You’re all bunkmates in the House of Mouse.
Disney rocked the entertainment world Tuesday, announcing the purchase of the entirety of George Lucas’ empire for the hefty sum of $4 billion. The deal for Lucasfilm includes special-effects house Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound, video-game company LucasArts and the rights to one of the greatest (and most profitable) entertainment franchises of all-time, Star Wars.
Yeah, Star Wars. The movie-toy-comic book-novel-cartoon-merchandise monster that permeates geek culture. The technological marvel that has influenced filmmakers, show runners, authors and artists since its debut in 1977. The touchstone that shaped the imaginations of generations.
It was a mind-blowing, heart-stopping move from which geeks, nerds and moviephiles have yet to recover. No one ever imagined Lucas would relinquish the rights to his beloved franchise. It was rumored that his will had such strict provisions on how his legacy could be handled that he would be in control of the Star Wars universe long after his death.
But Lucas, who will get 40 million Disney shares in the deal and serve as a creative consultant, felt it was time “to pass ‘Star Wars’ on to a new generation of filmmakers.”
And who better to select those filmmakers than Disney?
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the House of Mouse landed the franchise. Disney already has an extensive relationship with the Star Wars universe. Hollywood Studios, one of Disney’s many parks in Florida, has long hosted a Star Wars ride. Walt Disney World hosts Star Wars celebrations weekends each May. And Lucas undoubtedly must have been impressed with the job the Mouse has done handling Marvel’s stable of superheroes.
What’s most shocking about the acquisition, a year and a half in the making according to Disney CEO Robert Iger, is the detailed plans Disney has going forward. One suspects this plan was a required part of the transaction.
Disney plans to release a new Star Wars film, Episode VII, in 2015. Episodes VIII and IX will appear in quick succession, and then fans can expect a new film every few years. Initial work on the first film is already under way. No word on whether any of the original cast — Mark Hamil, Carrie Fisher or Harrison Ford — will return or what the plot might entail.
Fans are already clamoring for a host of directors to lead these projects. From Joss Whedon, who delivered in a big way with this summer’s “The Avengers,” and Christopher Nolan, the man who reinvigorated the Batman franchise, to Brad Bird, Pixar genius and “Mission Impossible III” director, and even David Fincher, the door is wide open to amazing possibilities.
But Disney’s vision for the franchise isn’t limited to film. Iger suggests television series are a part of the plan. As is expanding the Star Wars presence at Disney’s parks, including the possibility of an entire theme park devoted to all things Vader, Luke, Han and Leia.
The vast universe of Star Wars paired with the imagination of Disney. The limits seem like they’re in a galaxy far, far away...
Heather Bremer, a former Herald Bulletin reporter/designer, writes a weekly column on movies, television and pop culture. Contact her at heathere firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’re all bunkmates in the House of Mouse.
- The 'fairest food of all' Rides along the midway and 4-H animals may be a big draw for the county fair, but there's plenty of food people look forward to and indulge in during the Madison County 4-H Fair.
Beef, dairy entries handle the heat
For some 4-H'ers in the beef and dairy shows at the Madison County 4-H Fair, one cow can be a handful. Then there's Jeron Mason who was just one cow short of a literal handful.
- Cornerstone celebrating summer session Join Cornerstone staff and students as they celebrate their summer session.
Swine show brings smiles, lessons
Despite warm temperatures and occasionally ornery pigs, there were a lot of smiles during the Madison County 4-H Fair swine show Monday.
Harless provides loving care to hens
When Holden Harless received his American Hen last year he named it Andrew Luck after his favorite football player.
Governor visits with 4-H'ers at county fair
Gov. Mike Pence stopped by the Madison County 4-H Fair on Monday afternoon to visit with the children and parents who put so much effort into the fair and the fairgoers who make the fair worthwhile.
- All those years ago: Beatles fans still remember On Sept. 3, 1964, the Beatles performed to more than 30,000 fans at the Indiana State Fair.
Kitts to reign over Madison County 4-H Fair as queen
After finishing as the first runner-up in the Madison County 4-H Queen contest in 2013, Hope Kitts returned this year to win the honors.
Scholarship recipients relish parade acknowledgement
Taylor Jennings and Shelby Farmer took their last stroll around their hometown Sunday. At least, their last before starting college in the fall.
Movie, TV legend James Garner dies
Actor James Garner, whose whimsical style in the 1950s TV Western "Maverick" led to a stellar career in TV and films such as "The Rockford Files" and his Oscar-nominated "Murphy's Romance," has died, police said. He was 86.
- More Entertainment Headlines