As far as I can tell, this is absolutely, positively, 100% legitimate: George Lucas has unloaded all of Lucasfilm for $4 billion to Disney.
What does this mean for fans of Lucasarts beloved franchises? Well, honestly, nothing good. Disney is run by Alan Horn, who is infamous for being almost the cartoon of the bean-counting studio executive. Worse, he’s head of the stereotypical bean-counting, art-hating movie studio, a company so mercenary they actually included a bunch of sports clips on the Cinderella DVD to promote ESPN Classics because they were “Cinderella moments in sports.”
So, with that in mind, here are a few predictions about what’s going to happen across all the media Lucasfilm touches.
Film and Television:
- First and foremost, Star Wars: Episode 7 is apparently being fast-tracked for 2015. Yes. Episode 7. Either they’ve got a script already written, or this is going to be one hell of a rush job. This may not be a bad thing, in the sense that having George’s toys taken away from him might motivate him to actually make a movie worth watching.
- The good news is that Kathleen Kennedy, part of Spielberg’s entourage, is now in charge of anything Star Wars related.
- Any Indiana Jones movies or TV shows will have to go through Disney AND Paramount, making his squeeze a lot less likely. That said, Paramount likes money just as much as Disney, so expect a cartoon.
- Speaking of Indy, expect Disney to try and cross over Indy and National Treasure, or maybe Pirates of the Caribbean. I wish I were joking about this, but Disney was rumored to want to cross over the latter two. It’s hard to see them not desiring the “synergistic possibilities” in crap like this.
- If The Clone Wars doesn’t get canceled, or at least dragged to Disney XD, Warner Bros. has blackmail photos. Either way, expect a lot more Star Wars animation.
- Silver lining: Pixar could make a Star Wars movie. BELIEVE.
- Second silver lining: Industrial Light and Magic and Pixar are now under one roof.
- Third and final silver lining: Disney will likely flip off George and put out the original cuts on Blu-Ray.
- Dark Horse is likely going to lose the Star Wars license, which is a damn shame since they’ve been handing in great stuff for decades now. But Disney owns Marvel, so why give a valuable property to a competitor?
- Indy will get his own miniseries from Marvel, likely a backdoor to an ongoing. This I’m optimistic about; it’ll likely go to somebody top-tier but suited to the material. There are several Marvel writers I’d love to see on an Indy book.
- You might want to buy your Dark Horse omnibuses now: I won’t be surprised if Disney gets a bit dickish over reprints.
- It kills me to say this, but Lucasarts is pretty much all but screwed. Disney tolerates video games and likely doesn’t see any value in making games that aren’t cheap tie-in platformers. If anybody was wondering why Clint Hocking had suddenly jumped ship without shipping a game, it’s because he saw the writing on the wall.
- On that point: expect more games like Star Wars Kinect. Again: Not joking. Most of Disney’s current-gen output consists of tie-ins of variable quality.
- If Star Wars: 1313 is not a lot further along than it looks, it might get spiked solely because it’s cheaper to do that than to see a relatively risky project through to its conclusion.
- On the bright side, we might finally see somebody get off their ass and officially rerelease games like Full Throttle and Day of the Tentacle.
In general, expect a lot of “cross-synergies.” Darth Vader is going to turn up on sports programming. Disney tweens are suddenly going to be running around in Jedi robes. The Force will be strong with Mickey.
Again, these are predictions, not written in stone. I’m being cynical here, and I really hope I’m wrong. I don’t want people to get fired or a classic franchise to get bad-touched (more). I’m just not sure that won’t happen.