So now that the craziness of the LucasFilm and Disney merger has died down a bit I thought I’d throw in my two cents on the subject. Some people are excited by this move; others are already coining the “Disney has raped my childhood” phrase. I am but one of the millions of people whose life was affected for ever from the first time I witnessed a band of rebels take up arms against a menacing imperial threat to the galaxy. I remember as a kid in the 80’s seeing Return of the Jedi in theaters. I remember watching Star Wars episode 1 over and over as a kid until my VHS tape wore out causing me all kinds of withdraws. I remember spending ever morning before school in fourth grade watching Return of the Jedi’s final duel between Luke and Vader at least five times. This merger and the announcement of new movies being released causes me to fall in line with first group I mentioned, excited.
I understand people’s hesitation with our beloved franchise falling into the hands of an empire, Disney. It’s a happy company that produces cheery movies; not exactly the stuff Star Wars is made of. However, Disney has made some great films that don’t invoke cheer and happiness. Take Tron for example, or better yet, look at what they’ve done for Marvel. They took great properties and figured out how to market them to a mainstream audience. Now every grandmother in America knows who Hawkeye is, that’s right, Hawkeye. Disney has crafted a magnificent world where heroes come together to tackle the world’s biggest foes. Who better to handle a world that’s already built to continue its wonder? If you’ve ever seen an interview with John Lasseter, Disney’s creative head, then you know there is no safer place for Star Wars then Disney. The passion, drive and ambition that John has put into Pixar and then Disney are one of the biggest reasons for Disney’s success in the new millennium. If I owned a hot property that I wanted to remain intact, John is one of the guys I would trust.
Now we all know a movie as ambitious as something based in the Star Wars realm won’t be cheap. Can you think if any entertainment entity with pockets as deep as or deeper than Disney’s? Yeah, me neither. I’m overjoyed at the thought of money not being an object to these new movies. You need an overblown set piece? You need to build a whole new CGI platform so you can get the perfect shot of that mynock flying by? Here ya go, it’s Star Wars, and not only will recoup, it will pay dividends. I am essentially expecting no cost to be too big that Disney won’t okay it, because it’s going sell.
I also expect Disney to understand the Star Wars Universe because they’ve been partners with LucasFilm for a long time now. My most favorite place to go and thing to do on Earth, ever, is Disneyland. If I could I would enter and live in one of the secret facilities that lie inside the Matterhorn and then come out everyday to enjoy all that is Disneyland. One of my favorite rides there has always been Star Tours. For those unfamiliar, it’s a Star Wars based ride that takes you on a light passenger ship traveling to Endor, but with a rookie pilot droid you suddenly find yourself flying with an X-Wing squadron headed to make a run on the Deathstar. As you wait in line for the ride you are treated to large scale space cruiser mock ups as well as animatronic C-3POs and R2-D2s. When you exit the ride you come out into a gift shop filled to the eyeballs with awesome Star Wars merchandise. See, Disney already knows the property, they’ve worked with it before, and they have to know the fans. I have no doubt that, like the Star Tours ride, they will keep the integrity of the property intact. Trust me, if Lucas was unhappy with the results of Star Tours, it would’ve never seen the light of day and I wouldn’t be talking about it now.
Lastly, it could always be a thousand times worse. Can you think of any other corporate entity that you would trust with a valued property like Star Wars? Not me either. Could you imagine if a studio like Fox or Paramount got involved? Next thing you know it would be Michael Bay’s Star Wars Episode VII, no thank you! A friend of mine came up with a funny visual of eight Deathstars exploding simultaneously if Bay were involved. At the end of the day I trust Disney, maybe not with my life, but with my entertainment hands down. I can’t think of another studio with a better reputation for making great movies than Disney. All that being said, it really can’t get any worse then the prequels anyway, and Lucas made those himself. My only concern here is the Expanded Universe. I’ve probably spent a few hundred dollars on novels and comics all with canon approval of Lucas himself, I’d hate to see that its all not considered canon anymore, but I can live with that as long as I’m getting a great story to replace the official canon. So before we all lose it and start the pitchfork mob to go knock down the drawbridge to the Magical Kingdom, lets all breath for a minute and relax. Why don’t we at least wait for the synopsis of Episode VII before we decide that Disney is raping our childhoods?
Follow Christopher on Twitter @AUDone44 and The Nerd @nerdfollowing