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!)