Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Darth Disney

So, the Internacles in the last few hours have positively exploded with the news that Disney has bought out Lucas Film, and is going to be making Star Wars: Episode VII.

There are two very consistent reactions out there. One: "Aaaargh! This is the end of everything decent in the world!" and Two: "Well, they could hardly make the Star Wars franchise any worse at this point." Often these thoughts are coming out of the same person's mouth. (Or, well, fingers.)

I'll go one further, and bear with me... this is a good thing. Okay, yes, it would have been better if the rights would have been purchased by, say, Peter Jackson or Joss Whedon (although that would be a death sentence for Princess Leia, amiright?)

When Disney bought The Muppets all those years ago, I was pretty horrified. But that was a franchise for the most part unspoiled. Not so, Star Wars. Not so.

I can't blame Lucas for selling. I mean, no matter how rich you are, it's got to be difficult having the most rabid fanbase in the history of pop culture, since, say, Rudolph Valentino, and then watch them all turn from you in disgust. Well-earned disgust, mind you.

Star Wars was the first film I remember seeing in the theater. The series had a profound effect on my childhood, blah, blah, blah. You know the drill. Most of you are in the same boat with me. Don't get me wrong, the first three films (in our chronology, not the Star Wars universe's) are hardly perfection. Empire is the strongest of the three, but in Jedi, the Lucas-induced cracks are already beginning to show. Still, they are great stories, with great characters, despite some clunky dialog and Ewoks.

Lest we never forget.

But those OTHER films. You know the ones. I can't... I just can't. Kids seem to like them, and one friend of mine, who otherwise exhibits impeccable taste, but most adult humans think that they're a big pile of poo. Why should George Lucas touch Star Wars ever again? He's already killed the beloved family pet, nobody wants to watch him poke it with a stick for another 10 years.

So then... some other creative minds are taking over the franchise. Good! Very good! I hope they go off of Timothy Zahn's post-Jedi novels, I rather like them. But whatever they do, it will be done by fresh talent, by people who, hopefully, understand the appeal of the first three movies (Again, our chronology. Just gonna head you off at the pass there. Yes, I'm looking at you.)

And let's not forget, Disney may be a corporate monster, but it has in its fold other, more likable monsters. I, of course, am talking about Sully and Mike Wasowski. Pixar, people. They may not get on with Disney all the time, but they've managed to put out some of the most consistently terrific films of the last decade, despite the looming Mouse.

Let's hope some similarly great creative minds are put into place to bring Star Wars back to life.
And even if it's not very good... it can't be worse.


Jon said...

Star Wars can still be good, especially if George Lucas is not involved, as proven by the Tarakovsky Clone Wars series:


and those amazing E3 cinematics:




Also, it has to be pointed out that they didn't screw up Marvel, so... we shall see. We shall see.

Mark Teats said...

Great post (and great title).

When I see the Disney name on an upcoming film it tends to fill me with dread for what might become of that movie. But, for a company that's been around 80 (!) or so years, they've had a huge impact on film and animation. It'll be interesting to see what happens going forward, especially throwing Star Wars into the mix.

Looking at this list (below) I realize the last few Disney movies I've seen didn't do a lot for me

Brave, Cars 2, Pirates of the Carribean 3, all made me say, "Meh."

I was one of the few folks who actually liked (or saw) Disney's rendition of "John Carter of Mars" and enjoyed it (it strayed from the book a bit, but it retained more of the John Carter Mars than I would have thought possible in a viable movie).

Regardless of what happens, I'll always have, "That Darned Cat."

Shawn Enderlin said...

I'm cautiously optimistic.

I don't think Disney will be a problem. After all, they haven't messed with Marvel.

But this mystery script they are working from. Is it a breakdown of Timothy Zahn's COMPLETELY AWESOME novels? Or is it a Lucas brainchild?

Personally, I think I'm ok with either. Even if it is based of a Lucas treatment. After all, it wasn't his ideas that were bad, it was the execution.

Although - Jar Jar - there's just no forgiveness for that.