Mamo #278: There’s A Party in the Ewok Village Tonight

ZOUNDS! A shockwave ripped the internet in half this afternoon as Disney announced its purchase of LucasFilm for north of four billion bucks – putting Darth Vader, Jack Sparrow, Snow White, Boba Fett, Iron Man, Kermit the Frog and Luke Skywalker under one roof for the first time in history. What does it mean? Where will it go? Mamo does the guesswork!

To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo278.mp3

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Matthew Fabb
Guest

Wow… that was fast! Now to listen…

Antho42
Guest

A NEW HOPE

I hope George Lucas uses some of his money to finance Mishima, Ran-like film projects.

Jonathan
Admin

My first reaction was that this was an April Fool’s joke. This so threw me for a loop.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

It was interesting to see this bubbling on Twitter without any direct reference to any news article. With all sorts of fake hurricane Sandy photos going around Twitter, it was definitely something to take with a grain of salt. Then a few places were making claim to a press release, but not from any site that I had heard of before, so I looked up Disney’s press releases and came across a link to their official press release that had just been put out seconds earlier. Discovering that not only that the deal was real but they were going to make another movie, which I hadn’t even seen on Twitter at that point.

Jonathan
Admin

Yeah, like I stated in my post… I’m in nerd-shock over this news.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

When Disney bought Marvel, Marvel had complete control in what they were doing, while Disney was very hands-off. It seemed that Marvel just got access to Disney resources.

So I honestly don’t think Disney is going to be involved much in the creative decisions. Kathleen Kennedy seems to be the one running the show at LucasFilm and will be responsible for good or bad the direction of future Star Wars movies. That said it looks like George Lucas will still be an influence as a creative consultant.

The only area that Disney seems to be pushing on is making new movies, which I didn’t think would be happening without them taking over. They had the same push at Pixar to make a Toy Story 3 sequel, which Pixar didn’t want at the time, but that turned out as a good movie thanks to the talent involved.

I’m in the camp that hates the prequels and have been pretty much done with Star Wars since then. Although I’m not above having some fun with Star Wars related video games.

With all that said, I’m a lot more interested in this than if Lucas wanted to make some more movies. As mentioned Toy Story 3 happened because of the Disney push and could have easily been a bad retread, but ended up great. They could make a great Star Wars film with the right talent, it all depends on who they pick.

Jonathan
Admin

I think creative consultant is a perfect position for Lucas at this point, no? Like you, the prequels left me feeling burnt and, maybe it was partially growing up, but I lost a lot of steam for lightsabers, Jedi, and bathrobe wardrobes after that. If there are going to be new Star Wars movies, this might be the right direction.

Kurt
Guest

I think the Mamo Matts dropped what they were doing in mere seconds as the klaxxon went off. They then slid down fire-poles and hopped into secret vehicles in a race to the nearest cafe for a Mamopod. KUDOS on the rapid turn-around guys!

Matthew Fabb
Guest

I’ll also add having a movie with Buzz Lightyear, Dark Vader, Iron Man and Gonzo might make a horrible movie and expensive to pull off. However, where it is cheap to do these things is comics and I wouldn’t be surprised if these things aren’t mixed up within comics. If anything a comic Marvel cross over with Star Wars. Once again whether or not this will be any good is a completely different question.

Unfortunately, for Dark Horse Comics, I think it is only a matter of time before they lose the Star Wars license. I don’t read the Star Wars comics, but I’m a fan of Dark Horse and it’s too bad that the small comic company will lose one of their biggest and profitable licenses.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Here’s the answer to one of the questions that the 2 Matt’s were asking. FOX will retain the rights to the existing Star Wars films, Disney only gets access to new Star Wars content going forward:
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/10/30/fox-retain-rights-to-all-existing-star-wars-films/

Mike M
Guest

Great show, Matt and Matt… 🙂
What makes me sad is that Lucas, from his student-film-days at least, wanted to become an independent force and wanted to fight the system and empire for ultimate freedom. No matter how bad those prequels were, it was his and his own. Now, it will be a product of the corporate machine ( which unfortunately we love!)

He has finally become Darth Vader after all.

Voncaster
Guest

Yeah I’m a little puzzled at how happy people are that the original creator is stepping down and a giant corporation will take over as proprietor of the franchise.

While I think he has made some poor decisions, I have always admired Lucas for having a vision, being passionate about his vision and being progressive about updating Star Wars as the years go by.

I will definitely check out the new movies, I’m a Star Wars fan, but I don’t have this unbridled joy that others seem to have with this news.

Rick Vance
Guest

I agree and that is because my personal lack of Star Wars fandom (1138 4 LYFE!)

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Bleeding Cool with some more info from a Disney conference call:
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/10/30/more-info-on-the-disneylucasfilm-deal-regarding-what-they-bought-indiana-jones-and-tv-series/
Apparently part of the purchase was “pretty extensive & detailed treatment for the next 3 movies” says Disney CEO Bob Iger. So looks like Lucas will still have his finger prints in the next 3 movies.

“There are some encumbrances with Indiana Jones and that is from Paramount … We didn’t ascribe any value to the Indiana Jones franchise. It doesn’t factor into the equation with this acquisition.” – Bob Iger
Looks like Star Wars was mainly what they were after and that if another Indiana Jones movies happens, it might be a joint venture between Paramount & Disney.

rot
Guest

yes but it will be filtered Lucas, ideally taking the good stuff and disposing of the blindly indulgent, uninteresting stuff. I am very optimistic, they want to make something special, this is not just about getting bums in seats.

The comparisons to Marvel properties are ill-conceived – there is no cinematic corollary for what Star Wars means in the pop cultural imagination of those raised on it. With Marvel the ambition was to appeal to the comic book fans and funnel towards the summer blockbuster formula, with maybe Nolan’s Batman as a kind of benchmark… the benchmark here is the trilogy that those working at Disney probably saw at the impressionable age, cementing their future ambitions to work in the industry. I don’t see them just trying to make a summer blockbuster, they ought to be very worried about the legacy of what they are making in the shadow of what came before, the originals. No one has had a crack at this before, the importance cannot be lost on these people.

Jonathan
Admin

Nerds have come together around the world to source things that have been said about the sequels in the past on the sequel Wikipedia page.

Back in the early-80s, Lucas said that that Episode VII would be 20, but maybe even 30 or 40 years after the end of Return of the Jedi and that it was also planned that Luke, Han, and Leia would appear in their “60s or 70s.”

Hmm.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Interesting link with a lot of contradicting comments from Lucas over the years.

Matthew Price
Guest

For contrast:

Lucasfilm: $4,005,000,000
Marvel: $4,000,000,000
Pixar: $7,400,000,000

Profit at Apple in the last 3 months: $8,200,000,000

talk amongst yourselves.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Note Disney bought Marvel for $4.24 billion, just a bit more than LucasFilm was sold for.

Also as someone else has pointed out to me, the Steve Jobs estate owns a big chunk of Disney, as part of the Pixar sale, which in turn now own Star Wars, which owns the brand name Droid, that is licensed out to Motorola for their Android phones owned by Google. So the Steve Jobs estate is now partly owns part of what markets Android phones. 🙂

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Latest video & interview with Lucas via one of Disney’s YouTube channels:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIkqX5fG_tA
He says he has the trilogy planned out including how it ends and movies that follow that.

Sounds like Lucas was in the process of getting a new movie started since he stepped down from LucasFilm earlier this summer. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are announcements of writers and possible directors in the next few weeks.

Also interesting is that this adds to the number of people who were involved & likely knew about that the sale was in progress for quite some time. Which makes it more surprising that none of this leaked out, but I guess those who were given a chance to work on the new Star Wars movie didn’t want to mess it up.

Rick Vance
Guest

I am more interested myself in how this will affect Dark Horse comics, since they are the current owners of the Star Wars comics license and Disney owns Marvel.

Now I don’t read any Star Wars comics but I think a large part of what keeps Dark Horse afloat is Star Wars comics.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Dark Horse Comics president Mike Richardson says the following:

“Dark Horse and LucasFilm have a strong partnership which spans over 20 years, and has produced multiple characters and story lines which are now part of the Star Wars lore. Star Wars will be with us for the near future. Obviously, this deal changes the landscape, so we’ll all have to see what it means for the future.”

http://ca.ign.com/articles/2012/10/30/will-star-wars-comics-stay-at-dark-horse

No one seems to be able to track down when exactly Dark Horse’s license to Star Wars is up for renewal. However, Marvel had the Star Wars license before Dark Horse and did a lousy job with it. There’s been some Tron comics under Marvel, but nothing beyond a handful of issues. Basically Marvel hasn’t done a very good job with Disney properties and there is nothing that shows they would have any idea what to do with Star Wars. So we will have to see how it all goes.

Rick Vance
Guest

Tim Burton directing the Grim Fandango movie.

Sean Kelly
Guest

For some reason this episode didn’t download from the feed and I had to stream it.

Anyways, on the subject of “characters can be in the theme parks now,” you seem to have forgotten that there are already a number of attractions at Disney themeparks that were created as collaborations with Lucasfilm:
– Captain EO (opened 1986 – Disneyland)
– Star Tours (opened 1987 – Disneyland)
– Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! (opened 1989 – Disney World)
– Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye (opened 1995 – Disneyland)

Matthew Price
Guest

Actually Sean, Captain EO has bugger all to do with anything included in this merger, as it was a Michael Jackson vehicle that Lucas produced as a favour to his mentor, Francis Ford Coppola. Are you also anticipating the jungle cruise being turned into a Heart of Darkness ride?

rot
Guest

Lindelof acted genuinely shocked about the news of Star Wars on twitter, I don’t think he was in on the loop. I think he should be – the Abrams/Reeves/Lindelof crew in some capacity should be involved.

and yes, Lindelof is my Christ.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

My wife almost coughed up a lung when that little podcasting bon-mot was tossed into the air via our little portable speakers in her writing office by Price.

Hilarious over reaction in terms of metaphor/analogy.

Jonathan
Guest

Mark Hamill spoke with EW. Here are some highlights:

“I had no idea that George was going to sell to Disney until I read it online like everybody else. He did tell us last summer about wanting to go on and do [Episodes] VII, VIII, and IX, and that [newly appointed Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy would be doing them. … I missed his call yesterday, but I spoke to him maybe three weeks ago. But until we know more, it’s hard to make any comment other than congratulations to George.”

“Yeah, last August, he asked Carrie and I to have lunch with him and we did. I thought he was going to talk about either his retirement or the Star Wars TV series that I’ve heard about — which I don’t think we were going to be involved in anyway, because that takes place between the prequels and the ones we were in and, if Luke were in them, he’d be anywhere from a toddler to a teenager so they’d get an age-appropriate actor — or the 3-D releases. So when he said, ‘We decided we’re going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,” I was just gobsmacked.’ … I’m anxious to know what’s going on, but the main story [yesterday] was the sale to Disney. I have mixed feelings about that, but they haven’t done badly by Marvel and the Muppets and Pixar. It’s one of those big decisions that at first seems unusual but then the more you look at it, the more it makes sense.”

Hamill denies knowing anything, but might a meeting with he and Carrie Fisher suggest they should be expected to be involved in some way?

Matthew Fabb
Guest

The younger Clone War fans & prequel fans will likely watch the new Star Wars no matter what. However if LucasFilm / Disney want to bring in the adult fans who hated the prequels then getting Mark Hamill & Carrie Fisher even if just as cameo appearances I think would go a long way.

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