In A Galaxy Far, Far Away… in 2015: Disney Buys Lucasfilm, Announces New Star Wars Filmon October 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm
We are still without Internet service here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office, thanks to that bitch Sandy, so all we can handle today is a brief, quick hit update, sent via my dwindling 4G plan, using my smartphone as a hotspot, hopefully before my cell provider becomes hip to my grievous violation of the terms of service of my contract.
Thankfully, that quick hit is about one of the biggest that could possibly occur in the world of genre geeks.
To wit: reportedly, Disney has bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas for 4.05 billion dollars.
Oh yeah: and Disney has announced they will be releasing a new Star Wars film in 2015.
So what the hell’s going on, George?
For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next… It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. 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.
On paper, this means that The Mouse now owns Star Wars and Indiana Jones, lock stock and barrel. And, with Disney’s purchase of Marvel a couple of years ago, it means that they also have a free and clear ownership of Howard The Duck! Morons.
Now, Disney has always had a relationship with George Lucas and Star Wars – I went to the Star Tours ride at Disneyland early enough to buy a sweatshirt reading “Star Wars: The First Ten Years” – but the question is whether Disney will be maintaining a relationship with Lucas. Specifically: will Lucas maintain any kind of veto power or creative control over Star Wars, or will Disney be free to bring in writers and directors who, you know, can write and direct?
Further, there are no particular details about what kind of Star Wars movie Disney is planning on making. There’s already the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated property that got one movie a few years ago. There’s the thriving Old Republic videogame property that could get the big screen treatment… and then there’s the long-ago promised Episodes 7, 8 and 9, which rumor had it were supposedly the plotlines behind the original Timothy Zahn series of novels back in the early 90s.
However, based on old interviews with people associated with Star Wars might also focus on the characters from the original trilogy when they were in their 70s, which would make now prime time to do those originally-conceived stories. Sure, Harrison Ford’s said that he’s done with playing Han Solo, but I think we established with Crystal Skull that, if there are enough zeroes on the check, he’ll do any damn thing you ask him to do. Hell, Disney could save the money Harrison needs by hiring Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, who will show up on set in exchange for the promise of a hot meal.
While there are obviously still a lot of questions around what this supposed new Star Wars movie is, there is one certainty: On Saturday at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con, it’ll be worth your Goddamned life to get within 100 yards of Hall H.
UPDATE, 8:45 p.m.: A video of George Lucas and current Co-Chair of Lucasfilm (and soon to be President under Disney) Kathleen Kennedy gives a few more tidbits to what might be forthcoming in the next Star Wars flick… including intimating that Disney has the possibility of going forward with Lucas’s original nine-film plan.
“I have story treatments for Episodes 7, 8 and 9,” Lucas said, as well as implying that he had treatments for additional stories beyond those films. Of course, given how the prequel trilogy played out, those additional stories might be about how the Republic Minority Whip bought Speaker Jar Jar a toad smoothie in exchange for three minutes to discuss Galactic Senate Resolution 2023: Levies on Moisture Farm Exports.
Lucas goes on to say that he’s looking forward to becoming just a regular old Star Wars fan, with Kennedy quipping to Lucas, “You can actually blog about what we’re doing and how we’re messing things up.” No, Kathleen; that’s our job. Don’t make your first act as Lucasfilm President be inciting the first copyright infringement suit against Lucasfilm…
..which brings up an interesting point: Lucasfilm was always very supportive of fan fiction based on its intellectual property. Whereas Disney? Sues day care centers for painting Mickey on their walls without paying The Mouse up front. I’m just saying: if you’re planning on investing your tax refund on a Stormtrooper suit to join the 501st? Consider a 401K instead.
(video via AVClub)