In the midst of super-hurricanes and imminent presidential elections, a piece of entertainment news has surfaced: the Disney Corporation has purchased Lucasfilm. That’s right, by paying out over $4 billion, according to USA Today, Disney now owns the rights to “Star Wars,” and a new sequel is already underway.
I must admit, when I first heard the news I forgot that Disney did not already own the “Star Wars” property. After all, I have ridden the Star Wars-themed ride in Disney MGM Studios in Disney World, and down there they certainly acted like they already owned the brand. But that was then.
Now they actually do, and I’m sure that just one ride will no longer cut it when the company owns a brand that well-known.
This acquisition goes far beyond rides at an amusement park, though. A lot of “Star Wars” fans are very concerned about how Disney will treat the franchise’s now-inevitable return to the big screen. After all, Disney must surely be a big, heartless monolith of corporate greed now, right? These are the guys who bought Pixar and forced it to make “Cars 2.” They must be evil.
I have news for all those concerned fans, though: the brand is in good hands. I would argue, even better hands than series creator George Lucas.’ If you don’t believe me, let’s review. George Lucas forgot that he had Luke and Leia kiss in the first movie, and then decided they should be brother and sister, according to Killer Movies. I think Lucas decided that the “Force” needed more explanation — it didn’t.
The man created Jar Jar Binks. On the other hand, in an acquisition along the lines of their buying Lucasfilm, Disney also recently purchased the Marvel library of superheroes, according to CNN. The first Marvel film to release since that acquisition? The Avengers. I rest my case.
The big hurdle, as I see it, is that “Star Wars” as an intellectual property is pretty tapped out. Unless the series was to reboot with different characters, the only dead spaces in the established storyline for a new film to fit are between Episodes III and IV and sometime after Episode VI. And while early rumors are reporting that Episode VII will take place after the established end of the “Star Wars” timeline, I would much rather see this new trilogy (yes, Disney is already talking trilogy) happen during the 20-odd years between the “Fall of the Republic” and the start of “A New Hope.” Since it would still be within the existing timeline, recognizable characters from other films could play major roles. And the formation of the rebel forces, which was never adequately explained in any of the existing films, could take center stage. Something like this has already been tried, though, in the video games “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed” and “The Force Unleashed 2.” Both take place in the same time frame as I think the new movies should, and include a lot of existing characters from the films, according to GameSpot. Players could learn to accept the new characters, because they were presented alongside series standbys to lend them credibility. The idea worked then, why not now?
While I cannot begin to wonder what kind of three-movie plot Disney will cook up out of what ought to be a peaceful time for the galaxy far, far away, I do hope that the advanced ages of everyone in the new story means that Harrison Ford can reprise his role as Han Solo.
That alone would be worth the price of admission. Well, unless it was 3D. Almost no movie is worth $14 to see once.
Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and the “Star Wars” brand makes sense, but now they have three questions to make. For one, is the Internet right, and the next installment in the series will be post-Empire -- and therefore, disappointingly, post-Vader?
Or will Disney realize that the most marketable part of the “Star Wars” brand is its characters, and craft a tale that includes as many favorites as possible? And is Joss Whedon, the director of “The Avengers,” really the shoo-in to direct Episode VII that everyone seems to think he is?
Garrett Cimina is a freshman majoring in finance and is a Daily Collegian columnist. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.