Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Hollywood Babble On & On #965: Disney Declares Star Wars!

A real whopper hit the world last night. Media megalith the Walt Disney Company inked a deal to give George Lucas $4.05 billion, yes, that's BILLION, in exchange for his company Lucasfilm and all its assets, including the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises and special effects powerhouse Industrial Light and Magic.

Disney also announced that they have a new Star Wars movie trilogy mapped out and will start with Episode 7 slated for release in 2015.

Time for us to look at the PROS & CONS!


1. Lucas has managed to become the richest filmmaker in the history of Hollywood.

2.  Disney now controls two of the most commercially successful franchises in recent movie history, namely Star Wars and the Indiana Jones franchises. They come with not only a history of lucrative movies, they have immense merchandising empires (including toys & games) as well, which are literally a license to print money.

3. Disney also has ownership of one of the longest running and most successful special effects houses in movie history. 

4. Disney has had success buying franchises and making them lucrative money machines like they did with Marvel comics.  


1. Lucasfilm's record doing anything outside their core franchises is pretty dismal. Not including the first American Graffiti movie Not only did a lot of these films lose money, you could put together the collective box office of Willow, Radioland Murders, Tucker: A Man & His Dream, Howard The Duck, Labyrinth, Mishima, and Red Tails and it probably wouldn't add up to the take brought in by 1 of their blockbuster core franchises.

2. The Indiana Jones franchise is essentially built around Harrison Ford and Stephen Spielberg, and even though Crystal Skull made money at the box office, a lot of the core fans think Ford's getting too old to be the action hero, his potential replacement Shia LaBeouf is more like "Where's The Beef," and Spielberg struck many as uninterested in the whole franchise, which isn't good for a director.

3. George Lucas pissed off a lot of the core fans who grew up on the first trilogy. First he started changing the movies, like making Greedo shoot first to nullify Han Solo's origin as an amoral bad-ass who redeems himself fighting the Empire. Then he worked out ways to piss them off even further by denying them a decent DVD version of the untampered originals simply because he felt like it.

Then came the prequel trilogy which, while profitable, were considered a creative disappointment with bad-ass villain Darth Vader starting out as Anakin the Whiny Bitch, and acting that couldn't have been more wooden if the casting had been held at an Ikea store. By the end only the real die hard fans and the kids who didn't grow up with the awe inspired by the originals gave a shit about the prequel trilogy and the related spin-offs.

Disney might be able to appease those lost fans by releasing a nice DVD/Blu-Ray of the originals in their original form.

4. $4 billion is a lot of money. Disney is going to need hits and fast the way they did with Marvel. If they don't make hits, they won't be moving the toys and games and other merch at levels that will get them out of hock as quick as they want.

If SW7 becomes another John Carter, or if Johnny Depp gets involved and blows out the budget, they will have a hard time covering the costs. Then the whole thing could become a white elephant the size of the Death Star.


  1. Dirty McDingus Sezs:
    Old age is inevitable and people will cling to hopes of eternity through some work that they had a hand in. Building houses, bridges, books, moving pictures, etc. B/c the last thing passing in their heads as they exhaust out life will be "Why?" and screaming in their dying brain 'GOD forgive meeeee ee~~e~~eeee~~~~~~~*' urk.
    lucas wants to be standing by Disney as an Icon~ a Pillar! Sadly for him, Kids (now 17~19)who saw the prequels probably don't even remember any of it now and the old fart originals was toooooo slooooow too!
    In twenty~twenty-five years from now, as we first viewers too die off. Those first 3 originals will be curiosities to academics and the few collectors of antiquity.

  2. You think it'll still be more worth it for Disney than the entirety of Miramax?