I’m pretty sure that if you are reading this site, than you have certainly already learned about Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm. And I’m equally sure that you had all kinds of knee jerk reactions to it.
I’ll be honest; my first reaction to the story was “this has to be a hoax.”
After that it became; “what are the details of the deal”
So to be thorough, here is what I understand the deal to be. The Walt Disney Company has purchased Lucasfilm outright for $4.05 billion in cash and shares of Disney stock. The result of deal means that Disney now owns all Lucasfilm properties and subsidiaries.
Let’s just take a moment to look at what that includes.
- Star Wars
- Indiana Jones
- American Graffiti
- The Secret of Monkey Island
- Grim Fandango
- Maniac Mansion
- Industrial Light & Magic
- Skywalker Sound
- Lucasfilm Animation
Disney has been clear that their primary interest in this deal is the Star Wars property, but let’s faces it Indiana Jones is not small potatoes. Also they now have the Secret of Monkey Island, a game that was inspired in part by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which turned around and inspired the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Who doesn’t want to see Guybrush Threepwood meet Jack Sparrow?
Of course all of this has led to the inevitable fannish reaction. “Oh God, Disney has bought Star Wars, they are going to water it down and make it suck.”
Yeah, about that.
I heard the same thing a few years ago. Only it was “Oh God, Disney has bought Marvel, they are going to water it down and make it suck.”
And what was the result of that deal. Well we saw it back in May, it was called The Avengers.
Look, not everything Disney does is watered down family fare. They own Pixar and people are disappointed if one of their movies is only really good. They produce Once Upon a Time on ABC which is good subversion of their own fairy tale properties. Disney does not buy up properties and then just “disneyify” them
In fact this is probably the best news we can get as Star Wars fans.
The lament since the prequels came out is that Lucas, while the visionary who created the universe, is not necessarily the best person to Shepard it. Well now he is just in a consultant role, and other people will be developing the next movies. And we are getting the next movies. Part of this deal is the confirmation that the next trilogy is going to happen, which was not the case prior to it.
Another possibility that a lot of people are excited about is the idea that Disney will give us what we have been asking to have for years now, the original trilogy rereleased in its original theatrically form. This means we may finally see Han shoot first in blue-ray.
Not that there isn’t problems. 20th Century Fox owns the distribution rights to the entire film franchise until 2020, and for the original Star Wars the hold the rights forever. But all that means is that there is a deal to be made. Disney has had similar issues with Paramount over the Marvel movies and made it work.
Another reason this should not be so shocking is that there is already so much integration between Disney and Lucas. If you go to Disneyland or Walt Disney World there are rides for both Star Wars and Indiana Jones. There is also a live audience interaction show called the Jedi Academy. On top of that there is plenty of merchandise for both franchises in the parks. So this means that Disney does not need to worry about renewing those licenses any more.
So I say let’s all chill out, take a deep breath, and see where this new turn of events takes us.
(Note to self, write article about fan rage)
(Yes I meant that note to be public)