So by now you all know the news that George Lucas has sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4 billion, giving them control of the Star Wars franchise with the House of Mouse already planning on Star Wars: Episode VII to be released sometime in 2015. Anyone on social media can see that the move has garnered mixed reactions from fanboys, with some applauding new films in the Star Wars universe from different directors and writers than Lucas, with others just see it has selling the franchise out. If nothing else, it will be nice to have Princess Leia join all the other Disney princesses (Sorry Ariel, but I think I may be bumping you down to #2).
While 2015 seems a little far away, in film production terms it’s actually not that long of a time, which means that we’ll probably start seeing confirmed news about the direction of the story, crew and cast hiring, production design, etc. in the very near future. Until then we can only speculate. But if there’s one thing you can count on fanboys to do, it’s to speculate. And that’s just what we’re about to do.
We took a look at the Disney buyout of Star Wars from every angle, weighed the pros and cons and have come up with the five best things we can expect from this, as well as the five worst.
1. Star Wars Theme Park: Disney already has the Star Tours experience at their park and they need look only to the successful Harry Potter-themed amusement park as an example of what they could do with Star Wars. With complete ownership of the franchise, it should be no surprise when a Star Wars Amusement Park is announced. Expect a Death Star garbage chute water slide and an Empire-inspired meteor shower roller coaster.
2. An Adult Star Wars Movie: Remember when the Star Wars movies weren’t made for 8-year-old kids with no attention span and no desire for complex characters and stories? You can fault Tron Legacy for being a little dull, but at least there were character relationships and dialogue that didn’t sound like my 5-year-old nephew with brain damage wrote it with a crayon. Every reboot of a franchise seems to try to make it grittier and more realistic and why should Star Wars be different? Wouldn’t that be nice?
3. Reality: So the prequels were awful, we all know that. One of the many ways that made it so difficult to engage with any of it was that nothing felt tactile. The sets and characters were all CGI. It seems there’s been a bit of a backlash against CGI lately and filmmakers like Chris Nolan, JJ Abrams, Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro do their best to do as much practical effects work on their films before having to fall back on CGI. With the project in a new writer and director’s hands besides Lucas, the possibilites for a well-written film that takes place in world we can connect to are endless.
4. New Characters: So by now, I honestly don’t care if I ever see C3PO again. His presence in the prequel films, much like CGI Jabba, Boba Fett and Chewbacca’s felt very tacked on and forced. By making sequels to the original trilogy it will be likely that we’ll be treated to some new additions to the Star Wars universe, possibly pulling from the successful post-Episode 6 books, video games and comics.
5. No More Tweaking: As far as I can tell, Disney doesn’t go back and tweak their films beyond restoring the image quality. With Star Wars in their hands, isn’t it possible that no only will the original trilogy stop being tinkered with, but that they might actually have the mouse balls to release the original versions of the first three films before they were fucked with beyond recognition?
And the Worst
1. New Characters: I know I just said that this was a selling point for me on this, but at the same time, what made the original trilogy so amazing was its characters and their ever-evolving relationships and backstory’s that helped push the story through three successful films. Do I really want to see a Star Wars movie with some 20-year old playing Han Solo’s son with some sidekick I’ve never heard of? Plus remember all the memorable new characters in the prequels? No? Because there weren’t any (Sorry Dexter Jetsetter, no one cares about you).
2. Tarnish the franchise more: I know this sounds impossible, but maybe Disney screws this all up and somehow the franchise becomes even more sullied and tarnished than you thought after walking out of Attack of the Clones? Maybe Disney will be even a worse destructive force for Star Wars than Hayden Christensen, or dare I say, George Lucas himself.
3. Crossover potential: Disney owns a lot. Besides its own characters, it owns anything on ABC and it also owns Marvel. That might mean that we’ll be treated to crossover plots, if not in the films then in direct-to-dvd fare, of Star Wars characters with other character owned under the Disney banner? I really don’t want to see Iron Man fight Darth Vader.
4. Too much Star Wars: Up until 1999, there was something nice about their being only three movies. The same way that Nolan leaving Batman after three movies make those three all the more special because you know this was an experience that will only come around once in a lifetime. But will churning out even more Star Wars movies just dilute the pool and made the ones that came before it count even less? It’s a possibility.
5. Spinoffs: Much like The Avengers, it’s possible that we’ll be forced to sit through spinoff movies of characters from the films in uninteresting commercials for a larger film to come down the road at some point involving all of them.