On Halloween week 2012, news spread that Disney now owns Lucasfilm. Although George Lucas still has a hefty interest in his old company, this means that the Magic Kingdom now controls the Galaxy Far, Far, Away.
I don’t know yet how Star Woids are reacting to this. My usual source of the state of pop-culture, io9 and Kotaku, are down after Hurricane Sandy took down their data center in New York. I’m thinking some at least will look at this as a great disturbance in the Force equal to when the first Death Star turned Alderaan into an asteroid field. After all, what business does the purveyor of happy endings have to do with a galaxy full of war and death (Ewoks notwithtanding)?
But like what I’ve been saying in Facebook, this might be a good thing for the franchise. Star Wars, in my view, has been living in a state of torpor. The prequels screwed the decades-old details of the Expanded Universe and replaced it with… a lot of strangeness. In fact, the… butchering Lucas is perceived to have done to his own body of work and the collective “imagineering” (to use a Disney term) on it since Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire (which launched the Expanded Universe) has been so derided that it spawned a term, “Lucasing.”
Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm means the storytelling prowess of the House of Mouse will now be powering one of the best-known and most-beloved intellectual properties in modern history. And it’s not like Disney doesn’t have experience in worlds where rainbows and nice talking animals are not the norm. Tron is a Disney IP. Let’s also not forget that strange but wonderful marriage between Square Enix and Disney that produced Kingdom Hearts.
In fact, I’d hazard to say that the delay on Kingdom Hearts 3 could be because Disney wanted to have a new princess in its lineup, one with the power of the Force behind her, haha. Lightsaber Keyblade. Now that sounds fascinating for someone who’s a fan of both IPs.
So, yes, this might be a good thing for the Star Wars franchise. It’s been taking a beating since Episode 1, and the falling fortunes of Star Wars: The Old Republic haven’t helped. The rumored Episode 7 is said to be an original work, not a derivation of any established stories but I’m willing to give Disney the benefit of the doubt here. After all, it can’t be worse than Lucas’ foisting Jar Jar Binks on us.
At the very least, it should be an… interesting match. Just look at this official video.