|Image by Paolo Rivera|
Holy. Crap. This is huge.
In their bid to own the half of the world not already claimed by Google, Disney now owns LucasFilm, the giant media conglomerate (emphasis on glom) founded by George Lucas. They paid a hefty $4.05 billion for it. Yeah, I said BILLION. That's an unimaginable number to you and me, but it probably cleaned out less than a square foot of one of Disney's Scrooge McDuck-like money bins.
Kudos to Lucas I guess for holding out for an additional $.05 billion.
In addition to the Star Wars franchise, Disney also now owns Indiana Jones, Willow and even Howard the Duck-- anything produced under the LucasFilm banner. They also own the LucasArts video game company, and special effects studio Industrial Light and Magic.
Disney wasted no time in announcing they're starting work on a new series of Star Wars movies, which will likely take place after Return Of The Jedi. So for the record we started with movies 4, 5 and 6, then moved to 1, 2 and 3, and are now probably going to get 7, 8 and 9.
I find myself curiously unconcerned about this whole announcement. If I was forced to come up with an opinion I suppose it would be, "I guess Disney can't screw up Star Wars any worse than Lucas did."
I was a huge Star Wars fan ever since I saw the first film in the theater way back in 1977. The Original Trilogy of films fired up my imagination unlike anything before or since and I greedily consumed every bit of info and merchandise I could that related to the movies.
Then came the awful Prequel films which pretty much stomped out any enthusiasm I had for the franchise. So I find myself not really caring much about the situation one way or the other.
There is one small hope in all this-- maybe now that Lucas is out of the picture we'll finally get proper DVD releases of the ORIGINAL theatrical versions of the Original Trilogy-- you know, the ones Lucas says no longer exist-- instead of the tarted up Special Editions he keeps picking at like scabs.
I'm honestly at a loss as to where they could take the storyline of the next series of films. Darth Vader's dead. The Emperor's dead. The Empire is most likely dead, or at least dying. The second Death Star is gone. So what's left? Three films about galactic senators passing bills designed to rebuild the Republic? Han and Leia raising a family? Lando and Chewie starting up a nightclub in Jabba's old palace?
I know there are many, many novels out there set after Return Of The Jedi that detail what happens after. I read one or two and was honestly bored to death by them. It seems like anything they do will be about as exciting as the several hundred pages of material Tolkein wrote after the destruction of the One Ring in Lord Of The Rings. I just don't see where you can go once your hero defeats the enemy and saves the world.
Who knows though, maybe Disney will surprise us and hire competent writers and directors and recapture what made the Original Trilogy great. I ain't holding my breath though.