Star Wars fans received some HUGE news today. Disney has bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. The deal includes the rights to the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises as well as Industrial Light & Magic and LucasArts. Lucasfilm was privately owned by George Lucas so the Star Wars creator is now $4 billion richer and he was already a rich man.
$4 billion is a lot of money, but I’m willing to bet Disney will recoup the investment before too long. Between the new movies, books, graphic novels, video games, and merchandise, I expect the profits to be large.
The deal must have been kept very quiet, because I didn’t hear anything about it until almost 4:30 this afternoon when the deal was all but final. Honestly, I didn’t see this coming at all and was completely blown away. This is a really big deal and brings up a lot of questions about the future Star Wars as a franchise.
But that’s not even the most interesting part of the story. Disney also announced that they will be producing new Star Wars movies and is targeting the release of “Episode 7” for 2015, with additional movies coming out every 2-3 years.
It sounds like, for all intents and purposes, the Lucasfilm infrastructure won’t change except that Lucas will move into a role as a creative consultant. I actually think this could be a very good move for Star Wars. I think we all recognize that, to put it mildly, the Star Wars prequels left a bit to desired. With George out of the picture (for the most part), I think we’ll see more creative expression and hopefully higher quality entertainment. There was a time when I was really, really in Star Wars, but that has largely tailed off in the last 6 or 7 years. This news makes me truly excited about Star Wars for the first time in several years.
No, I’m not talking about the 3D versions that George Lucas has promised to unveil in the near future. I’m talking about a brand new sequel trilogy (set after the Original Trilogy). Um, let me take a moment to gather my thoughts…
Holy freaking crap!
Now, this is completely rumor at this point. I saw the story on io9.com, but the original report came from IESB.net. IESB claims that the new trilogy will be released within two years after the existing six films have been converted to 3D and released in theaters. These are expected to bring in $500-750 million, which will allow George Lucas to self-finance the new trilogy.
IESB points out how the prequel trilogy quickly followed the successful re-release of the Original Trilogy (Special Editions) in 1997 and I have to say that this does seem plausible. Will it actually happen? I have no idea, and in fact, we may not know anything for sure for quite some time. Lucas isn’t likely to have finished converting the existing movies to 3D until 2015 or 2016 so the next trilogy probably wouldn’t be released until 2017 or 2018. That leaves more than enough time for Lucas to change his mind or the rumors to be squashed.
But let’s say it were to happen. What would it mean? It would mean that the people that grew up with the original trilogy, that took their kids to see the prequels, may be able to take their grandkids to see the sequels. It would also mean that another generation of children would grow up with the magic of Star Wars. I don’t care what you think of the prequels (personally, I much prefer the Original Trilogy), but kids ate them up and I’m sure the same would happen the next time around.
Another thing it would mean is that the legacy of Star Wars would continue to grow and live on far into the future. Lucas would be opening up a whole new adventure, potentially with completely different characters, that would undoubtedly spur novels, comic books, video games, and whatever else.
And, let’s face it, it would probably be pretty cool. Sure, the movies probably couldn’t live up to the magic of the Original Trilogy, but, even if you disliked the prequels, you have to admit that there were some good moments, and the next trilogy would probably have some of those moments too. Need I point out the awesomeness of Darth Maul, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequels?
So, what’s the consensus? Personally, I think I would like to see them happen. How bad could they be?
When I was at Comic-Con in July, I attended the DK Publishing panel where the authors and contributors of Star Wars Year By Year discussed their roles in putting together this chronicle of all things Star Wars. It was actually a pretty interesting panel and brought back some fond memories of my Star Wars-filled childhood, but the best part was that I won a free copy of the book!
Honestly, I didn’t know anything about the book going in and the way they described it made it sound like it was similar to DK’s other Star Wars contributions like the Incredible Cross-sections and so forth. However, the book came in the mail today and as soon as I picked it up, I knew it was going to be more than I expected.
The book weighs like 5 lbs and retails at $50 (both of which were surprises to me), but I was really shocked when I opened it up and began to grasp the amazing level of detail. There are just a ton of fantastic photos and tidbits of information. It really is incredible. It definitely made me chuckle a few times as I thought back on some of the toys I had, games I played, or books I read as I grew up.
I haven’t had a chance to really go through it, but I can’t wait to dig in. The one that I already know for sure is that it’s going to make a great coffee table book. I’ve already decided that it holds an honorary spot where all my guests will be able to page through it.
Sunday was kids day at Comic-Con and everything was scheduled to be wrapped up at 5:00 PM. I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the Sunday panels and overall atmosphere. After three days of pure glory, the convention kind of went out with a fizzle. I actually think I would prefer to just eliminate Sunday scheduling and go out with a bang (or maybe next time I would just skip Sunday).
The other part that was weird was that almost all of the panels were geared towards kids, but there weren’t really many kids at Comic-Con. And what kid wants to sit through an hour long panel anyways? I give them credit for trying to introduce a kid-friendly atmosphere, but I just didn’t think it worked very well.
Comic-Con exclusive LOST figures
(atop a beautiful hotel comforter)
So what ended up happening was that the Exhibit Hall was a zoo, largely because all the adults that had four day passes still showed up and needed something to do. That is exactly what happened to my brother and I. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely cool to finally spend some time in the Exhibit Hall and finally pick up some souvenirs, but I would have liked to sit in on a panel or two.
Now that isn’t to say we didn’t try to sit through a panel. My brother and I are both huge Harry Potter fans so, naturally, we showed up at the Harry Potter fandom panel. Admittedly, I was nervous about there being an army of 14 year old girls in attendance, but we needed something to do and decided to give it a shot.
To be perfectly honest, about 15 minutes in, I was already thinking that it was the worst panel that I had attended. I guess I thought that the panel of well-known Potter fans would, you know, talk about the upcoming movies and perhaps discuss the footage shown in Hall H on Saturday. Instead, the panel opted for long-winded soliloquies about why the Potter fan community is still so strong.
Comic-Con exclusive Star Wars figures
But just when I thought I might doze off, it got worse. The crowd started singing the words to one of the songs of the Harry Potter musical and shortly afterwards they opened it up for fan questions. I got nervous when a dozen teenage girls sprinted to the microphone in the middle isle, but I didn’t actually walk out until the third consecutive “shipper” question was asked. Yikes.
I had been thinking about attending the Buffy musical screening, but after the Potter fiasco, I was scared to go anywhere near Ballroom 20.
Overall, Comic-Con was completely awesome. I definitely want to go again, but I’m not sure if it will be next year. If I lived in southern California, I think I would go every year. A lot of people that had been going for several years complained about the lines and the crowds (which was certainly understandable), but they were manageable if you planned things out and just accepted that you weren’t going to see every cool thing at the convention.
Well, I think that is it for the Comic-Con recaps. I’m out. Godspeed.
Friday was officially Star Wars day at Comic-Con and, as a pretty big Star Wars geek, it was pretty easy to find a panel to attend. In fact, we ended up sitting through four Star Wars panels back-to-back. Here’s a brief recap:
DK Star Wars: From Banthas to X-Wings – This was a pretty interesting panel. Several well-known Star Wars authors and experts discussed their roles in writing Star Wars Year by Year. At the end, they gave away 5 copies and I won one! Of course, I haven’t heard back from DK yet, so hopefully they’ll send it.
Amazing diorama at the Hasbro booth
Star Wars Day: Hasbro Panel – Hasbro gave us a look at upcoming Star Wars toys, which was pretty cool, even though I stopped collecting a few years ago. The coolest thing was definitely the AT-AT, which was incredible.
Star Wars Day: Collectibles Update – Representatives from several companies showed off upcoming Star Wars collectibles. It was fairly interesting, but was probably my least favorite of the Star Wars panels, mostly because I can’t afford most of the collectibles.
Star Wars: The Old Replubic – My brother is a pretty huge fan of the KOTOR games and was really excited about this panel about the new MMORPG by Bioware that is set in the same universe. We definitely got an interesting insider’s perspective on the creative process and the audience asked some pretty good questions. I don’t think I’ll play the game, but my brother probably will and I’m definitely interested to see what it will be like.
The only downside to our Star Wars marathon was that we missed a couple of panels that I would have really liked to attend including the Caprica and Joss Whedon Experience panels.
After that, we got some food, checked out the Exhibit Hall, wandered around the Gaslamp District, and ended up watching Inception at Horton Plaza.