At the end of October, it was announced that Walt Disney would be buying Lucasfilm, the company that created “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones” and smaller titles. Walt Disney in recent years has bought Pixar Animation Studios ($7.4 Billion), Marvel Entertainment ($4.24 Billion) and now Lucasfilm ($4.05 Billion) and its subsidiaries.
When I first got word of the sale of the “Star Wars” franchise to Disney, I was beyond angry. With the purchase of Lucasfilm, many fans of Star Wars fret about what Disney will do with the next trilogy (yes, I said trilogy) and current TV Show. Disney has announced the release of “Star Wars: Episode 7” in 2015 with a new movie being released every 2-3 years after that.
Everyone has an opinion on this acquisition because many see Disney only as the company that created our favorite cartoons and/or is responsible for Disneyland and Disneyworld. What we forget is the broad work Disney has done in creating a range of amazing films like “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Wall-E,” “The Avengers ” and future films such as “Iron Man 3,” “Captain America 2” and “Finding Nemo 2.” Disney does a great job of not only creating great films, marketing their brand, and making everyone smile, but also of purchasing smaller companies that they can use to enhance their products.
After the initial shock passed, I began to reconsider my worry over this sale. Social media has kept very busy calling George Lucas a sell-out, but some important facts are ignored. I learned George Lucas planned to spend at least $4 billion of the $4.05 billion Disney paid for Lucasfilm to fund educational philanthropy. “I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. It is the key to the survival of the human race” George Lucas said in 2010 to The Giving Pledge.
Another plus? Star Wars will have a future because George Lucas is letting other talented people work on it. Still he will remain a creative consultant; he can essentially still contribute creatively without the stress that comes with the job.
Additionally, one person can take an idea only so far. Look at “James Bond 007.” Imagine if that franchise stopped with the first director; we would only have the first two movies rather than the 23 movies (and counting) we currently have.
Lastly, the original trilogy is safe. The books won’t change and the memories can’t fade. The only thing we have to worry about is whether Disney will keep “Star Wars” pure to its roots. If they can do that I think the fan base will not only be happy but will grow with future generations. Like every nerdy father, I dream my daughter will be able to go to the movies and wait in line with me to watch “Episode 7” in 2015. The future is something we must look forward to, not dread.