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. It’s not that much of a stretch to see Star Wars with Disney, there has always been a pretty close link – they have Star Wars rides at Disneyworld, for example.

    I have no problem with it, to be honest. Lucas was well and truly milking it and taking it further and further down the pan, so I think it’ll be good to get some new ideas into it. As much as I would have liked them to just leave Star Wars alone, there’s too much money in it so it was never going to go away. At least it’s now with a company who do make generally decent films. Sure, they’re going to kiddify it a lot, but that started with Phantom Menace anyway as far as I was concerned. I doubt we’ll see anything as dark as Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi again but I’m open to see what they come up with. Joss Whedon did a great job with The Avengers as far as I’m concerned, give him a shot at Star Wars! I’m no longer as much of a Star Wars fanboy as I used to be, but that was all Lucas’s doing. I’m willing to give Disney a chance.

    • Yeah… I dont know about everyone’s fears of the films being “Kiddified”… like you say, that DID happen with Phantom Menace already, but also, I mean, Whedon didn’t “kiddify” The Avenegers. So It’s a valid possibility I suppose, but I’m not all that afraid of it or anything….

      “I’m no longer as much of a Star Wars fanboy as I used to be, but that was all Lucas’s doing.” AMEN.

      Exactly where I’m coming from. And today I wake up and have to reconcile myself to the franchise!

      • I suppose it’s already been made for a much younger audience anyway with the Clone Wars series but I just can’t see anyone getting their limbs lopped off or anything in a Disney movie. Just as long as they have a scene where Luke and Leia realised they kissed, I’m sold :)

      • I’m a huge fan of the original three, but the new ones stole that love from me cause they didn’t make sense, were dumb, horribly acted, etc…. Glad someone else is taking it over.

      • Guess what I found out this week???? So funny that we were just talking about Star Wars. My father-in-law found a half cousin who lives in our area he had never met before…big family…big story…lots of cousins. Come to find out this lady is married to Peter Mayhew!! My In-laws spent the day with them finding out about the family and returned with autographed pictures for me!! HEEEEEEE!

      • Wowwwwwwwww. LOL! That IS cool. Hey guess what? You never knew it, but you’re Chewbacca’s cousin! :D D’oh!! Thats fun stuff.

        I have a Peter Mayhew autograph myself, got it at Comic-Con last year. Its very proudly displayed in my living room.

        So anyways, yeah. Awesome! Thats cool as hell. :D

  2. Hi, Fogs and company:

    Meh!

    George Lucas has proven to be a mediocre director. Who suffers from the ability to never leave well enough alone and does his best work in the editing room. Culminating with episodes 4 through 6 of ‘Star Wars’. Whose heritage goes back to Kurosawa’s ‘The Hidden Fortress’ and ‘The Dam Busters’, amped up by cutting edge special effects. Creating a franchise that should have never should have been touched or messed with after ‘Return of the Jedi’.

    Am I pleased that Lucas sold to Disney? Yes.

    As long as it keeps George’s influence and ego relatively in check or focused elsewhere.

  3. They’ll have to some way to erase the dire prequels 1-3, awful, truly awful!
    On a more serious note, Disney are making 100’s redundant at the UK design offices and relocating the business to the US, ( that s after assuring EVERYBODY, that no one would be out of a job earlier in the year ) the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away

    • Oh. I’m sure – I’m absolutely sure that Disney is a soulless corporate entity that doesnt give a damn about employees, etc and is only concerned for the bottom line. No doubt.

      Thing is though they’re ALL like that. There are extremely few big global corporations that dont do things exactly like what you mentioned. Its how this world is now… :(

      But hey. At least now they have a chance to – as you said – “erase the dire prequels” HA HA!! :D

      That makes me happy!

  4. I really doubt we’ll see the original unaltered trilogy any time soon. Disney probably had to a sign a clause or something (this is my speculation) saying that they wouldn’t mess with George’s “vision.” Although, I’m confident they will try to do right by the fans by making good future movies. They didn’t kiddify any of Marvel’s properties and they didn’t kiddify the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (whether or not you find them to be good is an entirely different matter). The bottom line is that Disney knows how to put out a premium, high quality product, and this will extend to the Star Wars franchise.

    • Amen.

      And while I could see Lucas trying to have some sort of such clause included… I can also see Disney trying to get every dollar they can back on their $4 billion. Which includes the easy millions waiting with a premium quality, unadulterated box set of the original films.

      Hell! I’d even buy the prequels if they included them… as long as I could get a remastered, high def version of the original theatrical releases. :D

    • Actually… I think they did kiddify the Marvel properties. In the sense that if you look at Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, it capped off a trend of making superheroes cemented in a more realistic world. People say that the Avengers movie took its cue from The Ultimates… but that comic was written by Mark Millar, the guy who wrote Wanted and Kick-Ass. It was filled with spousal abuse, parallels to terrorism, a cannibalistic Hulk… and it was written sort of with the intent of making a movie out of it.

      The Avengers, though, was more or less a throwback to the 60’s. Did you even imagine that Captain America would show up in a movie with his original outfit more or less intact? Shoot, those horrible Captain America movies in the 80’s tried to downplay the costume because it was so cheesy … and yet here it is. Not turned into a black leather outfit like Wolverine in the X-Men movie. Not with practical applications (deflecting gauntlets) like in Batman Begins. Nope. We’re just going to accept that these dudes are running around town in a superhero movie.

      I still like it, and it’s just the shot in the arm that superhero movies needed. BUT I very seriously doubt that Disney would’ve ever signed off on an Avengers movie that was more Nolan-esque… or even Favreau-esque. Hey, remember when Iron Man was a commentary on the War on Terror? Not happening here.

      • Ohhhh. I dont know Santo. I mean, hell, even Millar’s own movies arent as hardcore as Millar’s comics. No one is making Avengers films like the Ultimates, regardless if Marvel held the property themselves. I think everyone will be aiming for PG13 content, even Disney. Anyone who’s worried they’re going to make these movies the second coming of Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang is being silly.

        The Captain America costume thing is what it is. I’m glad this wasn’t Nolanesque. They dont all need to be. I doubt that Disney ownership is going to preclude what would be “suitably edgy” content for either franchise… Marvel or Star Wars

      • No, I agree, the Avengers movie wasn’t ever going to be the Ultimates. But movie versions of comic book characters usually jettison the campier elements for “realism”, right? Like, even when the more colorful ones like Spider-Man come out, there was a controversy about the organic webshooters. Why did Raimi & crew go with that version? Well… because the idea of a teenager being able to invent his own webshooters is kinda silly.

        Then you had Fantastic Four, which undid the Dr. Doom of the comics because, shoot, why would a guy be walking around in a metal mask and cape in this day and age? He has to be some sort of mutant with metal powers or something. And then … cloud Galactus, based on a terrible idea by Warren Ellis.

        With the Avengers, though, there’s little evidence that they’re dispensing with the cartoonier elements of comic books … which is a little bit of a shocker when you consider that the first Iron Man movie, the one that started it all, was very much rooted in the sort of realism you’d find in a Nolan movie. One or two fantastic elements, sure, but most of it is fairly grounded.

        Again, I’d like to point out that I really enjoyed the Avengers movie, just that I definitely think it was more kiddie oriented than the other superhero movies. Also, it was closer to the PG side of the PG-13 scale. As in, if this movie came out in the 80’s, it would definitely be PG. (It’s weird how large of a sliding scale the PG-13 is, by they way. I wouldn’t mind taking my 7 year old niece to watch it, but I’d think twice before taking her to see Taken.)

  5. I’m not a huge a fan of Star Wars but I share your sentiment, Fogs. I think it’s good that George is letting other fresh filmmakers in on this beloved franchise and improve them. Clearly he’s well-compensated for the sale. I mean $4 BILLION bucks!! :D

  6. This might be one of the five biggest movie world announcements of the year. I mean, damn, if there was one way to get me excited about the Star Wars universe again, this is it– sell the franchise to Disney, a company that’s seriously trying to satisfy its franchising needs through Marvel, and you’ve just reinvigorated a series that’s become nothing short of a pop culture punchline since 2005.

    • LOL. Yeahhhhh. I mean, exactly. I couldnt believe the news when I heard it. I dont know that this wont be THE biggest movie news of the year!

      And Star Wars had fallen to a lowly state, there’s no doubt about it. And now, suddenly, unexpectedly here it is again. A New Hope. LOL Forgive the cheesy pun. :D

      • Well, I hope the folks at Disney manage to output something special in the next few years before the George Lucas Empire strikes back and tries to return the jedi to their fold while exacting their revenge by waging war on the Mouse’s Star Wars clones.

        …okay, I tried really hard there to way out-pun you. Sorry.

  7. I don’t really have a dog in this race. (Or a mouse or an ewok, for that matter!). But I do get a little concerned whenever I see huge companies like Disney getting even bigger. There’s just something about empires, even corporate ones, that just rubs my jedi senses the wrong way, you know? I mean, is it really necessary for one company to hold ALL the trademarks from my childhood? Darth Vader may have been Luke’s father, but Mickey’s our new daddy now.

    • Yes.

      That’s totally true, and it definitely IS a concern. For the past couple of days I’ve been conceding that to people… that its an alarming trend. Whats left that they DONT own? Star Trek? Bond? LotR?

      But I thought of something today that’s almost as troubling… why dont they focus their energies on creating NEW properties? This particular situation is complicated because I’m so happy Lucas has been “oustered” from the franchise… but aside from that, is Disney just going to keep buying pre-existing stuff? Do they intend to get creative again or what?

  8. Fogs, I’m right with you on this one. Granted, my enthusiasm is higher because I’m already designing more rides at Disney World and Disneyland in my head, but I’m silly (aka crazy) that way.

    I’ll admit that one of my first thoughts was “The Original Trilogy on Blu-ray!”. Disney spent a ton on this property and is going to do everything they can to make their investment worthwhile. It may become overkill at some point, but I’m excited to see what is ahead for the series.

    • “one of my first thoughts was “The Original Trilogy on Blu-ray!”. Disney spent a ton on this property and is going to do everything they can to make their investment worthwhile.”

      Dude, exactly. LOL. I was a little surprised I didnt see it already announced this morning! “Hey fans! Worried about the franchise? Concerned we took it over? Well hows this for an olive branch?” and boom, original blu announcement. LOL

      Maybe they want to give some time for the dust to settle.

      Disneyland Star Wars, here we come. Who’s ready to ride the “blow up the Death Star” ride? :D

  9. I’m not entirely sure why people are so worried about Disney kiddifying Star Wars. They have released “adult” films through other production companies they own so that it isn’t under the Disney magic castle.

    That and Star Wars was never really edgy or gritty to me anyways. I think a lot Star Wars fans watched them when they were little and we weren’t all products of poor parenting.

    Really, Disney doesn’t need to even make anymore Star Wars movies to get their money back. Lucas has the money he does because of the license and products that spawned from that franchise. Disney just needs to keep pumping out toys and add some Star Wars rides to the parks and they’d make a ton. I’ve been impressed with their Blu-Rays, so if the released Blu-Ray versions (even if they weren’t really changed) they’d make a nice sum of money. Then there are the games and whatever else I’m missing from the Star Wars empire that does not include making feature films.

    What I want out of this is for Pixar to do some Star Wars related work and to see Monkey Island series turned into a film, preferably by Pixar as well.

  10. The “Star Wars” trilogy is what it is. The original one is a fun ride and the best of the lot. The prequels, I don’t even bother with. That’s about it, in the big picture. Disney investing so much in a series of new Star Wars movies is misguided at best.

    • Noooo Henry, they’re going to make a ton of money with this purchase. If you have interest, here’s an article I posted in a reply above as well that focuses on how dominant the Star Wars licensing STILL is. http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/10/31/what-disney-is-really-buying/?iid=HP_LN

      Star Wars VII is about the most failure proof blockbuster ever. It could suck worse than any movie in history and its still a $600 million movie. And I’m sure it wont. even if they dont hit it out of the park, and its decent, this franchise will make them a ton. And they may re-invigorate it. Who knows?

      I dont bother with the prequels either. LOL. I wish I could erase them from my mind!

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