Disney, everyone’s favorite entertainment sub-monopoly is adding another property to its long list of business partners. Following their success in buying Marvel Studios, they have now added LucasFilms, entertainment company responsible for Star Wars and Indiana Jones, under their wing. This sale was decided for 4.05 billion dollars. Disney’s plot for entertainment domination will be put on hold as Hasbro, the famous toy company, has denied all claims of Disney’s plan to buy them out. However, this new merger will have a significant influence on the pop culture world.
This purchase will not just include LucasFilms, but all subsidiaries linked to the studio. These include video game developer LucasArts and special effects company Industrial Light and Magic. The scope of this sale is estimated to save Disney approximately $20mil. per year. These saved funds might be what the company needs to produce newer, better films and avoid re-releasing films in 3D(Like the box-office bomb Finding Nemo:3D).
The man responsible for LucasDisney(as it will be called for the rest of the article) is George Lucas. Like most famous icons that have received a large profit, Lucas has decided to put his wealth towards philanthropy, the act of donating to the poor. The $4 billion dollars will be put towards education. George Lucas said that, “For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into the company”(Source of HuffingtonPost.com). Sources say that he will put these funds towards his education foundation Edutopia, a company trying to implement new styles of teaching to schools. They focus on project based learning and on training the various forms of intelligence students respond to. To APB students, this form of learning might allow them to realize their full potential as this allows students to get the individual work and attention they need. Note: The Gryphon Gazette is not responsible for any complaints sent towards Principle Hartford nor the suggestions box that might be placed as a result of this paragraph.
The Star Wars franchise is the main property on the table during the purchase. Disney has confirmed that they are planning a seventh Star Wars film to come out in 2015. While director decisions are in a galaxy far, far away, the new movie plans to continue the story of the heroes the original trilogy(Luke, Han Solo, and Leia). Sources, such as the UK’s express.co.uk, are claiming that Darth Vader, villain from the aforementioned trilogy, is set to appear in the newest film. Along with the seventh, two more films have been announced to come after that with subsequent movies every 2-3 years. These movies would result in a sequel trilogy(Episodes VII-IX) complementing the prequel(I-III) and original(IV-VI) trilogies.
Distribution rights, the combination lock on a company are the reasons for issues in the entertainment industry. A cancelled show is not on another channel because the first station owns all distribution rights to the show. Why is Pokemon not on a Sony platform? That issue stems from the fact that GameFreak, the company that makes the Pokemon games, is bound, by contract, to Nintendo. This situation is similar to Star Wars and Fox. Fox has a hold on all of the distribution(theaters, DVD, Blu-Ray) for the previous 6 Star Wars films until 2020(the estimated year of release for the 9th Star Wars film). This may present an obstacle for Disney if they plan to release a box set with all 9 movies in the future. 8 years of Fox holding the rights means 8 years without a Star Wars fan’s next big purchase.
This news may have a significant impact on Cartoon Network. Now that the rights to the franchise(minus the rights owned by Fox) are owned by Disney, the Cartoon superpower may lose one of its most popular series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This came up after it was revealed that Disney’s CEO(chief executive officer), Robert Iger, is interested in bringing the space-faring franchise to a Disney owned television station. Could this be the end of one of Cartoon Network’s greatest hits?
New movies are not the only part of Disney’s ploy for entertainment dominion through the purchase of LucasDisney. Disney will be using the property as inspiration for future theme park rides and attraction, as well as their resorts. In 2-3 years, will we see Chewbacca giving out balloons or maybe Darth Vader taking a photo behind long time fans? Will Star Tours actually use more stuff from the franchise? Is a Mos Eisley Cantina going to open in Tomorrowland? Given the scope of the franchise, we could even see an entire park based on the Star Wars series(Lucasland anyone). Only time will tell in a future far, far away.
Directors can make or break a movie. Their decisions have an almost direct involvement in the course of the movie. Directing the next Star Wars movie could be an astronomical leap for any director. With Michael Arndt, writer for works such as Phineas and Ferb and The Hunger Games, announced as the writer of the seventh movie, all Disney needs is a powerful director to handle the next movie in a galaxy far, far away. The big names, such as JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg have voiced their own reasons on declining for the role. Abrams feels that the series is not his to deal with. He believes it is Lucas’ film series, not his. Steven Spielberg follows Abram’s belief that the series belong to Lucas.
Unlike the possible directors, actors are actually trying to get roles in the next movie. People will take any role they can in the movie industry and Robert Pattinson is one of them. He would even handle the role of Jar Jar Binks, one of the most hated characters in the Star Wars prequel trilogy(episodes I-III). He stated that “I actually kind of like Jar-Jar,” said Pattinson. “I don’t understand what the big deal is about Jar-Jar”(source of themarysue.com). In addition to Robert Pattinson, David Tennant, the 10th star of the famous British sci-fi series Dr.Who, wants a role in the new movies after guest starring as a clone in a recent episode of Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars. New faces aren’t the only people that want a grab at a role in the new film. Harrison Ford, the man who starred as Han Solo in the original trilogy, is open to keep his role as the famous space smuggler, but wants to see a fitting end for the character in the next film. Billy Dee Williams wants to retain his role as Han Solo’s best friend, Lando Calrissian. To be specific, he told TMZ that “he’d love to be involved with it in some way”(source of aceshowbiz.com). The better question is why the directors refuse to take the helm when actors do?
Unfortunately, LucasDisney will not be reviving their other popular franchise, Indiana Jones. This was revealed in an interview with producer Frank Marshall. During the interview, he revealed that a plan was proposed but there was no MacGuffin(plot object of importance). There is also the issue that Paramount owns the rights to the film quadrilogy. This means that, unfortunately, we may see the end of the famous whip-cracking, fedora tipping, MacGuffin finding, archaeology teacher.