There was a prophecy that one would come and bring balance to the Force…and it’s the Mouse House?? Yup, this is straight from the source and you’re not dreaming. Disney has really bought Lucasfilm. Wow, still having trouble believing what I’m writing. To the tune of 4 billion dollars Disney, as well as Kathleen Kennedy, will now be in creative control of the characters from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Here’s the statement from Lucas:
“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. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, ‘Star Wars’ will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”
But that mind blowing headline isn’t even half of the news. This deal is the staring point to bring, wait for it, Episode VII to screens sometime in 2015 (just in time to go head to head with two little ensemble films called The Avengers 2 and Justice League) and one film every 2-3 years after that. Disney took a huge gamble with Marvel back in 2007, but everything that led up to the The Avengers has been a success so they (with Kathleen Kennedy on board) seem confident they can do it again, this time taking on the whole Empire themselves.
But this news is open to interpretation, speculation and a whole lot of fan boy dreams. There are decades worth of expanded universe source material to draw from this next chapter in a new saga. Will it be borrowed and picked at like a buffet? Or perhaps something entirely new (spoiler: fat chance of that). One cannot chose but wonder what we’ll get in 2015 but I can faintly hear millions of voices cry out, in joy, at the prospect of thinking we’re one step closer to Timothy Zahn‘s Thrawn trilogy.
Lucas taking the veritable back seat opens up all kinds of possibilities and will allow for tons of fresh ideas from new numerous creative minds, not just Lucas. Sure this sin’t the first time the Mouse House and Sir Skywalker have come to the table. They have had a good relationship in the past (what with Star Tours, the Indy Stunt show, etc. being long standing staples at the theme park) but it’s going to be exciting how combining the appeal of Star Wars with the marketing power of Disney works in both their favors. Lucas had it right, “Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”
But again the biggest news is Episode VII. 2015 does seem sooo far out but really it’s a little over 2 years away. That’s not very long when it comes to substantial world building and CG heavy films. Between this and work being started for Phase 2 of the Marvel Universe (which includes Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014), 2015 is going to be a huge year that will give us The Avengers 2, Justice League and now Episode VII. There’s lots to look forward to but the studios are going to have a lot of work to create something that will meet (let alone beat) fan expectations. I don’t envy the creative talents (writers, animators, modelers, set designers, et al) charged with bringing this to life, but still, “I have a [good] feeling about this“. What about you??