A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was the first Star Wars trilogy. These were fantastic films that captured the movie-going public’s imagination. They told the story of the overthrow of the galactic emperor by the Rebel Alliance and the redemption of the villain Darth Vader by his son Luke Skywalker. Then, there was a 16 year lull, and the story continued, sort of. George Lucas told the back story of how young Anakin Skywalker was seduced by the evil emperor to become Darth Vader. The Stars Wars story didn’t advance after the third movie, “The Return of the Jedi”, and the latter movies weren’t even that good.
Now new life has been injected into the franchise. Disney has purchased Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. Lucas owned the film company, so he will receive half the sale price in cash and the rest in Disney stock. This will make Lucas the second largest non-institutional shareholder with 40 million shares (behind the estate of Steve Jobs who sold Pixar to Disney).
Star Wars lives in many media, not just the movies. There are video games, toys, books, cartoons and comics. George Lucas made sure that his vision wasn’t corrupted, and kept tight watch on his approval of stories created outside the movies. Characters and plot lines in the comics would appear in the cartoons. The Expanded Universe (or EU as it is known) extends millennia in the Star Wars timeline and has been in existence since the first movie came out in 1977.
It is too early to say what impact the sale will have on some of the other outlets. Mike Timko, owner of Fun Stuff Toys in Seaford, said Disney is already strong in the toy market, particularly Leggos. Levittown Gamestop representative Christa Speranza, a self-identified “huge Star Wars fan”, believes, “It is a huge marketing idea for Disney since they now also own Marvel comics and films, but I’m not sure if it will impact the video games.” Mid-town Comics media spokesperson “Thor”, said it is a good thing. “The franchise was slowly getting out of the public eye. Disney saw the potential. They have a good track record and fans will be happy there will be more stories.” He also said it’s hard to say how this will impact the comics.
The consensus is though that it will significantly impact the movies, which is how it all started. If there was any initial concern, it was would the story suffer under Disney, but they made the great choice of choosing director J.J. Abrams to direct the first movie of the next planned trilogy. He recently resurrected the “Star Trek” franchise and expectations are very high he will do a spectacular job with this one.
Mickey Mouse might not be able to beat Darth Vader but apparently he can buy him out. This is a good thing. In this galaxy, there hasn’t been this much excitement in a long time.