Posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 by Germain Lussier
George Lucas is the father of Star Wars. Under him, we got the classic Star Wars trilogy and less-classic Prequel trilogy. While additional sequels, Episodes VII, VIII and IX, were once mentioned many years ago, Lucas maintained that he’d never make them. However, Lucas left his company several months ago, and on Tuesday it was purchased by the Walt Disney Company. The first announcement? The sequel trilogy fans have been clamoring for since 1983 will kick off in 2015 with Star Wars Episode VII. It’s the beginning of an almost mind-boggling mountain of possibility.
So what will Disney bring to the series that Lucas could not? Let’s discuss it, and its innumerable implications, after the break.
Let’s face it. This announcement is basically the granddaddy of all movie news and will be discussed and dissected ad nauseam for the next few years. As a movie fan and Star Wars fan, it still doesn’t feel real. But it is and it’s sure to change Star Wars forever. We have “A New Hope,” as it were.
The Disney purchase of LucasFilm was for about $4 billion, roughly the exact same amount they paid for Marvel. So it’s important to look at that as the model. It’s obviously worked pretty well. With Marvel, Disney has pretty much let the creative people be exactly that. President Kevin Feige has almost been a George Lucas type exec, overseeing all the stories and hires while steering the brand in a specific direction. If this LucasFilm news was a few months ago, we might assume Lucas would assume that sort of role. Instead, it’ll be LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy.
Lucas will be a “creative consultant” on the films but, if you read his quote, it seems like that’s more of a minor role:
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.
They key here his “new generation of filmmakers” and “under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy.” This suggests, while Lucas will obviously have input, he’s not the end all be all and won’t be writing or directing the films. And while Marvel’s hiring tendencies are well-known at this point (they like creative, but cheap) we don’t know what sort of writing and directing hires Kennedy will make.
Honestly, the more you think about this the more it just boggles the mind. Could a filmmaker like Christopher Nolan make a Star Wars movie? Will we see a Pixar Star Wars movie? Is Leia now officially a Disney Princess? How about an Avengers team up with the Rebel Alliance? If you go by the Disney/Marvel way of things where it’s all symbiotic and nothing is off the table, the possibilities are endless. Maybe the original trilogy will be restored and released on Blu-ray now too.
That said, I doubt we’ll get some Marvel/Star Wars mashup anytime soon. Pixar doesn’t even think they’re going to do Marvel movies at this point, and that Marvel/Disney deal has been done for years now. Most of the immediate effects will be in theme parks, where LucasFilm and Star Wars already have a possibility.
We’ll have much, much more about this news in the coming hours, days, months, years. But for now, let’s discuss what you think this deal means for the Star Wars franchise?