A Long Time Ago, in a Magic Kingdom Far, Far, Away…

That’s right, I’m in a Star Wars state of mind again.

Of course, how could I not be with the bombshell that was dropped on us yesterday?

That’s right, Mickey Mouse now owns Star Wars. When the deal was announced, Disney also declared that a Star Wars: Episode VII was also already in the works and slated for a 2015 release.

As I’m sure many fans were, I was of two minds about this acquisition. My gut reaction was something along the lines of, “Oh, shit! What the hell are they gonna do to my beloved Star Wars!!??!” I envisioned a travesty of a film full of kid-friendly characters and insidious plotlines which would turn Star Wars into a mockery of itself.  Then I realized that had already happened. It had happened while the franchise was still under George Lucas’ watch.  What is Jar Jar Binks if not a character that was intended to simultaneously make children grin and adults cringe? What is The Phantom Menace if not a film with the most insidious of plotlines that nearly ruined the Star Wars franchise for everyone?  In the inevitable discussions about the changing of the stormtrooper guard at work (every third person there is a Star Wars geek like me) one coworker made an excellent point by saying, “I have a lot more faith in a John Lassiter-produced Star Wars than a George Lucas produced one.” Touche. Lassiter has credits to his name like The Incredibles, Wall-E, and Up! while Lucas has, well, the original Star Wars trilogy and Raiders of the Lost Ark, two franchises he managed to ass-rape to near destruction with their more recent entries.

Finally the voice of reason prevailed and spoke to me from, of all places, Facebook.  On the social networking site Kevin Smith (yes, that Kevin Smith again… go ahead and tell me I would probably suck his dick if asked politely enough… it’s true) posted the following:

Cute, right? Yeah, fuck you.


Lots of folks asking what I think about the recent announcement that Disney is now the proud owner of the STAR WARS universe.

I’m all for it.

Can’t wait to see all the new movies they’re gonna make. The 7 year old Kev who saw STAR WARS during its initial release in 1977 is finally gonna get all 9 STAR WARSmovies he was promised back then. I’ll be first in line to pay for whatever they do.The Disney purchase of Lucasfilm is the fulfillment of a wish the Mouse made upon a star a few years back: the wish for little boys.

Sounds dirty but it’s just business: the Disney Princess market gave the Mouse all the little girls they could sell an Ariel costume to but Disney couldn’t interest boys in their wonderful world beyond the single digit years. Few boys are clamoring to play with a Peter Pan action figure and hooking the audience while their young is an important component of long term brand loyalty. So rather than develop their own boys brand in-house, they started buying “boy” stuff. It started with Marvel and it now continues with the world of STAR WARS.

And so long as Disney’s allowed to continue the franchise and make new flicks, they’ll make that $4 billion back in less than a decade. They’ve got eons worth on non-movie material to work from, too: all the books, the games, the comics, etc.

But the most important development to come out of the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm?

We might finally get an official Special Edition BluRay release of the STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL!!!

He’s got a point, right?
Like Kevin, I clung to the promise of a full nine Star Wars movies as a child and, like most fans, I assumed those other three films would never be made, with the awful reception we gave the prequel trilogy and Lucas’ recent announcement that he was retiring from film making altogether.  The Disney purchase now at least ensures that more Star Wars films will happen.  They may be good, they may altogether suck, but even I will watch Revenge of the Sith now and again. I’ll even watch Attack of the Clones or The Phantom Menace if I come across them on cable.  They’re bad movies, sure, but they’re still Star Wars.
Something few people are seeming to notice with this whole story is just what this really means for Disney. Not only will Mickey be in charge of the beloved Star Wars, but of Lucas’ other babies as well: Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound.  With Pixar already a part of the Disney equation, it almost gives the company a veritable monopoly on movie special effects. The Force is strong with this one indeed. I almost have to wonder about the legality of it all.
There’s one thing I’ve for sure learned from all of this, however, and that’s that George Lucas’ soul has a price tag and it reads 4.5 billion dollars.  Of course, who am I to judge? I don’t think I have anything that I wouldn’t sell for that kind of money.  Hell, most of my shit I’d sell for $34.95 or less.  Even my soul.

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