Disney Buys Lucasfilm, prepares for a new Star Wars film

Well, this was quite unexpected:

In a move sure to shock fans of the Mouse House and George Lucas, the Walt Disney Company said Tuesday it has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in cash and stock. The company also announced that it is prepping Star Wars: Episode 7 for release in 2015.

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” Lucas, the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm, said in a press release announcing the acquisition. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers.”

With the acquisition, Disney adds one of the world’s most enduring — and most profitable — sci-fi franchises to its ever-expanding stable. Disney, which has grown from humble animation company to massive media brand, successfully roped in Pixar in 2006 and bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009 (also for a $4 billion price tag). Buying Lucasfilm, Iger said, was in line with the Marvel acquisition: The move essentially means Disney has cornered the market on superhero and sci-fi/fantasy films.

I am a bit of a Star Wars fan, and while I tolerate the prequels (the lightsaber battles are very awesome), I think Disney will do a worse job. I cannot help but feel that George Lucas gave into the dark side on this. He did walk away with a couple of billion dollars, however, for a man who prided himself on total control over his work, it is a shame to see him giving it away like this.

This was a smart business move for Disney, but I think it was a smarter gender politics move. That was part of the reason they bought Marvel. Disney has struggled to win over a male audience, particularly boys. Most of their programming is geared towards girls, so acquiring Marvel gave them a chance to finally appeal to boys. Star Wars allows them to appeal to men and boys alike, and it given how hardcore many Star Wars fans are, it will be difficult, no matter how much they hate the empire known as Disney, to abandon their first love.

There is, however, a small plus: the next Kingdom Hearts game may officially include Luke Skywalker. For those who do not know, Tetsuya Nomura, the director of KH, specially requested Mark Hamill as the voice actor for Master Eraqus, the man who trains the key blade wielders, because the wielders are kind of like Jedi. Now he can just use Jedi. I must admit I would love to see a lightsaber key blade.

But otherwise, this is quite disconcerting.

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8 thoughts on “Disney Buys Lucasfilm, prepares for a new Star Wars film

  1. I was shocked. But really, Lucas so thoroughly destroyed my childhood, i can’t expect Disney to do worse unless they re-release Star Wars the Disney Special Edition where Tinkerbell is in the Cantina, and Mickey n Minney lead the Ewoks in the assault on Endor.

    I wonder what will happen to LucasArts? Is that a separate company?

  2. I wonder what will happen to LucasArts? Is that a separate company?

    No, it is all part of LucasFilm. Disney will likely shut it down or merge it with its own studio.

  3. I cannot understand this prequel hate, especially from red-pill guys. The prequel series is much more deeper and insightful. We see the story of a young man getting corrupted because of his deep attachment to the feminine, oneitis and a lack of respect for authoroty, likely caused by his own fatherlessness. We see a realistic process of the birth of a dictatorship. We see how evil acts as a white knight fighting lesser evil to gain power later. Due to this move I have gained insight on how Hitler created Nazi Germany, how Lenin created Communist Russia and how USA is being turned to a fascist socialist state right now. These movies are perfect mirrors of a Zeitgeist it was created under. Also the fact that these serious insights are entertaining at the same time with great battle scenes and special effects is commendable.

    “So this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause” – that is best quote I have heard from a Holywood movie ever. More actual now than ever.

    Sorry but I consider prequel episodes to be superior to the original movies by far. The original movies were for little boys. The prequel movies were already for men who grew up from those boys. The reason why you were disappointed was probably because you wanted to return to your childhood trough these movies and tried to watch them as boys not men. Sorry, but its impossible to step into the same river twice.

    But still from some reason I am sceptical that Dysney will do better. What I fear the most is a female main hero, patriarchal villains and Hollywood getting more feminist in general.

  4. Not to mention that Padme’s haircuts were much more pleasant than those of Leia. Leia was horrible, the only instance where she looked attractive was when she was in the same screen as Jabba the Hutt. I disliked her character and still think it would have been better if Jabba had used her and then eaten her.

  5. Mage, the prequels could have been much better if Lucas had focused more on Anakin’s fall from grace. Anakin is never really shown being a hero or trying to do good except for Episode I. In the other two, he comes across as bratty, irritating, and unlikable. He is arrogant and overconfident, and he should be because of his strength in the Force, but we never get to see any good reason for it. That is how a failed hero’s journey is supposed to work. The hero is supposed to try to do good before turning evil, yet we never see Anakin really try. Even in Episode III when he tells Mace who the Sith Lord is, just ten minutes later he chops off Mace’s hand and turns to the dark side. Just minutes after that he kills a room full of kids (Ironically, that does not make him cry. He does not cry until he kills the aliens about ten minutes after that.)

    The same with the fall of the Republic. We never see why the Trade Federation is trying to take over or just how much their activities have impacted the Republic. Episode I could get away with that because it was just the set up, but the other two films should have shown just why having Palpatine in control was so bad. We already know why it is supposed to be bad, but the characters do not, and we should have been shown. The Clone Wars show and the books do a much better job of explaining that.

    If the prequels were meant for men, then they should have approached the subject matter in an adult manner.

    I doubt Disney will feminize Star Wars. Winning over a male audience was part of their reason for buying LucasFilm, so it would not make much sense to annoy the fans by playing gender politics. Of over, I have a feeling that if Disney makes new movies, they will probably ignore all the novels, and then you might see them play that game.

  6. Honestly, I’m not terribly upset by this. I didn’t get up and arms over the prequels for one thing (although yes Anakin’s whininess in Ep 2 was very annoying… and his sweating.)

    But, the fact is, Disney aquired Marvel and for the most part it seems to be business as usual over there. (Near as I can tell, anyway.) I think that after the Pixar debacle, Disney has learned not to fix what ain’t broken.

    Plus, George Lucas probably just wanted to retire. I can’t say I blame him, really.

    I too share your desire for a Star Wars world in Kingdom Hearts though… not gonna lie. (I also would not neccessarily object to a marvel world either >.> )

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