Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thoughts on Lucas Film going to Disney


Dear Reader,

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I have a blog. You're actually reading it right now. I know, I know; you're thinking, "Don't you have to post stuff for it to be a blog?" My dad thinks so too.

Below you'll find an email I sent him when he asked what I thought about the whole Disney buying Star Wars thing. He thought it was postable.

James

P.s. This isn't up to my usual standards of research. Like I said it was a letter I wrote, not an essay. If I credit the wrong studio with owning the wrong intellectual properties, please comment corrections. It will be a nice change from no comments.

On Disney's Acquisition of Lucas Film

I think it's very weird for a lot of aesthetic reasons, but it's probably good for fans. While it's going to take a while to get used to Star Wars without the Fox fanfare, Indiana Jones opening with a shot of castle instead of a mountain, or Monkey Island characters showing up in Kingdom Hearts, all those properties have been putting out sub par sequels for years. Disney has an excellent track record and has shown genre fans they know what they're doing with the Marvel properties. The weirdest thing is their pledge to make a million more Star Wars films on day one. I would have expected further theme park integration and maybe a new tv series, but saying there'll be a new trilogy by the end of the decade reminds me of Kennedy's moon speech, ya know? It doesn't sound totally impossible, but it didn't seem like something we would see in our lifetime until he said we would. It's a really ambitious promise to make.

Indy is still tied up with a Paramount contract, like Spidey and X-men are with Sony and Fox. It'll be a few years before they can do anything with the License. I haven't heard any announcements, but this means Howard the Duck has also defaulted back to Marvel like DareDevil did a few months ago. I don't know if anybody knew or cared that Howard is a Marvel Comics character that Lucas Film had the rights too. I'm not sure they didn't go back already, actually. They don't really have many other film properties to bring to the Mouse House that would be commercially viable. I think THX1138 has a fan following, but not in a way that would make a bunch of money, and aside from putting a Richard Dreyfus animatronic in the Great Movie Ride I wouldn't want them to mess with American Graffiti. That movie is pretty perfect the way it is. I don't even know if Lucas has the rights to those anyway, since they came out before he started his company while working with other producers and distributors.

I'm glad Disney is running the sub companies very independently and ILM, THX, Skywalker Sound, and others will still do work for all kinds of projects. If they were an exclusively Disney company we wouldn't have Titanic or Star Trek or Independence Day. And Lucas Arts being in the same family as Disney Interactive is great. They both have great IPs, but DI has had a lot of tech problems recently (Epic Mickey) on console titles and is almost entirely a mobile publisher these days. LA has had a lot of really impressive games like The Force Unleashed, the upcoming 1313, and The Old Republic (which I'm addicted to), but hasn't produced a non-Star Wars title in a decade. Maybe the story people and the tech people can all get together and do something cool, or at least make another Day of the Tentacle.

The strangest part, really, is that Leia is a Disney Princess now.

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