Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Leia Organa Now Officially a Disney Princess

And then everything changed.

It's being reported that Disney has purchased Lucasfilm and the rights to all of it's properties from George Lucas, placing the entirety of the "Star Wars" universe under the Walt Disney umbrella. Evidently, this must have been in the works (how the HELL did they keep everyone quiet!?) for awhile, because they've simultaneously announced that they're moving ahead on "Star Wars: Episode VII" for 2015.

SO many conflicting emotions about this...

On the one hand, this is symbolically kind of sad. The whole original point of Lucasfilm in the first place was to be a wholly-independent entity, seperate from the corporate studios... and there's NEVER been an outfit that embodied the concept of a corporation-as-studio more than Disney. Granted, "the system" today is not the system that Lucas rebeled against in the 70s and 80s, but still - Goliath Wins, basically.

On the other hand... Disney has been bringing some incredible talent and material under their umbrella lately. People forget this, but the whole reason they bought Marvel was because their attempts to build in-house "boy brands" (their words, not mine) were coming up short and they figured it was easier/cheaper to just BUY a whole bunch. Now they've bought another bunch: Mickey Mouse is now in the business of making movies about The Incredible Hulk and Darth Vader - the future of YOUR popular culture is MY toybox circa 1985.

While I'll always respect Lucas' go-it-alone zeal in claiming/owning his creations (and I can't not worry that there might be something "gone wrong" on his end that's driving this)... the fact is, he just hasn't been the best steward of them for a long time. If his final act as owner of "Star Wars" is to leave it, effectively, in John Lasseter et al's hands? I'm more than okay with that. Especially since this means it's now in the hands of people with no Earthly reason to NOT release the uncut original trilogy.

Okay. I'm onboard. Let's see where this is going.

43 comments:

Kyle said...

I'm on board too. I hope they make a good movie. That's all.

All my friends want is the original unedited trilogy on Blu Ray.

BJames said...

episode 7???? dear god why?

No matter how people feel about the prequels, or ewoks, or gungans the ending of ROTJ (in any altered form) is complete and needs no "guess what the emperors not actually deadz!"

james cousins said...

This will either be the new STAR WARS as it was back when A NEW HOPE first came out, or make Episode I look downright spectacular by comparison. This depends on two things: 1. how will the Thrawn trilogy of novels/comics handle on the big screen. 2. will the people handling 7 use any of the pre-established continuity of the Thrawn trilogy or take a stab at making original work.

P.S. Why George Lucas would do this? Is he going for the Bill Gates-esque Private-Island-in-the-Pacific angle? (my friends idea, along with something about Lucas's children being kidnapped.) Or is Lucas just bored with holding on to a franchise that people won't stop calling for his crucifixion for doing what he wanted to do? (You know who you are.)

Paladin said...

So, because of Disney's history of trademark crackdowns over stuff they own, the Star Wars Expanded Universe is basically dead now.

Furthermore, Dark Horse Comics is probably going under as a result since "Star Wars" represented most of their offerings & Disney will want to save money & switch over to Marvel comics.

Tim said...

How telling that even the entire might of the Star Wars universe was worth 3 billion dollars LESS than Pixar?

Aiddon said...

um...HOLY CRAP. I was always wondering what would happen to Star Wars when Lucas retired or passed. He hasn't been great as a director or story-writer in ages (as evidenced by the Prequels) and his produced "passion projects" have flopped in one way or another. It was about time for him to pass the torch. Maybe now he can relax and realize he doesn't need to control every aspect of the Star Wars universe.

In addition, the thought of a NEW trilogy does intrigue me. I wonder if they would be so bold as to have it continue from Jedi and recast Luke, Leia, Han, etc (though since those characters were married to their actors that'd be a LITTLE too bold) or have it be about a new generation of Jedi (like Luke's son Ben) like in the Expanded Universe. If they could get some interesting talent to write and direct. Imagine: Neil Blomkamp, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, Michael Mann, or other of the INNUMERABLE directors and writers who saw Star Wars as kids and were influenced by it. You could REALLY do some interesting stuff as long as Lucas wasn't too clingy and anal-retentive about it.

Adam said...

Honestly, I'm a bit hesitant by this. How will this affect the TV shows (Clone Wars, Robot Chicken Specials) on Cartoon Network? What about Dark Horse who have printed the Star Wars comics? Will they be taken away and suffer the same fate as the Disney comics from Boom Studios?

As for movies, I can't see where they can take the series. I might be wrong but I feel like Disney could be doing something better with their time and money. They got Marvel, what else do they want?!?

Still, if this is going to happen, they better have more creative control over Lucas with the next batch of movies. What do I want for Episode 7 and quite possibly 8 and 9? For simplicity sake, I will just point to the prequels and say "NOT THAT!!!"

Maybe someone can link them to the Mr. Plinkett videos just to help them out.

Ismael said...

I really hope Episode VII is about the perilous endeavour of Han Solo to show proof to the entire galaxy that he was the one who shot first.

Graham said...

Now that Disney's in charge, I'd like to see them:

-Rerelease the original Star Wars trilogy, sans Special Edition.
-Cancel the 3D releases of the rest of the Star Wars saga.
-Dig the Holiday Special out of the vault for shits and giggles.

Get those mail-in petitions ready, people! They ain't gonna write themselves!

Insert Coin(s) to Continue said...

Maybe this means the Holiday Special will be released from the "Disney Vaults" at some point ;)

Anonymous said...

@Graham

-Cancel the 3D releases of the rest of the Star Wars saga.

why?
Why would you deny some kid out there the chance to experience star wars on the big screen for the first time?

Jaded star wars fans are the worst.

Sanunes said...

@ 6:11 Anon

I have no problem with them re-releasing the movies to the theaters, but I do have concerns with converting them to 3D considering the demand for 3D movies is dying down. I was talking to the manager of the theater I go to and they don't have plans to update anymore theaters to 3D. So they might not have an audience for a 3D release when they spend all that time to convert them to 3D.

I think what surprises me the most about this is that nobody was saying anything, its almost like they had a NDA signed by anyone that might even overhear parts of this. It doesn't surprise me that much considering the bad rap Lucas got for Eps 1 to 3 and the other projects he was looking at never did that well. Of course it could be as simple as he wanted to do something new like the Doctors from BioWare when they recently retired.

Joe said...

I was pretty much done with Star Wars anyway, so I guess I'm cynically optimistic. Way I see it:

i) Disney makes new Star Wars films/shows, and they're not a significant improvement on the prequels, but a lot of people still like it. I continue to ignore Star Wars, people who still like it continue to like it, and nothing really changes for me.

ii) Disney makes new Star Wars, it bombs and drives the brand into the ground for years. I'm unaffected, unfortunately a whole lot of fans lose something that gives them joy.

iii) Disney makes new Star Wars, and it's good, and I give a crap about Star Wars for the first time in years.

@Paladin: It probably won't happen right away because of existing agreements, but you're right. This could be a major blow to Dark Horse, which was the first major modern example of a comics publisher charting a path other than the "big 2". Will it succumb too? Now I'm depressed.

Nixou said...
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Cyrus said...

> Or is Lucas just bored with holding on to a franchise that people won't stop calling for his crucifixion for doing what he wanted to do?

I seem to recall him saying just about that when he was promoting Red Tails on the Daily Show. As many misgivings as I may have towards the prequels and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I can sympathize if he's taking all the derision a little personal by now.

Regarding properly releasing the original trilogy: Do blu-rays support branching between different cuts? It would be neat to have all versions of a movie on one disc each, with the ability to switch between them or do picture-in-picture comparisons.

Joe said...

@Cyrus:

They do. The original series Star Trek DVDs let you flip between the original special effects and the revamped CGI ones while you watch an episode.

Joe said...

^^ er, Blu-rays, not DVDs.

Anonymous said...

"Regarding properly releasing the original trilogy: Do blu-rays support branching between different cuts? It would be neat to have all versions of a movie on one disc each, with the ability to switch between them or do picture-in-picture comparisons."

This. This so much. I have wanted this for such a long time. couple it with a full and frank discussion of why the re edits were done in the first place and perhaps a feature where you can choose your own personal versions of scenes from the various prints to come up with your own personal ideal mix, (because not all of the changes were unwelcome,") then I'm so on board.

Nixou said...

"I wonder if they would be so bold as to have it continue from Jedi and recast Luke, Leia, Han, etc"

Yeah, and then digitally insert them in the original movies

lemonvampire said...

I'm sure Disney will put out new blu rays, and they'll probably have all those special features about the many alterations, all available through "Disney Second Screen," because the best bonus features are the ones that don't actually exist on the disc.

Anonymous said...

Did NOT see this coming.

And yet, there's pretty much no way this can disappoint people because their expectations are already at Marianas Trench level lows. As long as they don't put Quesada or Loeb in charge of the Star Wars cartoons, call me cautiously optimistic about the future.

Anonymous said...

I really hope they don't bring back the Emperor, would make his death scene pretty worthless. Hell, what stories(that warrant a film) are there even left to tell?

Anonymous said...

VONG. Its gonna be the Vong. Right? RIGHT?!

Sylocat said...

If they make a Kingdom Hearts game with The Avengers and Star Wars, they will make so much money that I can't even think of a hyperbolical joke about what they could do.

Chris said...

Does this include the Indiana Jones franchise?

Andrew said...

People often hate me for this, but I supported the changes Lucas made. Call me crazy, but I always thought that, at the very worst, they were neutral, adding nothing and detracting nothing. I've maintained my opinion that it was always Lucas' story to tell and to change if he wanted. I can understand if people didn't like the changes, but was it ever REALLY worth getting so up in arms and butthurt about it?

As for the prequels, I liked them, so sue me.

This is a sad thing for me in a lot of ways, mostly because I support George Lucas and felt so bad for the childish way grown people responded to his decisions.

Redd the Sock said...

I'm maintaining a cautious optimism here. As much goodwill Disney has redeemed in the last few years, it's hard to forget that 10 years ago Disney was the company green lighting Cinderella 2 while trying to bury critically acclaimed films they licensed from Japan and living off goodwill from Pixar and the odd Johnny Depp film. I'll save my fan rage about episode 7 until I get details. I always thought it'd be too hard to pull off as they'd either have to alienate casual fans by using the EU, or alienate fans by ignoring it, losing either way.

Speaking of, while I imagine things will change in the future, for now things will go on SOP. Dark Horse just solicited a new ongoing book so they must not have been afraid of losing the license for a few years.

As for Lucas, screw him. I don't get buthurt over changes, (heck, I question the sanity of anyone that can have a whole movie ruined by a split second of laser fire being altered) but I question why he kept doing it given how it never went well. By the time the blu rays came around, if he thought people would love his new edits this time he must be dumber than Jar Jar. While I try to support creative freedom, we need fewer creators that hear what fans want very directly, do the opposite, and then get surprised and indignant about a negative fan reaction.

Aiddon said...

i'm pretty sure Mike over at Red Letter Media saw this and was like "well...interesting." Even if the new movies are bad we'll get some new Plinkett videos

Team Charlie said...

The franchise was pretty much toothless anyway last I checked. Now it'll just be toothless AND politically correct.

For those keeping score at home, political correctness is to aesthetic objects as brain cancer is to living humans.

Razmere said...

What could Disney POSSIBLY do to Star Wars that George Lucas didn't do already?

Make a terrible holiday special?
An underwhelming (to say the least) Special edition?
A crappy TV show?
BOAT LOADS of cheesy merchandising?


In all honesty, it's all UPHILL from here.

Wes said...

You know what this means right? Star Wars in Kingdom Heart.

Anonymous said...

I was kind of hoping this would have earned a middle of the week movie to discuss it. Not sure how I feel about this but hey if it is an awesome movie it would make it all worth it. ( I won't be holding my breathe)

Anonymous said...

@ Above

Dollars to donuts he pushes back his Count Chocola and Frankenberry retrospective in favor of talking about this on his next Big Picture.

Brent Cosman said...

@Team Charlie

What do you mean by toothless exactly? Because Clone Wars has plenty of teeth. The second episode of this season was literally about whether an act of terrorism is an acceptable strategy in wartime, discussed in those terms with no clear answer. To me, that's the opposite of toothless.

Allan said...

I...am totally okay with this.

Cyrus said...

All the positive buzz around the series got me interested. Do I have to sit through the godawful theatrical feature or does the show stand on its own?

Brent Cosman said...

The show doesn't stand on it's own, but the continuity of the film is rarely referenced. The first two seasons have the same sort of stiffness to them that the film did, but the writing improves dramatically over a very short time period.

Anonymous said...

"Especially since this means it's now in the hands of people with no Earthly reason to NOT release the uncut original trilogy."

I'm just going to leave this here.

Jerry "Bhaalspawn" Peet said...

Star Wars Episode 7?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpgy21r_dRE

I think I'm going to constantly rewatch Revenge of the Sith for the next 3 years while I wait.

Oh and Speculate of course. I wonder if they're going to have McGregor and Christensen return for a brief cameo as Force Ghost Obi Wan and Anakin. I sure hope so, I love those guys!

Roderick said...

"You know what this means right? Star Wars in Kingdom Heart."

Star Wars, Marvel, Disney, and Squeenix all together in one mega crossover? I'm imagining Kairi and Squirrel Girl going on a quest to save the ewoks from a loan sharking Ultros, only to take down Galactus, the Death Star, and Sephiroth along the way. Meanwhile Captain Jack Sparrow and Deadpool go on a quest for more booze.

I would buy this game THRICE.

Roderick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roderick said...

While Squirrel Girl and Kairi are saving the ewoks from Ultros, Lando & Sora are blowing up the Death Star in a Millennium Falcon gummi ship and Riku and Luke are confronting Lord Vader - Riku telling Vader how he too had fallen to the dark side and turned back, so there's still hope for the good in him.

After his defeat, Palpatine joines Xehanort's new Organization XIII alongside Dr. Doom and Sephiroth, both recently humbled by the Kairi/Squrrel Girl duo, and eager to unlock the true power of Darkness to get their revenge.

Seriously, this thing writes itself.

dan solo said...

It'll definitely be interesting to see how it all ends up... I always thought the best films were the ones Lucas didn't direct. Emipre Yes. It rocks.
Lucas will no doubt keep a creative hand in the franchise.
dan solo
www.fillim.com