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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Disney Buys Lucasfilm; Plans Star Wars 7




It seems that George Lucas is planning to sell Lucasfilm to Disney. Wow. Disney wasted no time in announcing that a Star Wars 7 is upcoming. Looks like the evil Empire won.

From Forbes.com:

"Walt Disney this afternoon announced a deal to buy Lucasfilm from Star Wars director and film pioneer George Lucas for $4.05 billion in cash and stock.

"Under terms of the deal, Lucas will be paid half in cash and half in the form of about 40 million Disney shares.

[...]

"The deal includes not only Star Wars but also other businesses operated by Lucasfilm, including LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. Disney said the current plan is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.

"Kathleen Kennedy, now co-chairman of Lucasfilm, becomes president of the company, reporting to Disney Chairman Alan Horn. She’s also acting as brand manager for Star Wars. The announcement said Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new films in the franchise, with Lucas as creative consultant. The announcement notes that Star Wars Episode 7 is scheduled for release in 2015, with more films expected to follow. No word yet on who will direct Episode 7."

It's hard to say what will happen to Lucasfilm. Disney does have a history of disassembling companies that they purchase. However, Lucasfilm, with ILM, is a huge brand name...

Would Disney dare to disassemble a highly successful brand and replace it with just more Disney? My bet is that they can't help themselves. Sure it might take longer, but eventually Lucasfilm and everything else associated with it, will simply be absorbed and become Disney only brand names.

That's too bad. And I hate to see Star Wars become a Hollywood community property. For all that  the second trilogy lacked, they still possessed that personal touch that made the Star Wars franchise different from the knock-offs-- and even different from other successful franchises. With Disney in charge, I can guarantee that uniqueness will be gone. And we'll get a slew of Iron Man/Avengers-like films-- some good, some bad, but all with that disjointed, generic narrative that comes from community produced projects.

Ah, well...

And seeing photos of R2-D2 in mouse ears was a bit much.

I've been out of Hollywood for quite a while and have been focusing my attention on DC and more recently the election rather than box offices and such, but this news surprised me a lot. End of an era and all... cliche and another cliche... blah, blah, blah. Still, I can't help feel a bit melancholy about this.

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