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Breaking News: Disney Acquires Lucasfilm and “Star Wars”

October 30, 2012

By John C.

Bob Iger and George Lucas

This afternoon, Bob Iger announced that Disney has acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, and is planning a new Star Wars trilogy that will start with the long rumoured Episode 7 in 2015.  The news immediately blew up on the internet, with many people skeptical of the announcement.  As a longtime Star Wars fan, I think it’s important to add some of my own commentary to the conversation.

Maybe it’s because I’ve always hoped that George Lucas would one day actually go through with his original dream of doing a third trilogy, but I think this announcement could actually prove to be a good thing.  I mean, just imagine the possibilities if great directors like Brad Bird, J.J. Abrams or even Joss Whedon had a hand in the films.  Last Christmas, Brad Bird delivered a stylish continuation of the Mission: Impossible series with Ghost Protocol, J.J. Abrams was behind the epic Star Trek reboot back in 2009 and Joss Whedon did the impossible earlier this year when he brought The Avengers to the big screen.

There was also skepticism when Disney bought Marvel back in 2009, but the acquisition led to the studio distributing The Avengers and that blockbuster turned out to be one of the best comic book films of all time.  Many were initially worried about how the film would turn out, but it paid off in a big way.  Disney also has a respect for their previous classics in the way that they bring their films out of the vault and restore them to how they were supposed to be seen, and maybe the studio will finally be the ones to release versions of the first three Star Wars films in their original glory.  I personally think that Disney is the sort of studio that will be able to protect the films for future generations, even if they are building a new franchise around them.

I think people are reacting to the news with particular trepidation because they have a preconceived idea of the Disney brand.  But I think a lot of fans will have restored faith in the studio and their ability to build a new world around classic characters when the great animated film Wreck-It Ralph opens this Friday.  The Mouse House acquired the rights to characters from such classic games as Pac Man, Q*Bert and even Street Fighter to use in the film, and they have done right by them in a big way.  For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas.  “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,” George Lucas went on to add, “and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”  There are obviously ways that this business venture could go wrong, but with the right team of writers and directors a new trilogy could very well prove to be a great thing.  As Yoda might say, acquired by Disney Star Wars has been.  Controversial is the news, but excited we are.

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