Three years ago, Disney bought Marvel Entertainment, everything from the comic books to the movies to the action figures. Given how quickly that venture paid off (See “The Avengers”), it is no surprise that Disney would want to go out on another low-risk, high-reward business deal. So how do you one-up the purchase of one of the most lucrative franchises right now? How about the purchase of one of the most lucrative franchises of all time? Last week, for the hefty sum of $4 billion, Disney did just that and bought Lucasfilm and with it Star Wars, immediately announcing another trilogy of movies set to begin in 2015. I, much like the Internet at large, was appropriately shocked. While I had always loved Spider-Man and the X-Men growing up, Marvel as a whole was never truly all that important to me as a kid. Star Wars, however, is an entirely different story. I love Star Wars. My first true memory of going to see a movie was “The Phantom Menace” on opening night. I grew up with the second (and far worse) trilogy of movies, I read the multitude of books, played the many video games, built the Legos, and even have a special edition Phantom Menace Monopoly board. Star Wars was such an immense part of my childhood and it now belongs to the same company where the rest of my childhood memories of pop culture come from.
Maybe the most shocking part is that this deal even went through at all. George Lucas, a man infamous for his stubbornness when it comes to anyone else dealing with his vision, had literally sold his life’s work away to pay for retirement (and an incredibly generous charitable donation). Obviously, Star Wars is no stranger to selling out. George Lucas is more of a business man at this point than a filmmaker, but Star Wars was his baby. While the deal does say that Lucas will stay on in some advisory role, this deal effectively opens the door to anyone Disney can hire to make a Star Wars film.
And I have to admit, this is an exciting prospect. When I saw “Revenge of the Sith” in theaters, I was certain it was the last time I would ever see Star Wars on the big screen, 3D re-releases aside. The idea of seeing another Star Wars film in theaters, possibly being made by someone who both gets Star Wars and knows what they are doing brings a smile to my face. Maybe this series doesn’t have to go out on a low note. The ball is in your court, Disney. I’m not asking for a game-changer like the original, I’m just asking for a good movie.
At worst, another three bad Star Wars movies will give us another three RedLetterMedia reviews. And by “worst,” I mean “best.”
BY ZACH WEBSTER firstname.lastname@example.org