Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reel Facts & Opinions: Disney buys Lucasfilm


FACT: In one of the most stunning moves made this side of the Outer Rim Territories, Disney has announced that it has purchased Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and stock. Kathleen Kennedy will be promoted to President while answering to the current Disney chair, Alan Horn.
On top of that, the studio is targeting 2015 for a seventh (!) STAR WARS film.

Kathleen Kennedy, who has worked closely with George Lucas on the INDIANA JONES series, will serve as the brand manager for STAR WARS and executive producer on further STAR WARS films. Lucas will serve as a creative consultant.
OPINION: First of all, the year of 2015 is shaping up to be a monster of a year, with AVENGERS 2, JUSTICE LEAGUE, and now STAR WARS EPISODE VII on the docket. But besides that…

As shocking as it is, this move makes good sense for the future of Lucasfilm and the STAR WARS brand. The last Lucasfilm feature, RED TAILS (2011) was a critical and financial disaster, the planned STAR WARS live-action TV series has been stuck in development for over five years (citing budget problems), and George Lucas himself has expressed interest in pursuing endeavors outside of filmmaking.
Lucasfilm will change forever after this move, which is why it makes perfect sense for the buyer to be Disney; a studio which has also changed dramatically in less than a decade.  Originally founded in the kiddie-film business, the Mouse House has branched out with Oscar-winning Pixar films, and most recently, taken control of the Marvel Movie Universe; the latter move which produced this year’s THE AVENGERS, one of this year’s best-reviewed films and top box-office draw world-wide.

The future of STAR WARS will be the interesting journey. Since the sixth film (third episode in the timeline), the franchise has branched out sideways (timeline-wise) with animated films and various video games, but there has never been any inkling that there was more story to tell post RETURN OF THE JEDI. Although Lucas and Kennedy have a great friendship and working relationship, there has to be some kind of concern over what can possibly be next for that universe which seemingly reached the end of its journey. What kind of a threat will our heroes (new or old) face? Will it be a lesser threat than what was faced in Episodes 1-6, which will in effect make EPISODE VII seem like a smaller film? Or will it be a bigger threat than that dreaded Empire which will then diminish the heroics of our beloved Rebel Alliance? Content will be king here, and story will be everything.
Still, there is a lot to be excited about. The right people are in the right places doing the right things; Lucas gets to tell his stories from a distance, Kennedy gets to make the right things happen, and Disney gets to inject some of its Pixar/AVENGERS magic (Joss Whedon, who directed AVENGERS, has had a lifelong dream to direct a STAR WARS film) into a franchise which has been sputtering over the past decade. Besides that, a new generation of STAR WARS fans will get to discover that universe with new light and energy. The Twin Suns are looking bright.

What say you?

No comments:

Post a Comment

A few rules:
1. Personal attacks not tolerated.
2. Haters welcome, if you can justify it.
3. Swearing is goddamn OK.