Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A New Hope for the Walt Disney Empire and Star Wars

So George Lucas just sold Star Wars to Disney for $4 Billion and they are planning to film Episodes VII, VIII, and IX

A few thoughts:

1.  George Lucas has earned his retirment from the Star Wars universe.  He has given us endless hours of wonder and excitement.  There were lots of problems with the prequel trilogy, but with that done he has finished the story he set out to tell.

2.  Under new management, Disney will infuse some fresh blood into the franchise.  And it is a franchise that is still going very strong.  The Clone Wars cartoon show alone shows that there are still lots of great and fun stories to tell in this universe.  And because they are spending so much money on it, Disney should be very careful with this property in order to make it lucrative.

3.  I have thought about it a lot, and I HATE the idea of doing another Star Wars Trilogy.  Episodes I-VI cover the rise, fall, and redemption of Anakin Skywalker.  If they had done another trilogy 20 years ago, it would have made more sense.  Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire Trilogy might be the best of the Expanded Universe stories.  But those take place about 5 years after Return of the Jedi.  I don't see how they can connect the last trilogy unless they turn Luke into an Obi-Wan character and start a new generation.

4.  IF they have to do it, Disney should turn to the PIXAR writers.  They are some of the best storytellers in the industry today and if they can't unlock the secret to making another trilogy, no one can.

5.  If older fans were disappointed that the prequels were more juvenille than The Empire Strikes Back, then they will hate what will happen with the future of the franchise.  Disney's audience is children.  They have the little girl market locked up with the Disney Princesses.  Now with Marvel and Star Wars, they are trying to shape the tastes of the boy market.  They would be stupid to try and please older fans over younger ones, since they are the future consumers.  They can make entertainment aimed at children, but enjoyable by adults (again, see PIXAR), but Disney will never forget what side it's bread is buttered on.

6.  We should be able to buy Star Wars toys at the Disney Store soon.  In fact, I'm hoping (though not expecting) an overhaul of their toy division.  For the past 5 years they have been recycling the same old action figures in different casings for higher prices.  Now, they have an opportunity to expand its line for more diversity.  I'm personally hoping for a shift to 6.5 inch scale figures.

7.  Disney World needs to either create a whole section of the the park dedicated to Star Wars (no counting Star Tours) and/or create a Star Wars themed Disney resort.  Could you imagine going to dinner at the Mos Eisley Cantina or sleeping in an Ewok Village themed room?

8.  Speaking of Disney Princesses, does this mean that they can now add Princess Leia and Padme Amidala to their collection?

9.  I wouldn't be surprised if they did a cartoon where Iron Man fights Darth Vader.

So all in all, I am cautiously optimistic.  You would think that Catholic Skywalker would be more enthusiastic, but I need to see the plan before I get on board. 

There are so many creative people who have wanted to have a hand in shaping the cannonical Star Wars universe.  Now it's time for them to step up and give us the Star Wars we've been waiting for.

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