Mickey Mouse Now Has the Force: Disney Buys Lucasfilm

Disney has just expanded their galactic empire and George Lucas has added 4 billion to his bank account.

Disney is an entertainment juggernaut, and I'm now convinced by 2030, they will own every entertainment entity known to man.  They bought ABC, Pixar, and Marvel, and now they can have Goofy play with a light saber.

I'm sure there is a fanboy somewhere moaning about the Disneyfication of the Star Wars universe, but it is time to be realistic.  This is a very, very, very good thing if you're a Star Wars junkie.  You just have to look at the Marvel films, and realize the Disney connection has probably helped them become blockbuster spectacles.

Disney knows how to make glossy, mainstream spectacles that are fun and entertaining, and makes the masses salivate and want to gobble them up.  The ownership of Pixar and Marvel hasn't done anything to harm those properties, but has just made Disney several billion dollars richer.  I'm sure they'll use some of those billions to eventually buy Warner Brothers or Nintendo.

So, why is the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm something every Star Wars fan should be incredibly giddy about?

First of all, it means that George Lucas no longer owns the franchise.  Most fans are still moaning about how Lucas crapped the bed with the prequel trilogy.  Those films are the strongest living proof that Lucas shouldn't write and direct.  Plus this means that we hopefully will be saved the 10th overhaul and Special Edition of the original trilogy.

I want to be clear that George Lucas is a visionary and the most influential figure for the last 35 years in cinema.  He revolutionized the technological end of film, and brought some of the greatest innovation to film.  The man was a genius when it came to how you see a film.  He also is responsible for creating one of the most beloved universes ever.  Star Wars was my childhood, and I watched those movies close to a hundred times each.  I couldn't get enough of them.  It's fun to moan and bitch about the recent trilogy and Lucas's constant meddling in the original films, but he is still the only reason those films actually exist.

I am eternally thankful to George Lucas, and I hope he enjoys his extra 4 billion.  But I am also happy that George Lucas is now relinquishing the universe to other filmmakers.

The fact is that there would never be another Star Wars film if George Lucas was the sole owner of the property.  He has taken a beating from fanboys for the last decade, and he has made it clear he doesn't want to create any more films because of that.  Star Wars was sentenced to being a video game and toy property for the rest of eternity.  Then Disney saw billions of dollar signs in the series, and bought Lucasfilm for the right to make more movies.

We didn't really need an announcement that there would be an Episode 7 after the sale.  Why else would they have bought the company?  The only real property is Star Wars, and it isn't like they need more toys or video games.  They want a huge brand name to makes huge blockbusters.  Star Wars is arguable the biggest brand name of the past 3 decades.

But is it damaged goods?

I don't think so.  I disliked the prequel trilogy, and still got giddy with the promise of an Episode 7 in 2015.  Plus kids loved the prequel trilogy, and the movies still made a ridiculous amount of cash.  Plus old fanboys are still nostalgic about that universe and characters, and their beef was more with Lucas.  The promise of someone new playing around is likely to give hope -- a new hope, even.

This is why I am excited.  Lucas was a visionary when it came to building a film experience thanks to sound and special effects.  He couldn't write or direct.  Now, Disney is going to hand over one of the most majestic and popular universes of all time to someone who is a competent writer and director.  Or at least, I assume that is the plan.

Disney currently has a deal with Joss Whedon to write and direct the next Avengers.  Why not then dangle the Star Wars universe in front of him when he is done?  Is anyone else wetting their pants with excitement over a possible Whedon scripted Star Wars film?  A Star Wars film with strong dialogue and a cohesive narrative?  Yeah, that is pretty much the awesome.  And you all know it.

I realize it is unlikely Whedon will do the first film.  They want to release for 2015, and he is pretty busy with other Marvel properties at the moment.  You still have a good chance that Disney will deliver the Star Wars films to the Marvel Studios, and allow their creative to make some magic.  All of the Marvel films have been successful, and most of them have been pretty fun and easy to watch.  They already know how to make action packed and loud event films.  This is exactly what Star Wars needs to be.

Disney now owns Star Wars, and trust me this is awesome.  Even if you want to complain now, after you see the first Episode 7 trailer in two years or so, I'm pretty sure you'll be lining up for a ticket.

Star Wars was magic for my childhood.  I admit I am pretty thrilled that my son can grow up in a world where new Star Wars films are being made.  I am already making plans to take him to the theatre to watch the newest trilogy.

Disney, let force be with you.