Yesterday it was announced that Disney has purchased Geroge Lucas’ Lucasfilm LTD for $4.05 billion dollars in cash and stock, thus trading control of the Star Wars universe over to the Mouse. At first I was a little upset that Lucas would sell out to a huge conglomerate and I’m not even sure why. I’m not the biggest Star Wars fan in the world, sure I like the movies, but I would not consider myself a die-hard fan of the films. I don’t remember where I was the first time I saw Darth Vader tell Luke that he was his father, I don’t remember the first time I saw Jabba The Hut pull Princess Leia around and I certainly don’t remember the first time I saw Han Solo get frozen in carbonite. It’s not that I don’t have fond memories of Star Wars in general, it’s just that it doesn’t affect my life the way it does some people, but even those people shouldn’t be upset by this.
First of all, what has George Lucas really done for the series in the past 20 years? He released 3 mediocre prequels that most people didn’t like and he went back and added some totally unnecessary things to the films we do like… I understand that there is more to Lucasfilm than just Star Wars, but lets be honest, that’s what we’re all worried about. But honestly, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. Lucas was quoted as saying “For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next, it’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers.” So actually, this may be the best thing he’s done to the series. He knows that fans didn’t care for his latest installments, but he also knows that fans want the series to continue, so why not let a capable studio handle it. When Disney bought Pixar in 2006, it’s movies never really faltered (granted all of Pixar’s movies have been released under the Disney banner), so there’s no reason to jump the gun and assume that the Star Wars franchise is going to be run into the ground. It’s still going to be extremely talented and capable people at the forefront, so I don’t think there’s anything to worry about.
Which brings me to my last point, and I think a friend of mine said it best so I’ll paraphrase his thoughts. The Star Wars that you know and love is not changing. Sure, Lucas made a few minor tweaks to the films after the fact and re-released them, but those original films and memories of those films are still out there. Those fond memories of Luke blowing up the deathstar, Han hooking up with Princess Leia and those lovable Ewoks… ok, the Ewoks we’ll leave out of this, but all of those fond memories you had from the 80′s of watching the original trilogy are not being sold to Disney. Disney cannot take away what Lucas gave to you. Those feelings of joy, the feelings of nostalgia every time you go back and watch them, those feelings of happiness that come along with knowing that Star Wars is still just as great today as it was 30 years ago. No amount of money can ever take those memories and feelings away from you, so there’s no reason to be mad or upset about the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney. The only thing that can come of this is more attempts at making a respectable sequel to the originals. And so what if they don’t live up to those original three, because those three are still there, it’s not like they disappeared.
So don’t look at the acquisition as a bad thing, look at it as an opportunity for Disney to recapture that magic that Lucas created with the original trilogy. If they fall short, so be it, but at least let them give it a shot before doubting their ability. I don’t want to have to come back here and say I told you so when Episode VIII hits theaters in 2015 and it’s actually semi-decent. So take comfort in knowing that the Star Wars films you know and love are still there waiting for you on your shelf anytime you want to go back and relive that magic, but also keep an open mind as these new flicks make their way into our homes in hopes of taking the bad taste out of our mouths left by Episodes 1 – 3.