Not satisfied with Marvel, Disney today made another acquisition in its apparent campaign to monopolize geek heritage.
The big news
This afternoon, The Walt Disney Company spilled the beans about it’s pending acquisition of LucasFilm, Ltd. This purchase includes not only the Skywalker Sound, Industrial Light & Magic and LucasArts subsidaries, but also the rights to Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
The sale, said to be worth $4.05 billion total in equal parts cash and stock, is apparently being made in entirety to George Lucas. While I was unaware that he was the sole owner of LucasFilm, it doesn’t come as much of a shock.
The bigger news
But that wasn’t the real bomb. The real news is that George Lucas, despite having sworn off new Star Wars films and mainstream movies in general, had been planning on Star Wars: Episode VII for “years,” which will be released by Disney in 2015 as the first salvo in a third trilogy. …And then iterate like EA Games with a new Star Wars film every two or three years after that whether the roster needs updating or not.
While we all know that Disney has no fear of sequels nor of milking a franchise for all it’s worth, the handling of the Avengers and its lead-up films have given them some credibility in letting its acquisitions breathe freely and succeed without executive meddling.
That being said, I’m feeling rather anxious that “creative consultant” George Lucas might not be meddled with.
While Lucas has offered a quote that he is doing this to pass on the Star Wars franchise so it may grow and continue without him, Disney can’t talk up his involvement more, bragging about how LucasFilm has already laid out the plotwork for the entire third trilogy.
Time, of course, will tell on if this actually turns out to be a good thing. Lost within the shuffle is how this will affect the Clone Wars spinoff, the dusty plans for a live action series, the development-Hell status of Indy 5 or the extensive licensing empire of books, Legos and games.
Fan reaction so far is extremely easy to find, but about as mixed as it comes. Some are seeing this as Star Wars jumping the shark. Others see it as Star Wars jumping the shark a second time. Others are optimistic that this will give the franchise a new lease on life.
If you were on twitter anytime after 4 p.m. (EST) you have already seen millions of voices cry out, though mostly in joking comments about “Snow White and the 7 Jawas.” …Though when you think about it, Disney’s purchases of both Marvel and LucasFilm can only mean one thing: Howard the Duck 2.