Confession time: when I first heard this news, the news that Lucas sold Star Wars and Indiana Jones to Disney, my first response was to scream. When I finished, I felt like drowning myself in the bathtub. I might have pushed the big red button on my death ray prototype. I’m not totally sure about that last one . . . things got a little hazy there for a second.
Disney owns Star Wars and Indiana Jones now.
My first general response was: we’re doomed and Lucas once again has tried to molest a beloved childhood memory.
Here’s the good news: my second general response, once I was done singing the laments of the Jedi. (Actually, that might be a good film title, Disney. Lament of the Jedi. It’s copyrighted. By me, just now. I’d be willing to sell it for some monies.)
This . . . this could be good, depending. Disney did Pirates of the Carribbean, after all. And Iron Man, Thor, and The Avengers. They might be a giant, soul-sucking corporation, but the way they’ve stayed in business is by doing exactly this. They bought Pixar. And instead of screwing around with a good thing and sticking their own lackeys in charge over at Pixar Studios, they kept the guys around who were doing the winning thing. They bought Marvel and have been running that franchise steadily upward because they left Marvel alone. They let Marvel people run Marvel. They didn’t even insist on sticking the Disney logo on the front of the movies so everybody knows Disney owns it. They’re (generally) content to let the innovators run wild and make a bunch of the money in the background.
See, my first thought about Disney acquiring Star Wars was that they’re going to slap a Disney logo on the front and turn it into John Carter. Except Lucas already did that. Instead, they appointed Kathleen Kennedy to head up the Lucasfilm division of Disney (who has been a long-time Lucas and Spielberg collaborator, involved in both Star Wars and Indiana Jones, as well as Jurassic Park and Other Awesome Stuff. She was the head of Lucasfilm already, so worries about “What’s gonna change” are probably unfounded, for the most part). Lucasfilm and ILM are going to stay where they are on the Skywalker Ranch. They’re gonna make movies. Star Wars movies. And Lucas can’t be the control freak he really, really wants to be. He can’t write, can’t direct. AND they’re keeping him on as a “creative consultant,” which means both very little, and a lot. It means “He’s not directly involved, so expect decent writing this time,” and also, “We’re not going to turn Star Wars into the Wizards of Waverly Place or Hannah Montana.” Cue collective sigh of relief.
So what’s it mean that Star Wars and Indiana Jones are owned by Disney? It means Darth Lucas can’t screw around with them anymore. It means not much will change. It means we’ll be getting at least three more Star Wars films (Episodes 7, 8, and 9) starting in 2015, and they have at least a decent chance of being, well, decent.