The surprise announcement about Disney buying Lucasfilm had barely been made when the Twittersphere lit up: jokes about Disney-"Star Wars” mash-ups, quips about Jedi as Mouse House characters. (“Leia is a Disney princess now,” wrote Alice Taylor of the digital toy company MakieLab.)
My colleagues at Company Town are breaking down the business implications. As George Lucas said in a statement, this was a way for the franchise to keep going after he’s gone (and possibly stewarded better, he might have added, than in his lifetime). It’s also a way for Disney to consolidate power -- the company already has animation heavyweight Pixar and superhero stalwart Marvel.
But that leaves a big question: whether all this is good for the movies. As part of the acquisition, Disney announced that it would be releasing a new Star Wars movie in theaters in 2015.
Certainly those with memories of Jar Jar Binks, “The Clone Wars” and others will feel that Disney can’t do worse than what’s been done by Lucasfilm in recent years.
On the other hand, it isn’t like there’s a lot of creative runway left after a self-contained trilogy and a trio of prequels. And Disney doesn’t exactly have a track record of putting together very good ambitious science-fiction lately (“John Carter,” anyone?).
Under recently hired chief Alan Horn, it’s a new day at the studio. We’ll soon see how new.
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