Thursday, November 01, 2012

Geek Crisis Over Lucasfilm

I have to talk about this because it is of the highest level of newsworthiness for geeks. My delay is because I am still uncertain on my feelings about the situation and I’m still processing the information.

Disney bought Lucasfilm.

Now the response has been pretty much one extreme or the other. “How could Lucas do this to us?!?!?!” to “Well, now Lucas won’t be able to f-up Star Wars anymore.”

Disney plans on producing Episode 7, to be released in 2015, with 8 and 9 following.

My answer from friends has been “if they follow the books, then it won’t be bad.” And then I said the two words they probably didn’t want to hear: John Carter. And they wept.

Because my friend’s responses from Facebook and random convos are so amazing, here are just a few gems:

“That’s going to make for some awesome levels in the next Kingdom Hearts.” (What would that one be called? Kingdom Hearts: Jedi Vengeance 29178/9?)

“Oh great. Another dancing game with Lando and Han. Just what we all need.”

“Princess Leia is now a Disney princess? My world has ended.”

“Whelp. No more bikini-clad Twi’liks. That’s not Disney friendly.”

“Anything is better than Jar-Jar.”

“…does this mean we can see Stitch and Yoda battle? :D”

Disney is currently holding ABC, MGM, Pixar, Marvel, and a load of other goodies that make it the mecha of the entertainment world. Lucasfilm and Disney have always held a pretty good relationship. Every year Disney World holds Star Wars events, there’s merchandising, and a bond that made it mutually beneficial to both companies.

Now here are the details of the purchase: The sale was for $4.05 billion. Not million. BILLION. Lucas will receive half of it in cash and the other half in stock, making him a major investor in Disney Co. Lucas will still stay on as a creative consultant and have his hands in Lucasfilm projects.

“It’s now time for me to pass ‘Star Wars’ on to a new generation of filmmakers,” Lucas said in the statement. “I’ve always believed that ‘Star Wars’ could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”

It’s an interesting sort of poetic irony in all of this that I think The People vs. George Lucas best describes. Papa George has finished his transformation into Darth Vader. The man who said he wouldn’t sell off his company or vision has done so. To Disney. Yeah. Disney. The most corporate of corporations. Really the Empire of the industry. Here is George Lucas, trying to break against the establishment, being a rebel, and creating the movies he wanted to make. In doing so, he became the business man that he never wanted to be. So sad and telling.

This transaction also means they get Industrial Light & Magic. More money for Disney! And can we say, theme park rides? Heck yeah. Because we need more reasons to go to Disney World/Land.

I’m torn. I really don’t know where to go with this. On the one hand, I understand that papa George is coming to the point in his life where he has to pass the reins on to someone else. I think we all assumed this would be happening to someone else within the Lucasfilm family. On the other, it’s Disney. They have really high hits and really high misses. Pixar was their saving grace for the longest time until they finally kicked back into gear with Tangled and their Marvel acquisition. So it’s possible that the new releases of Star Wars will be everything we have been wanting it to be. Or total crap. You don’t get a medium with Disney. You get one or the other.

And besides, no one can be Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Lando, and the rest of the crew. C-3PO and R2 were played by the same actors in all 6 movies, so it’s a safe bet they’ll keep going from 7-9. So what can they do with the story? I mean…/sigh. I’m just unsure of how to process all of this. I’m in a geek crisis!


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