George Lucas sells Lucasfilm (and thus Star Wars) to Disney

I don’t often blog about movie news here at FMR.

But this is enormous news, and bears discussion. I feel as though I need to say something. This is an unimaginable story. Seriously… could anyone have imagined this prior to today?

George Lucas has sold Lucasfilm to the Disney for $4.05 billion. Disney has already announced their intention for a new Star Wars film (Episode VII) in 2015, and a new movie every two to three years after that.

I’ve been having trouble concentrating on anything else since I heard this news… I had to put something up right away, so that anyone who wanted to could discuss.

Click through to read my thoughts and leave yours!

My immediate thoughts are threefold.

1) Good riddance. Lucas proved he had little to offer the franchise creatively with the subpar Episodes I-III, and his continued ghastly “revisions” to the original films.
2) I’m excited that the rights to the prior films will be in the hands of a company has no interest in perpetuating some asinine, retroactive “Creative Vision”. I eagerly await my restored, original trilogy Blu Rays, and I eagerly await seeing the unadulterated versions on TV as opposed to the CGI besmirched hack jobs.
3) I don’t hold the same trepidation regarding new Star Wars movies that I typically do with your typical revisitations. Lucas has already done the damage with the prequels. There’s literally nothing that can be done with further movies that can spoil the originals any further. I have a hard time imagining that the new movies can damage the franchise more than Lucas himself did.

I’m honestly ecstatic. For years I’ve harbored resentment towards the franchise of my childhood, all due to the continued intrusion of a director who had clearly lost his fastball, and a businessman who put his self-interest before the wants of the fans. As opposed to celebrating the movies (which you all know I love to do), I’ve been embittered and disenfranchised.

Well. No more. Couldn’t be happier! Let the Star Wars reconciliation begin!!

Hasta luego George!!

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100 thoughts on “George Lucas sells Lucasfilm (and thus Star Wars) to Disney

  1. Oh my gawd. Its gonna suck. The franchise will be all prettied and dolled up and marketed in super mass. Wow. Guess Lucas got all he can out of Star Wars. Look for “Star Wars Babies” or “Star Wars Disney Pals” from here on out. smdh

    • Cmon… Aidy… are you kidding? How can they market or sell out that franchise any more than Lucas already has? If he could sell Star Wars toilet paper he would!

      The movies will be no worse than future movies via Lucas, and we will most likely finally get the original franchise restored. Wait and see. Its a mortal lock of a bet!!

      • I have to agree with you. Lucas has been sitting on his hands with Star Wars. I just know Disney has problems in the SciFi market. I’m telling you, we gonna get the “Little Einstein” versions of it. I think its a safe bet that this is what will happen.

      • LOL. I had a feeling someone would actually prove that they do in fact already make Star Wars toilet paper when I wrote that.

        Tellin’ you Aidy, its gonna be much better. We may see Star Wars babies, or whatever, but we’ll also get better new movies, and the original old movies.

        Has life been that much worse for Marvel fans since the $4bil buyout of them? For real… Marvel fans… are happy, right?

    • I think you mean “Star Wars: Galactic Heroes”, by Hasbro, out for several years at this point… ;)

      Disney isn’t going to pretty it up any more than they do Marvel’s stuff. Yes, there are Marvel kid cartoons. There are also Star Wars kid cartoons — ask any kid who grew up in the 80s about Droids and Ewoks, or look at the Clone Wars series on Cartoon Network. When it comes to super mass marketing, that ship sailed about 30 years ago.

      The Disney-produced Marvel films are still every bit as adult oriented as the pre-acquisition Marvel films. There’s no reason to think it’ll be different with Star Wars.

    • Someone who is clearly unaware of the Ewoks cartoon, the notorious Star Wars Xmas special, etc.
      Star Wars as a franchise has always been at that level. Part of the reason the later trilogy was such a letdown was arguably not just down to Lucas turning out a load of shit (which he clearly did), but that they had always been aimed squarely at kids in the first place and the now grown fans had warped their adoration through a prism of decades-long nostalgia and come to believe that Star Wars had grown with them. They were expecting space opera fantasy aimed at 18-30-year-olds, which was never intended in the first place.

      • Yeahhhhh…. well…. while the original trilogy may have been “intended for kids”, Dave, it certainly was not a kids movie. Perhaps, by the third installment, with the ewoks…. Lucas was doing things that might only appeal to children. But for the most part, the original trilogy was an all ages movie. “space opera fantasy aimed at 18-30-year-olds” everyone. Those weren’t “Kids films”, they were just very accessible for children – of all ages.

        With the prequels… especially Phantom Menace he started pandering to the young age group. And yes, that was upsetting to fans who had grown with the first series.

  2. Good riddance. But Disney hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory with treasured SciFi properties. John Carter, just as an example. But it’ll be worth it for a bluRay Han fires first edition.

  3. If Kennedy is smart, she’ll hire Lawrence Kasdan to write the treatment for Episode VII (as he and the long departed Leigh Brackett wrote the best one ever in the entire ST universe, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK).

  4. “could anyone have imagined this prior to today?” Considering they bought Marvel, absolutely.

    Looking forward to X-Men/Star Wars crossovers anyone? Not I.

  5. I’m glad it’s making you happy!
    I see what you’re saying and it could turn out well, but I just… I cannot foresee anything but disaster. I hope I’m wrong obviously. (Disney did do great stuff with the Muppets!) Maybe because I grew up with them, the prequels don’t bother me as much as they do some people, I see them as an annoyance rather than a downfall of the story.
    Another thing is that Disney is just so huge…. it’s like the evil empire (dun dun dun…)
    I don’t think they’ve decided this yet, but in case I’m wrong has anyone else heard of directors or what the plot is going to be like? Because it’s one thing to start with another story in the galaxy far far away, and another to pick up with Luke, Leia, and Han again. That would be weird. Not having read any books or anything I don’t know how this works…
    Guess we will just have to wait until 2015….

    • I gotcha Hunter… and that is one thing I see as a bad point in all of this. Whats next? Star Trek?

      No one has mentioned any plot specifics, but those kind of intentions usually get floated out during pre-production. So I imagine by next year we’ll be hearing what the mouse intends for the next trilogy. I doubt. I highly doubt a new saga with those characters. But I imagine cameos and small roles would probably be in order.

  6. I agree with all three points. And I enjoyed John Carter way better than Lucas’ prequels. So Disney can’t possibly do worse. Since the key actors are too old, I do think it would a matter of picking up with Han and Leia’s kids. Or simply going a whole different route. I’m only in complete shock because I can’t image Lucas giving up control of it. I’m amazed. My first thought was that he was dying. Because he is just such a control freak. So much of a control freak that he can’t let actors act and wants them to just stand there and regurgitate his lines. I don’t understand how this happened.

    • I know, right? Its unbelievable. But… I dont know. Lucas has always been a money maker. Good lord. $4bil. His kids kids kids are gonna have kids that are set for life. LOL

      Anyways, I’m just happy he’s gone. He was an albatross around his own property… and thats sad.

  7. What I’m hoping for are the blu-ray releases of the original Star Wars movies like you. Also if they could somehow remove Jar Jar Binks out of Episode I. I just hope there aren’t any future Star Wars movies. Though the prequels could never ruin my love of the original trilogy, I don’t want any future Star Wars films.

    • Oh well. Got bad news man. They’re already in gear. VII-IX launch starting in 2015. And probably X-XII four, five years after those. LOL

      The Star Wars universe has just opened up into infinity. Seriously. 30 years from now, we’ll be talking a Bond sized franchise that’s 75 years old with 25+ films under the logo.

  8. You know… I like this news. Disney has done OK with the Marvel property so far. And it can’t get any worse than what Lucas has already done to it with the prequels.

    It’s weird, because when I was a kid visiting Star Tours in Disneyland, I already thought that Star Wars was part of the Disney Empire.

    WAIT! Does this mean that the Star Wars comics adaptations returns to Marvel? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! So awesome.

    Only downside is that Disney — what with its ownership of ABC, Marvel, ABC Family, ESPN, and other stuff — already has an iron-fisted grip on modern pop culture, and I’m always a little leery of when art gets blandified by a pre-defined set monoculture. (Shoot, the original Star Wars would’ve probably been considered too risky to turn over a profit, and thus never see the light of day.) But in the case of Star Wars as its currently stands, I can only see improvement when plugged into the Disney hype machine.

    • LOL. I’ve seen other people already geeking out on twitter about Marvel getting the Star Wars comcics license back :D Fun stuff.

      Yeah, I know what youre saying about the mono culture. Is Bond next? LOL. That is a bit scary in that regard. But hey. There are other companies too I guess. Lets see what happens…

      For now I’m just glad that King George has been dethroned!

      • I actually have a weird feeling that one day Disney’s going to make a play for Electronic Arts just so they can get their grubby fingers around my vidya games, too.

  9. Business wise it’s super for Lucas. Don’t know what his plans are, I can’t see him retiring. I know he was super pissed about the whole “Red Tails” project. I imagine he’ll still write, he’s got the bug!

    • Whatever. He can do anything he wants. LOL. I dont know why he was pissed about Red Tails, that movie stunk too!

      The writing bug hasnt been the type of bug Ive wished upon him of late, but right now I dont care one way or the other! LOL

    • I think I read somewhere that Lucas wanted to do smaller movies. I think that Star Wars and Indiana Jones have been both a blessing and a curse. Blessing because of the “CHA-CHING!” But a curse since everyone expected him to churn out blockbusters. While watching the artsy experimental movie “Powaqqatsi” i noticed that Lucas had a producer credit. I think that’s because, in his earlier days, this was the sort of movie he used to make back in film school. You can see its influence in his movies, actually, where his great love are the visuals and the audio… not necessarily the acting. I imagine that if Lucas could go back to the beginning, he’d be churning out art films again.

      • Meh, Lucas has been saying that for years, “I want to do small, personal movies…blah…blah” all the while churning out great bloated piles of steaming, unwatchable horseshit. It’s just a smokescreen statement to fool people into thinking he’s some kind of half-decent artist underneath the evil of his flannel and jowls.

  10. This is a great discussion piece. I am a huge Star Wars geek. I watched all three originals in the theaters, collected all the toys, and can name just about every species you can find on screen. And I owe it all to the creative mind of George Lucas. Now I don’t deny that his revisions to the original films hurt more than helped. I think he should’ve left things alone. But on the flipside, I don’t have near the vitriol disdain towards Lucas as many do.

    And let me throw out a very unpopular statement. I had a lot of fun with the prequels. Obviously they weren’t better than the original three films. But it’s my opinion that they were never going to be well received. They didn’t have a chance. When you’re creating new movies attached to such an iconic and beloved franchise, it’s a no-win proposition.

    As for Lucas sitting on the franchise, I don’t really see it needing to go anywhere else. I think it stands alone just fine the way it is. The idea of Disney taking it and creating new films every two years makes me shudder. Sure, the fanboy in me would love to see new Star Wars pictures. But I can’t help but feel that there is a great risk of ruining what is in place.

    One thing is for sure, it’s going to be fun watching this unfold. It could go a variety of different ways. It could turn out good and we get some really good and new Star Wars films. It could also turn out really, really, really, really bad. We’ll have a lot of time to talk about it as we wait and see.

    • See? I think we’re at “Really, Really Bad” right NOW.

      Where he left us, in my opinion, is a terrible place, because I do hate the prequels. Its fine if you want to defend them, or you enjoyed them…. most people didnt though. So for people like me, there’s no place to go but up.

      Star Wars will likely become just like any other long running franchise now. Sometimes you get a good movie, sometimes a bad… but they just keep chugging along, so the worst case scenario is you wait a couple years til the next one.

      I grew up with the originals too. Toys, yada yada… And I wont begrudge you your stance… but for me, Im so happy to let my “vitriol disdain” go and love Star Wars again

      HASTA LUEGO GEORGE! :D

      • There’s all sorts of interesting reasons out there but I’ve honestly never saw where the hatred comes from. Each has their problems but I didn’t have a problem with them because I never really compared them to the first three. And even if I disliked the prequels, I could just disregard them. I’ll always have the originals (unfortunately with Lucas’ tampering). But I had a good time with them and I think more people may have liked them than you give credit for.

        But all of that aside, I think as Star Wars fans we are hoping for the same thing – great Star Wars movies. Again, I don’t necessarily need them. But I would LOVE Disney to change my mind.

  11. This really doesn’t bother me too much since I am a (classic) Dr. Who / Trek fan. I loved ROTJ but other than that I have been luke (no pun) warm on the entire series. Disney probably has enough money to make this SW franchise good again…

  12. This news is insane man! Especially for a hardcore Star Wars fan like myself. Insane!
    I am ABSOLUTELY on the same page with you on your second point. I was fully restored Star Wars blurays! More than any other bluray. And now its finally possible.
    I’m still unsure on new Star Wars films, but I think I’m leaning more towards your line of thinking. Lets face it, the franchise has already gone well past the “milking it” line, so why not just keep going?

    • Its a brand new day. Time to stop thinking of them as trilogies and start thinking of them as an ongoing universe. I have no idea what Disney intends in the way of release strategies, but I’m sure their eye will be on the continuing property as opposed to any given block of movies.

      I cant wait to get my hands on the original series on Blu. *sniff* and its finally possible. *sniff* So… happy… :D

    • What do you think they Might do? My fingers are crossed for the Yuuzhan Vong but Legacy of the Force seems more likely. Or they could piss us off and act like the extended universe doesn’t exist…

  13. Personally yet to make my mind up on this to be honest. Not sure what I feel like in regards to more and more Star Wars films. It’s over, as far as I was concerned, but let’s hope I’m proved wrong with a strong film in 2015.

    • Exactly.

      I guess if I had to focus on my feelings JUST about the fact that we’re getting new Star Wars movies… I’d say I’m hopeful. The prequels were such a mess… theyve got to be better than those.

      I mean, what if they knock it out of the park and we get the movies we should have gotten when Lucas revisited? What if we get worthy successors?

  14. Cautiously optimistic. Disney has been a good owner for Pixar, Marvel, and to some extent Jim Henson Productions, mostly leaving them a free hand.

    Lucas announced he was transitioning “retiring” and transitioning LFL over to Kathleen Kennedy over the course of this year back in January, and I think collectively everyone went “yeah, riiiight”. It looks like not only he was serious, but that Kennedy will still be the main decision-maker under the LFL shingle. Putting myself in Lucas’s shoes, this makes a lot of sense. He knows that Star Wars will exist in some form or fashion after his lifetime, he’s now pushing 70. This almost guarantees that future projects won’t have to beg for money to get made and it will still be run by his hand-picked successor.

    Just as interesting will be what possibilities this may open up for Indiana Jones. I’ve always felt like Indiana Jones could be the American version of the James Bond, reworked about every 10 years or so.

    I’m not a raging anti-Lucas guy (I mean, the guy gave us Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and ILM… I can forgive a lot of sins with that track record, I know you disagree Fogs), but it’s clear that Star Wars needed a fresh take. Disney provides a lot of cash and a track record that shows they will back big ideas. Does anyone really think we would have gotten the Avengers movie we got if Marvel was partnered with any other studio?

    And Fogs, die-hard fans have been thinking beyond the trilogy for a long, long time (in a galaxy far, far away). The Clone Wars cartoons are pretty flipping good for the 8-12 YO boys out there… I know because my 9 year old eats them up, and I’ve seen enough of them to recognize quality. Star Wars has an even bigger footprint in the book and comic book publishing worlds. Star Wars should NOT be contained by the movies, it’s a big enough universe that it can entertain anyone. If the explosion of Marvel stuff is of any indication, Disney knows that new feature films are just the tip of the iceberg.

    • “I’ve always felt like Indiana Jones could be the American version of the James Bond, reworked about every 10 years or so.”

      Mmmmnnnnmnnmnnnnmn…. I can only see Harrison Ford playing it. It needs 40 years to cool off. LOL

      I know to an extent about the world beyond the movies. I’ve read a couple of books, played my share of video games, and I loved the original clone wars cartoons by the guy who did Samurai Jack (those were awesome, btw)

      But I’m a movie guy, and its a movie centered property. Within the world of the silver screen and home video, Star Wars was a hurting unit. The last new ones were – literally – a joke, and the old ones were… vandalized. Seriously. As if they had Lucas gang tags sprayed all over them at various points.

      I like your point about Marvel and Henson properties doing well. I mean, hell. Look at “The Muppets”. That was a huge comeback. That was great. So I share your cautious optimism.

      I’m still stunned, frankly. My movie verse equation did NOT include new Star Wars movies with potential… I’m all out of whack now. LOL

  15. I think this is great news! Disney has proven they are the company that can handle this. One need only look to the great things they’ve done with other franchises they’ve acquired like Marvel and the Muppets. I’m pumped!

  16. Wow, a real bright spot to my day with the possibility that this indelible franchise would be able to live on in a creative way! Smart move Lucas, your first in many a moon

  17. Completely unexpected. My jaw almost hit the ground when I heard it today. Came out of nowhere as far as i was concerned. I’m actually with you Fogs’ and hoping that there is something really great to come out of this for Star Wars and anything else that they decide to do. My best friend and I often bring up the fact that we’d like to see Ep. 7-9 brought to film at some point in time and now…well, I never thought it’d come.

  18. I think this is good news because George Lucas, frankly, fucking sucks. The guy is a glorified toy salesman who has been masquerading as a filmmaker for far too long.

    It’s not great news to me, because I stopped giving a shit about Star Wars years ago, thanks to the concerted efforts of the man who created it in the first place. Seemed he was going out of his way to show the world that Star Wars wasn’t particularly good and he cared less about it than anyone else alive anyway.

    Now, however, there’s a chance that I might actually happily sit in front of a new Star Wars movie.

    • Yeah, well, I’m with you for most of that. Youre right, Lucas was intent on proving to everyone that he was actually a hack, and that the original Star Wars movies were either a fluke or the credit belonged to his many many collaborators. And the way he managed the properties business-wise was incredibly annoying.

      And I stopped caring years ago too.

      Now I wake up today to a movie universe where I have to make room for Star Wars again. Its an incredibly surprising event!

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