Disney now owns the Muppets, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. In breaking news, they are currently in negotiation with my parents to buy the rest of my childhood for an undisclosed six-figure sum.
And we don’t get the first new “Star Wars” film until 2015, eh? Guess I’m going to have to start exercising and eating right after all.
First, I think it’s a safe bet that all of your poring over your “Star Wars” expanded universe novels to figure out if he’s doing the Thrawn movies or the New Jedi Order series can relax. They won’t be adapting books. They mentioned today that Lucas has written treatments for three new films, and there is no way he’s going to let those films say “based on a story by Timothy Zahn”. Those stories exist, fans are able to enjoy them now, and simply translating them to the screen is a losing proposition on all sides. The general public has no investment in those books, and for filmmakers who become involved with the series moving forward, there’s no up side to simply adapting someone else’s “Star Wars” story when there is almost limitless room to invent new stories that take place in that universe and even in that continuity.
What is tremendously exciting is the notion that Lucas is finally out of the mix creatively. I don’t have the same crazy hatred of him that so many vocal online folks do, and I get weary of the bile directed towards him. I know people don’t like the prequels, and I would never try to argue with someone about that and tell them that they’re “wrong,” but when I say it’s exciting that he’s leaving the series, don’t confuse that with a hatred for him. What excites me about that concept is that “Star Wars” has always felt gigantic to me, like one of the biggest boxes of Legos imaginable, and up till now, it’s been one kid controlling all of the Legos. Now it sounds like other artists are going to be able to come in and play, and with Disney planning for the first new “Star Wars” film in 2015 and then a new film every two years after that, this isn’t a question of one person getting a shot at it, or even one style of film that we’ll see. It’s Disney. We could see animated movies that tell stories that have nothing to do with the Skywalker family. We could see the far-flung history of the Old Republic. We could see Jedi stories, or Sith histories, or just movies set against this amazing backdrop that establish all new ideas.
The point is that we don’t know yet what sort of things we’ll be seeing. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the news. When it broke today, I was at a press event for another movie, and it was funny to see how even the filmmakers I was there to speak with were suddenly completely distracted by thoughts of new “Star Wars.” We decided to build out a quick gallery to explore some of the things you might see happen now that this partnership is in place.
Now all we need to do is remind Marvel that with Lucasfilm also under the Disney banner, they now own Howard the Duck again. So can we expect to see him standing side-by-side with Rocket Raccoon in “The Avengers 2”?
Only if we’re lucky. Only if we’re very, very lucky.