Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The Force is Wrong With This One...
A short time ago, in a place too close for comfort...
The 20th century's biggest franchise gets a new lease on life, so perplexing, so invigorating, you'll want to pull the ears off a Gundark.
In one of the most dumbfounded and bewildering moves in the history of modern business, entertainment and the human experience, legendary camp sci-fi guru George Lucas recently sold the ENTIRE Star Wars franchise to a little po-dunk, two-bit Mom-and-Pop operation called the Walt Disney company. All for a meager $4.05 Billion.
Picking up jaw, inserting eyeballs back into eye sockets.
By 1999, Lucas made close to $3 billion on licensing agreements ALONE–and that was before all those God-awful prequels. So why sell the greatest Sci-Fi fantasy franchise of all time for something that alone is worth far more, and doesn't even come close to the cumulative value of the deal. Note that Lucas also sold premiere effects houses, Industrial Light & Magic, THX, Skywalker Sound and host of other smaller SW subsidiaries.
So what does this Disney/Lucas Rebel Alliance mean? Here's my very flawed, incomplete list of fractured thoughts:
1. "Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy..."— merging entertainment's two greatest properties into one mega-conglomerate of Jedi awesomeness has got to raise the Midi-chlorian levels of the whole galaxy. If Disney's Hans off... oh, I mean, hands off approach is policy, as demonstrated with Marvel (see: The Avengers), then this merger might be magic.
2. "I've got a bad feeling about this" – if you think the merging of these two fantasy behemoths is a match made on Mustafar, you may not be wrong. The jury is out on the effects of the merger but one thing is certain, "..this will be a day long-remembered."
3. "Do or do not... there is no try"– okay, at the core I really do think this will be a good move for Star Wars. Already Disney has green-lighted a new three-movie trilogy along with two confirmed spin-off films; young Han Solo and an as-yet-to-be determined adventure starring Boba Fett. Disney has committed to releasing a new Star Wars film every two years. Whoa.
4. "I'm getting much too old for this sort of thing" – I think we can all at least agree that it is a VERY good thing that Lucas step aside and release the tractor beam from Star Wars for someone else. After all, there was a 20 year gap between Return of The Jedi and Phantom Menace. Jeez, forget the Falcon, I could have made the Kessel Run in my family station wagon in that amount of time (she may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kids).
5. "It's a trap!" – don't be fooled into thinking that Lucas is gone. He isn't. He has signed on indefinitely as executive consultant. He won't be going anywhere. I suppose that's to perpetuate the preposterous myth that Greedo shot first (he didn't).
Finally, the brilliant appointment of fan-boy wunderkind director, J.J. Abrams to become Lucas's air-apparent means there is a new hope for the admittedly faltering Star Wars name. I honestly can't think of anyone better who could bring balance to the force. Or the possibilities.