First things first – this is not the hate you’re looking for.
Very recently people have been frothing at the mouth and getting themselves raged into a stupor over a single piece of news. No, people aren’t angry at the destruction caused in the wake of Hurricane Sandy – that would make sense – no, instead they’re angry about the imaginary damage done to their childhood that Disney have just (not actually) caused, after acquiring LucasFilm for a paltry $4.05 billion. Pocket change!
I was initially, a little surprised by this revelation. It was definitely something I wasn’t expecting, but ultimately I feel that it’s a pretty positive sign. However, the response from the large amount of people who don’t know anything has been overwhelmingly negative. Me thinks the lady doth protest too much.
Disney are one of the top three film studios in Hollywood and they have proven over time that they care about the films they make. They’re a business first and foremost, but they also offer strong support to the people who make their films and afford artists a certain amount of flexibility in their approach. Every huge company have films in their pantheon that aren’t of the highest quality, (and there are thousands of variables as to why that may be the case, not all of them Disney’s direct fault) but overall I would say that Disney‘s track record is extremely strong.
Bear in mind that when a lot of people hear “Disney” they think of Mickey Mouse et al, which is fine and shows the strength of the brand; though it completely negates all the other great work that Disney does with Pixar, Marvel, ABC, ESPN and Touchstone Pictures. Those who complain that Disney will “ruin” Star Wars (really guys? Really? What year is it?), probably don’t realize that Disney have produced a number of great movies that aren’t related to the famous Disney characters.
It seems to be in people’s nature to throw their toys out of the pram at every given opportunity. Look back seven years and you’ll see everything moaning that “they let some weird British guy who did Memento make a Batman film” (hard to believe Christopher Nolan wasn’t always a huge name isn’t it?), or the complaints about Disney acquiring Marvel at a time where people feared that the comic book movie genre had already become over-saturated. For my money, Disney’s work with Marvel has been nothing short of phenomenal and they have made significant steps towards the general public taking comic books seriously again. Disney gave Marvel the clout it needed to embark on the most ambitious stage of their career and business thus far, and so far that relationship has worked splendidly, and seemingly, with Phase Two on the horizon, it looks set to continue this overwhelmingly positive trend.
So, Star Wars. What year are we in again? Oh, that’s right. 2012. Star Wars no longer has any ties to quality. There is nothing left to ruin. Seriously. The original films will always exist, despite Lucas‘ best efforts to eradicate them. You can’t ruin something that’s already been and gone, it’ll forever remain in the hearts and minds of the fans. Beyond that though, Star Wars‘ reputation is in tatters. The prequels got progressively worse, and any decent ideas they may have had were squandered due to terrible story telling and direction. George Lucas is a good guy everyone. He’s a businessman that loves Star Wars very much, but he’s confused about how to convey that. Right now, all LucasFilm is making are more merchandise and constant spin off’s associated with “The Clone Wars“. There’s only so much mileage that will give you, and I think if he makes another edit of the original trilogy he’ll be assassinated.
Understandably, that leaves him a little stuck as to what to do next and the guy is getting old, not to mention he’s now running his own philanthropic projects. So, Lucas has made probably the best decision possible. He’s sold LucasFilm to Disney, and considering he owns 100% of LucasFilm, he’s now about $4 billion better off. Two good things have come out of this:
1. George Lucas has confirmed that most of the money will go towards his philanthropic endeavours, namely towards bettering education.
2. More Star Wars films are on the way, because Disney are going to make another trilogy! Just to confirm, this cannot get any worse than what has happened previously, but it can get a whole lot better.
Disney work with a wealth of great talent, and I can guarantee there are many great filmmakers who would kill to get their chance to play with the Star Wars universe and create their own stories. There is a wealth of content beyond the six films drawn from the litany of comic books and novels published about the universe, so there really are no limits. I think this is an incredibly exciting time for Star Wars‘ fans, as we may finally see a new, good Star Wars film come out. Isn’t that what everyone wants?
Star Wars: Episode VII is pencilled in for 2015, which means that we’ll no doubt hear more Star Wars news very, very soon. My friends! Dispel your negativity! You may end up being pleasantly surprised!
The only hurdle they’ll have to overcome though is recasting everyone. It’s something the fans will have to get over, or they’ll have to find a way around it, but whatever the solution is, as of now I have faith… though I don’t envy them in the slightest. The wrath of the super fan can be ugly.
One last thing; for those paying attention you’ll also be aware that Marvel‘s Phase Two will be culminating with the release of The Avengers 2 on May 1st 2015. That, combined with a new Star Wars film basically confirms that Disney will crush the competition in 2015. I imagine right about now Warner Brothers is hastily trying to glue together that Justice League movie they can’t seem to find the testicular fortitude to greenlight. The acquisition of LucasFilm by Disney is an incredibly smart and ambitious business move.
Can you guess what Disney‘s business depends on most? The film being of a high standard, so that you’ll watch it not just once, but again, and again, and again, like everybody did with The Avengers, causing it to break box office records all over the world.
So, relax guys. Everything will be fine. This is good news.