On October 30th, the world was shocked as the Walt Disney Company announced the purchase of Lucasfilm, the studio behind Star Wars and Indiana Jones, for $4.05 billion. Perhaps even more exciting, Disney has revealed its plan to release Star Wars: Episode VII to theaters during the summer of 2015, with Episodes VII and IX following every two years. When reached for a statement, Lucasfilm CEO and Star Wars creator George Lucas has said, “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.” This transition will place Kathleen Kennedy, current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, as president with her first assignment to executive produce the new Star Wars trilogy. George Lucas will not be directing the new films, but instead will work with the writers as a creative consultant.
As soon as the news broke out, the fans took social media sites by storm, expressing their opinions and feelings on this massive buyout. There was a wide range of emotional responses, falling anywhere along the lines of joy, excitement, fear, and even anger. Many fans were excited about the purchase and believe that Disney would be a perfect fit for Star Wars and the future trilogy, noting Disney’s recent box office and critical success with The Avengers. Just three short years ago, Disney made a similar purchase of Marvel Entertainment, the comic book company known for Spider-Man and Hulk, for $4 billion and has had great success adapting these stories to the silver screen. However, not all fans are as optimistic and believe the Star Wars films will be tarnished and become to family friendly.
Perhaps the biggest reason for doubt is due to the relatively small amounts of information the fans have been given until recently. In just two weeks post the purchase, Disney and Lucasfilm have confirmed that Academy Award winning writer Michael Arndt will pen the screenplay for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII and any future installments. For those of you unfamiliar with Arndt’s work, he was the screenwriter for Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3. Even more noteworthy, were the positive reactions by Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford, the trio who skyrocketed to fame in 1977 for their portrayals of Luke, Leia, and Han Solo respectively. Each actor has stated they would be open to the idea of reprising their roles in the next film, but have not given an official confirmation as of now.
Many unanswered questions remain. Who will star? Who will direct? It seems as though the fans will just have to keep their eyes open, and remain on the lookout for any further news from Disney or Lucasfilm on the upcoming movies. Hopefully, Disney will have great success in continuing the Star Wars saga for the next generation of moviegoers. Until then, how do you feel about this acquisition Bryant? Are you excited, scared, or nervous? Will you be lining up come 2015 with your lightsaber in one hand and popcorn in the other? I know I will be.