“Disney Purchases LucasArts… Episode VII in 2015”
That was the headline that turned my fandom upside-down. I lit up with excitement and immediately started talking to everyone I knew about it. While I am sure this is just one of many reaction articles I will write, I wanted to share some of my initial thoughts based on this one simple headline. This article is not going to be about speculation and what-if’s… it’s just a reaction to what we have already heard.
Let’s break it down, piece by piece.
What a great start! Disney is a great company that always provides high-quality entertainment for all ages. They are at the top of their craft, and there are few companies that have the enduring success of Disney. Specifically:
- Disney is great at being creative- ask anyone how they feel about Disney movies and you will find almost universal appreciation.
- Disney is great about fan experiences- there’s a reason that when people say “You’ve just won a million dollars… what are you going to do next?” and the answer is “I’m going to Disneyland!”.
- Disney is great at making things that are relevant to the entire family- watching a great Disney movie is enjoyable for kids and parents alike!
- Disney is great at managing brands- few characters are as carefully protected and beloved by all as Mickey and the Gang.
As George has been quoted as saying “When I first made Star Wars, everybody said, “This is a movie Disney should have made”. I couldn’t agree more that if Disney had been involved from the beginning, they would have played a great and welcome role. Them coming on board at this point will be just as successful!
There are two great things that come to mind when I think about Disney purchasing LucasArts. The first is that this is something that Disney has been successful with in the past. When looking objectively at Disney’s purchase of Marvel and of Pixar… They have done a great job managing and expanding those brands.
The second is that it doesn’t mean that LucasArts is being dismantled or destroyed. When Disney purchased Marvel, comic book fans were terrified. What did it mean for the writing teams? What did it mean for Stan Lee’s role as the Yoda of comics? What would happen to the individual franchises?
If the result of Disney’s takeover of Marvel (at least in the movies side) is The Avengers, then Star Wars fans have NOTHING to worry about. That movie was widely heralded by fans and reviewers alike as a top-tier superhero movie. If that is the quality and love that Disney brings to its newly acquired companies, we are lucky to be moving to their camp.
It’s very difficult to write about this part without going into my hopes and fears and without rampant speculation. All I can say is that as a Star Wars fan, I am SO excited that these films are being made. Knowing that there are more movies on the horizon just gets me all the more enthusiastic about the Galaxy I love the most (No offense, Milky Way). It means that there are more secrets to be revealed, more characters to meet and more adventures to be had.
As a huge fan of the EU (again, not going into hopes and fears here) I appreciate the richness of the universe George has created for us. It is so simple in its approach to good vs evil and yet so complex in its understanding of human (and bothan and barabel and wookiee…) nature and how complex individuals will always exist, even in a simple world. Even if they aren’t what YOU or I want them to be, the more stories we get the better our fandom is. I believe this with all of my heart!
Okay, I’m breaking my own rule and going off on wild speculation here. Why was this announcement made now? Why did the sale go through at all?
Most importantly, how come a franchise that has asked its fans to wait 15+ years is announcing something to be released in 3 years?
I think (Actually think, not only hope) the answer is that the IDEA came before the SALE. The one thing that makes the most sense to me is that someone came up with a brilliant idea for Episode VII, probably not knowing if it would even be possible to make. I think that the idea was SO GREAT that it convinced Disney that it was worth… I don’t know… maybe… FOUR BILLION (with a B) DOLLARS!
A single movie would not be enough to prompt this, but an idea that is good enough to jumpstart an entire revival would be!
Then that idea was good enough to convince the Maker himself that now was the time to entrust his coddled, nursed and protected baby to another. As much as we like to bash George’s love of money, he really does love his universe as well. I don’t think he would sell it if he didn’t have a real reason to believe it would be treated well. The rumors that the majority of the profits will be donated to charity further reinforces this point.
I truly believe that all of this is happening because the idea was crafted and that the idea was good enough to make it worth it for all parties from all directions. An idea that is good enough to ensure that it was smart business to invest 4 billion dollars (still with a b) and also an idea that is good enough for George to pass along his life’s work.
An idea that powerful has me so excited for what is to come!
Mitchell is a Star Wars fan and a generally Hoopy Frood. He enjoys everything Sci-Fi and Fantasy but always comes back to the Galaxy Far, Far Away. Whether he’s defending the Prequel Trilogy, recommending different starting points for the EU or playing the newest games, Mitchell always looks for ways to bring his fandom to his family and friends.