’s spot as CEO), and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come.”
Hang in there Star Wars fans because for Lucasfilm, Disney is now your father.
Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/edwick/8140124957/