Mickey Mouse owns Star Wars. Now a Star Wars: Episode 7 is on its way.

First of all, if you haven’t checked out Matt and Matt discussing Disney buyout of Lucasfilm on their latest Mamo Podcast, you need to go do this. They do an amazing job of speculating what this means for the future of Star Wars and what Star Wars fans can expect.

With that said: holy shit. Disney owns Star Wars now – or more specifically, they purchased Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. And oh, there’s more: they’re making a new Star Wars trilogy. I’m in nerd-shock. This is going to take a few days to process. Let’s start with George Lucas’s statement, courtesy of the Daily Blam:

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

Then the most interesting tidbit from the Disney press release:

[New Lucasfilm President Kathleen] Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

As it said, Lucas will be on board as a creative consultant, but he will not be writing or directing this new trilogy. He leaves the universe which he created in very capable hands. Kennedy’s producing credits include of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Back to the Future, E.T., Jurassic Park, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Gremlins, Schindler’s List, The Sixth Sense, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and the upcoming guaranteed box office champ Lincoln.

Since this upcoming movie is being referred to as Episode VII, we can assume it is a continuation of the previous six films in some way rather than taking on completely new characters from within the Star Wars universe. So, who will direct? Who will write? What characters will return? Who will it follow? Will we see an aged Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford return, if only in cameos? As I lifelong original trilogy, childhood obsessed Star Wars nerd, I’m both cautious and impossibly unable to not have a little tinge of nostalgia excitement deep in the pit of my stomach. Yet, I’ve been burned already – so I do remain cautious.

Let the speculation begin (and in the meantime, listen to Mamo discuss it!)

Jonathan
Jonathan is a writer and teacher constantly in pursuit of his fortune and glory. In the meantime, he graciously volunteers his genius to the internet, providing his insight on cinema and showering lessons of life to all of those who cross his path.

9 Comments

  1. The official Disney press release is here:
    http://thewaltdisneycompany.com/disney-news/press-releases/2012/10/disney-acquire-lucasfilm-ltd
    Which I link to as they now include this:
    “The last Star Wars movie release was 2005’s Revenge of the Sith – and we believe there’s substantial pent up demand. In 2015, we’re planning to release Star Wars Episode 7 – the first feature film under the “Disney-Lucasfilm” brand. That will be followed by Episodes 8 and 9 – and our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.”

    So sounds like not just a new trilogy, but they plan on continuing to make Star Wars movies as long as they can.

    Reply
    • It’s like ten years of me whining and complaining and bitching has been wiped out.

      I mean, nah… sorta. I dunno. I’m cautious. And it’s weird that Disney is in control of Star Wars… but maybe with something so huge it’s only a natural progression. Despite my cynicism, I’m obviously excited to see where this goes.

      Reply
  2. So long as George has truly given over control and has nothing to hold over their heads, then I am 100% positive, that relative to the prequels, a sizable improvement will happen. This is about legacy building not just money-making, they are going to make an honest effort to reproduce the greatness of the originals… And it is impossible to overlook just how much of a misstep the prequels were and to use them as an example of what not to do given this second try.

    Let the Thunderdome battle to the death between JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon begin!

    Reply
  3. I must be in the very small minority that is not thrilled with this news. I think Lucas selling his most valuable creation is sad.

    I respect his passion at wanting to “fix” the Original Trilogy and making bold changes. I certainly don’t agree with a lot of the choices that he has made in that regard, but I respect a creator wanting to better his creation. When he tinkers with other directors work, it gets a little more gray. But his tinkering and edits to I-IV I think are well within his right. And revising films constantly to keep them current is a pretty fresh artistic view of things in my mind. I think it’s a pretty progressive take on movies from one of the most progressive film makers the medium has ever seen.

    Edit:
    After watching the video I must concede that it must be a hell of a burden for Lucas to run LucasFilm. So Its well within his right to enjoy some rest from the demands of Star Wars. I hope he enjoys Post-Star Wars life.

    **

    I think what makes the OT special is that the connection with the central characters. The sci-fi trappings and setting are awesome, but what really makes it sing is Han Luke and Leia. The OT has a soul or human side that is equal or greater than its fx.

    I’m not convinced Disney is going to make films resembling the OT. That sense that all the Marvel Movies are products I think will be present with the Disney Star Wars films.

    At 4 billion I see very focused-tested movies.

    **

    On the plus side Pixar and ILM (I assume ILM is part of this deal) sharing technology should yield mind-melting special effects.

    Reply
    • “I’m not convinced Disney is going to make films resembling the OT. That sense that all the Marvel Movies are products I think will be present with the Disney Star Wars films.

      At 4 billion I see very focused-tested movies.”

      Well, I’ve read enough interviews with Joss Whedon that I don’t think he dealt with Disney at all. That Whedon worked with Kevin Feige and that is about it. Even then it seems that Whedon was given complete creative control over the Avengers despite the fact that Marvel and Disney had so much riding on it. He was given some guidelines, like they asked for Loki to be the villain and it was Kevin Feige’s idea to kill off Agent Coulson. However, it wasn’t focused-tested at all, it was Whedon’s movie despite the fact that Disney paid more for Marvel than Star Wars.

      A number of articles have mentioned that Disney CEO Bob” Iger is very hands off, compared to Michael Eisner who apparently wanted to micro-manage everything. Disney has had success with the hands off approach with Marvel & Pixar, so I see no reason why they wouldn’t do the same for Star Wars, letting those inside of LucasFilm run things on their own. They have been so successful so far, so why get in the way.

      Of course, this doesn’t mean the new Star Wars will be any good, it all depends on who they get as a writer and director.

      Reply

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