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RevolutionSF Watercooler: Disney Buys Lucasfilm
© RevolutionSF
November 02, 2012

In which the staff of RevolutionSF gathers around our fictional watercooler and discusses the only important thing happening in the world: Disney buying Lucasfilm.

@Matt Cowger: It probably could use a mass infusion of new perspective. I'm not sure Disney is a good source of that.

@Shane Ivey : I have every unfounded confidence that Disney and Pixar will hire Brad Bird to write and direct Star Wars Episode VII.

Mark Finn: Am I the only one who thinks this is a bad thing?

Seriously, do you honestly want all of the prescient intellectual properties in America under one house, -- and that house, in point of fact, is one of the worst houses of all? Disney has, with their lawyers, their corporate lobbyists and their sheer size have managed to get the laws governing intellectual property and copyrights changed twice, now.

Don't let this promise of a new Star Wars movie entice you. Will anyone here say that Pixar hasn't lost a step since they went under the mouse' Do you really want a MORE sanitized version of Star Wars and Indiana Jones out there? Now that Disney owns Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, what's next? Maybe they can buy Hanna-Barbara, and then Space Ghost can fight Cruella DeVille.

I'm sick to my stomach over this. At least with Lucas in charge, I was looking forward to him pulling a Howard Hughes and saving his urine in a bunch of leftover R2-D2 Cookie Jars as he "worked on" the next thing, which of course would never come out because "we can't handle his vision."

I wanted him to die clutching a plush Wicket in one hand and a rubber Jar Jar Binks, coated with saliva, in the other. And then it could all go away and we'd mourn his genius.

Now, at last his soul is laid bare: it's all, always been, about the money. This is the great object lesson for my generation, but I really don't think anyone is seeing it that way. Everyone instead is just chortling over Episode Seven, which can not and will not be any good, no way, no how. It just can't. Oh, the geekery.

Talk about the lesser of two evils. You've traded Lex Luthor for Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young. I'm going to sleep with an Elder Sign over the bed tonight and pray this is Halloween merriment run amok.

Matthew Bey: It makes me sad to see Star Wars sell out and go all commercial like this. Why can't we just let the creator continue making high-quality, thoughtful, little arthouse films in this universe?

Gary Mitchel: Quick thoughts while I've gotten my skull back together after hearing about the news. This could be amazing; remember Genndy Tartakovsky's animated "Clone Wars"' Imagine Brad Bird's "Episode VII" or Joss Whedon's "Sith Chronicles". Or it could be an unmitigated disaster; remember the Endor movies' imagine Uwe Boll's "The Wookie's Roar!" or "Star Wars: Jackass Edition."

Mark may be grumpy, but he raises some good points. Especially the concern about too much being under the same house (Marvel, Pixar, and now Lucasfilm), and the Mouse House's work on extending/enforcing copyright issues. But John Lassiter, former head and one of the main brains behind Pixar is still in charge of Disney, and I trust him because he knows story matters. He scrapped projects that the company had in process because they were not good. He has more hits than misses. So I give him the benefit of the doubt.

This does fix what we all know has been the biggest problem with Star Wars for a while; George himself. He's never been happy with the series (insert all the "big hit early/small arthouse pics/fan whining" arguments here), and while he's a great idea/ big picture guy, he's not the best writer. He needs to be in the consultant role, not the writer/ director. Empire Strikes Back Empire demonstrated that. The Prequels cemented it. It's also been way to long that there's been anyone to tell him "No."

He wouldn't even listen to his friend Spielberg about the issues with the last Indy or the prequels, even turning down his offer to direct the last one. With him off to the side, we can perhaps get new, creative people on board and who give us some great new stories in this universe.

Or it will all slide into a schlocky, syrupy, family friendly mess. 50/50, really.

The big question I have is: what will this mean for the Expanded Universe? It's all supposed to be canon, yet they've already violated that in the Clone Wars series. So will the EU become like all those Star Trek novels and just be pretty much just official fanfic to be plundered when needed? Will the "as long as it makes no money" policy towards fanfic and fan films continue, or is the legal wing of Disney already deforesting an area the size of Rhode Island for all the cease & desist letters to start flying out once the ink on this deal is dry?)

No matter what happens, we can be sure that the next few weeks and months will be rife with nerd on nerd fighting over whether this is a good or a bad thing; the only thing we love more than our genre entertainment is arguing about it.

Jason Myers: As far as I'm concerned, Pixar was recycling itself by Monsters Inc., long before Disney acquired it, and it took The Incredibles to make me excited about Pixar again. WALL-E, which is as good as anything Pixar has put out, was post acquisition.

There was a lot of hand-wringing and doom-saying when Disney acquired Marvel in 2009, and then we got The Avengers. Disney proved it could make a more-than-decent sci-fi movie with John Carter. The world might not want a sequel, but I sure did. And John Carter was directed by the same guy who directed WALL-E.

Show me the writer and director attached to the project, and I'll get excited or grouchy. Beyond that, it's just premature ejacuspeculation.

Dave Farnell I agree with Mark Finn about the further concentration of creative companies under one big mega-Umbrella Corp is not good. But other than that, hey, it's Star Wars. It's already been degraded and ruined by its creator. What can Disney possibly do to it to make it worse? It's already pretty Disneyfied as it is.

So we'll get another Star Wars movie, and it'll be crap. What else is new? Any additional Star Wars Any new Star Wars movie was sure to be crap under Lucas. At least this way, there's a tiny chance that it might not be.

The only Star Wars related thing worth paying any attention to over the past few years was the Clone Wars animated series. Even though about half the episodes have been awful, about half the episodes have been pretty darned good.

Gary Mitchel: "ejacuspeculation" is my word of the day.

Deanna Toxopeus: I am not all happy about this. In fact I am damn concerned, but it's not like Lucas really needs the money. He is richer than God, Allah and Jehovah combined. (Wait? They're the same? Then Ghanesh, Odin and Zeus combined.) So why is he selling? Does this make him the richest man alive and/or dead now? I am envisioning him swimming through his money like Scrooge McDuck.

So why did he sell? Is he really retiring this time? Does he have gambling debts? A porn addiction?

As to Episode 7, Lucas already lost my loyalty with the prequels. Disney, on the other hand, has beaten my loyalty over the head, dragged its lifeless body out to the river, tied some cinder blocks to the feet and dumped it. Remember, this is the company that made "direct to video sequel" a synonym with garbage.

We should have seen this coming. Disney has been running Star Wars theme weekends for years. Expect to see more of that, and rides. (Time to revamp EuroDisney!) This is a shrewd move for Disney financially as Star Wars is a license to print money. Because fans like me buy a lot of plastic, metal and resin, as long as it looks like R2D2. But there is no way Disney could market it more, because George Lucas sells that license to anyone. But the time to buy those Japanese made Leia sex dolls is now, because that license will not be renewed.

And speaking of reissuing, expect the Star Wars films to enter into the Disney vault scheme. Every seven years, a new version, on a new format and remastered. I look forward to this more leisurely pace.

Disney is looking to expand their footprint. It has the girls' market locked up with the Princessess and Fairies. Babies are dominated by classic Disney characters. Marvel gave it a foothold in the boys' market. Star Wars will strengthen that, plus bring in the older, more action oriented girls.

I am concerned about the fan made films and merchandise. When the Canadian government wanted someone to enforce the copyright for the RCMP, they turned to Disney. Lucas not only had a film festival every year of fan films, he hired some of the filmmakers. I'm not seeing Disney do that.

Saturation Coverage of Disney Buys Lucasfilm

RevolutionSF News Podcast: Our Top Nerds Discuss It!

RevolutionSF Written Reactions: Commentary in Text Form Part 2

When the news broke: Holy Forcing Sith!

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