Less than 12 hours ago, in a social network just a click away…FAN WARS! Well, not really, but all of Facebook and Twitter was off the hook. All of a sudden, the Star Wars franchise became relevant again. Star Wars has not received this much attention since the Red Letter Media reviews. The news is that Disney just bought out Lucasfilm. For the most part, this is not too much of a shock. Star Tours has been planted in Disneyland since the late 80s. Indiana Jones has also had a presence in the Disney parks internationally. Even when I was a kid, the line between Disney and George Lucas was always a blur. The Disney Channel had Karen Allen and John Rhys Davies hosting a “Making Of…” the Indiana Jones attraction in Disneyland. The Tomorrowland stores have always carried cross over toys – the Disney characters as Star Wars characters are some of the first things I have taken a look at.
Additionally, we are also promised an Episode VII in 2015. A Chris Griffin sustained, “Whaaaaaaaaat?” was heard all the way to the outer rim of the Internet. There has been much speculation on what Episode VII is going to be about. Fans are demanding an adaptation of Zhan’s Thrawn series (Heir to the Empire). While others remain skeptical about the new. The expanded universe is huge; there’s a lot of material to work with and also a lot that could go wrong if in the wrong hands. Optimism remains as fans believe that there can be nothing worse than a Jar Jar Binks or the theory of midicholoreans (or however you spell it).
Evidence has been pointed out that since Disney acquired Marvel, the Marvel universe themed movies have been better. This theory is subjective. While I do have major nitpicks with The Avengers movie, it was still an entertaining summer blockbuster movie. At the same time, Marvel is still reveled as its own brand. I do not see the Marvel attractions from Islands of Adventure being co-opted by Disney anytime soon. Neither have I seen any crossovers of The Avengers and Disney characters teaming up to stop kids from using drugs in an hour long cartoon special. Disney can let Lucasfilm still be its own brand.
With that said, as much as it’s fun to share memes of Princess Leia joining the Disney Princess franchise, I doubt it will ever happen. The new baby Princess Sophia is more likely to be co-opted in the Disney Princess line than our favorite Alderaan princess with a blaster. However, there is that part of me that would love to see collectable fashion dolls of Princess Leia. The couture themed villains and princess line have proved successful. Disney does merchandising and memorabilia the best. While perusing through the Disney store in Times Square, I saw a huge improvement in Disney themed toy lines. Princess Leia 11.5” dolls (and even the Padme dolls) in the past looked really cheap, there is a new hope for collectors.
What I am hoping with this new acquisition is that Disney can allow their team of writers and creative minds to really expand the Star Wars universe beyond the prequels. For the past couple of years, we have been stuck in prequel universe hell. What I liked about the Star Tours update is that it also played to the likes of the original trilogy – asteroid fields, Hoth, etc. I would really want to see an animated series that follows Leia’s twins. Going beyond Star Wars, I would love to see more Indiana Jones adventures, before he got old and crusty. I would love to see a made for TV animated movie on Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Disney’s animation creative team has been getting better. Shows like Phineas and Ferb and Gravity Falls are evidence that even adults can enjoy an animated series that’s directly aimed to a younger audience.
Disney knows storytelling best. They know how to respect brands and let them exist on their own plane. I remember when hard core purist otaku were crying blood when the Studio Ghibli films were acquired. If anything, I enjoyed Disney’s treatment of the Ghibli films. I’m more than happy to finally own these dvds. I really enjoyed how Disney went into detail with how they did the Temple of the Forbidden Eye and how they updated Star Tours. I thought these stories that are told within the attraction were far superior than what went inside Lucas’ mind when he made the prequels and Crystal Skull.
With that said, I have high hopes for the acquisition. I doubt that we’ll ever get a release of the original-original trilogy anytime soon, but who knows what may be in store. If anything, I am looking forward to the acquisition. You best that I am going to be there at the midnight showing of Episode VII in my full Queen Breha (you know, Leia’s real mother…because a real mother wouldn’t loose the will to live after giving birth) outfit. As long as Disney does not touch that other Lucas series (the one with the duck), I think it will be smooth sailing from here on out. May the force be with you.
And can we have Star Wars week at Disneyland, please?