Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mouse Ears & Jedi

I got home from working in the lab, sat down at my computer, opened my internet browser, and my Facebook and Twitter feeds were EXPLODING with the news:


My first reaction was "WHAT THE...?!?!?!?!"

But, instead of exhibiting tons of fanboy/fangirl rage, I decided to analyze the issue at hand.  So many people are blowing up the internet a la Death Star without any backing arguments.  Someone on Facebook commented that "Disney is destroying the magic of Star Wars." Huh?!?  First of all, I love Disney and I love Star Wars...so why wouldn't I agree with this merger?  To start, do we really need more Star Wars movies?  The prequels were such an upset, that now it's the in thing to bash Star Wars in order to prove your love for Star Wars.  Secondly, like all business ventures, the motivation is money.  Disney and Lucasfilm will make tons of money off of this merger, whether their projects are successful or not.  How will they make this money? By marketing to children who need to have the newest toy and watch the coolest new movie.  Which brings me to another negative possibility - Star Wars will be dumbed down to be for "children only" and the fans who have grown up with the franchise will be excluded.  Lastly, Disney hasn't had the most success with their sci-fi treatments.  I never saw the movie John Carter, but I heard that it was terrible and didn't do any of the books justice.  All this leads me to be very, very skeptical of the future of my favorite galaxy far, far, away.

However, this merger could be the start of a creative rebirth for the franchise.  I think most Star Wars fans I know agree that the prequel trilogy was awful.  And I think a big part of that was because George Lucas wrote the script and directed the films, resulting in awkward lines delivered poorly by decent actors.  Limit Lucas' role to general storyboarding and behind the scenes filmmaking, and you get Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.  Amazing writing, amazing direction, and one of the best movies in cinematic history.  Basically, the less direct input George Lucas has, the better the product (in my opinion).  The current Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series (no direct Lucas involvement) has some amazing writing and character development.  And it's supposed to be a "kid show"!  It is definitely what the prequels should have been.  By hiring new (good) writers and directors, the new Star Wars films have the potential to explore some amazing adventures.  Someone on Twitter even said "Does this mean Joss Whedon could direct Star Wars?!" (Since Joss is the new Marvel god, and Marvel is owned by Disney).  That would be EPIC!  If they go ahead and continue the story set up in Episodes 1-6, there are already some great plot arcs written in EU (extended universe) novels and comics, heck, even video games (Knights of the Republic, The Force Unleashed, etc).  So either they use current material and develop it into a film, or they write up new material with unlimited creative potential.  I see nothing wrong with that.  Lastly, Disney is an extremely smart business, they know what works.  They've had HUGE success with Marvel and have helped revive the superhero movie.  And since many comic book/superhero fans also cross over into sci-fi fandom, I don't think they would risk "destroying" the Star Wars franchise.  They will hopefully do what they can to grow the franchise and also the fandom.

It's also important to remember that Disney is simply acquiring Lucasfilm.  You know, how corporations function using a business umbrella model?  Just like Disney owns ABC and ESPN, now it owns Lucasfilm.  This doesn't change how their movies will be made.  You won't be playing the "Where's Mickey?" game when you see Episode 7 in the theaters.  You'll just be putting more money in their pockets.

I have so many more thoughts about this, but it's all a jumbled mess.  Basically, I'm skeptical yet hopeful.  I think there is potential to help make Star Wars a revered franchise again, and it will stop being the butt of every pop culture joke.  Because really, Disney, you can't do any worse than Jar Jar Binks.


  1. i feel like i helped contribute to this blog post!

  2. I don't really have an opinion about the merger. So many of these mergers have taken place over the decades of Hollywood's existence, some good, some extremely bad. So I'll wait and see. I was deeply disappointed in the prequels that anything other than the original 3 Star Wars movies I take a wait and see mode. Time will tell which way this merger goes. Either way, it is a win for Disney. Oh and a win for Lucas. If he wasn't in the 1% before (and I am certain he was), he is now. In fact, he is probably in the 1% of the 1%-ers. ;-)

    Lily-thinking thoughts