Most of you are already likely aware of the fact that, just a couple of days ago, George Lucas announced that he had sold his entire filmmaking empire to Disney. For those of you who are avid Star Wars junkies, like me, this probably got your blood boiling for a minute. Star Wars and DISNEY? Come on! There are oh so many reasons why I believe this to be not a bad fit, but a freakin’ horrible fit. What in the hell does Disney know about making successful action-adventure, sci-fi epics? Oh yeah, I forgot. They did just recently release that HUGE success, John Carter. Remember that one??? It cost about 3 billion dollars to produce and ended up grossing just slightly less than my nieces and nephews got last night on Halloween. But I digress…
Here are my top three reasons why this was a stupid move for everyone except Lucas, who got a cool $4 billion in cash and Disney stock for the sale. Read on!
1. Disney has no idea how to make films as sweeping and nerdy as the Star Wars franchise – just refer to my previous example, the movie John Carter. This was supposed to mark Disney’s foray into grand filmmaking. It was shot with an astronomical budget, got tons of publicity and centered around a young Civil War vet who, after being killed, is transplanted to Mars where he encounters all types of alien space creatures. Yes, you read that correctly…a dead man fighting aliens on Mars. With a plot that engaging, I’m surprised it even made it past the drawing board. Anyways, if this is Disney’s version of a space-centered epic fantasy film, I’m really worried about what they will do with the next three Star Wars films (Disney plans to produce Episodes 7, 8 and 9 of the Star Wars legacy…with the first being released in 2015). Let’s just hope that they at least bring Lucas on board as a consultant or something.
2. The Disney-fication of Star Wars – please don’t let this happen!!!! Will our favorite inter-galactic warriors start playing nice instead of kicking major ass on screen? Will Princess Leia become a bona fide DISNEY PRINCESS, alongside Ariel the Mermaid and Snow White? Ugh. Do we all REALLY want to see Luke, Darth Vader or R2D2 hanging out with Daffy Duck? This diehard fan says NO!!!!! As much as I can appreciate, and even enjoy, some of the stuff that comes out of Disney (with the exception of Cars…what a stupid movie premise), I don’t want them messing around with a franchise as storied and beloved as Star Wars. I can almost picture it now: as I visit Disney World with my family in the not-too-distant future, I run into Minnie Mouse and Chewbacca getting jiggy with each other in a dark corner. Eww. I’m about to barf just thinking about it.
3. Too many movies, too fast – in the press release announcing their purchase of everything Lucas, Disney also said that they would be releasing a new Star Wars film every two-three years. Like the X-Men franchise, some of these films will be centered on Han Solo and the gang, while others would be spin-offs of other characters (similar to what happened when Wolverine started making his own films independent of the X-Men gang). While I was initially happy to hear this (after all, I am a huge SW geek!), now I’m not so sure. With the Mouse House at the helm, will these movies eventually become too much for the audience to handle? I mean, are we going to start seeing entire movies based around characters like Jar Jar Binks (kill me now!) or C3PO (Space Balls, anyone?)…let’s hope not!
While I am obviously thrilled about the prospect of having new Star Wars films in the near future, I’m going to be very cautious until I see the first film. Disney has a chance to really do this right by hiring the right people to oversee production and taking into account the massive thirst that us Star Wars junkies have for new quality entries into this franchise. Let’s hope they get it right the first time, or this might have been a $4 billion mistake on the part of Disney.