Pet Please #80: George Lucas No Longer Owns Star Wars

Sweet baby Skywalker.

The day has finally, finally come. Nay–I didn’t think this day would ever come. I really didn’t even think it was a possibility. Which makes it all the more sweet.

Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas so that they could own Star Wars. And they’ve already said that Star Wars VII is in pre-production and will be released in 2015.

Wow.

Perhaps I should point out that I am a HUGE Star Wars fan. I discovered the franchise later than most kids–I think I was 11 or 12 at the time–but I was completely enamored by it. Especially the idea and the philosophy behind the Force, which was completely lost when Lucas made Episodes 1-III.

Although my respect for Lucas’ storytelling and entertaining abilities has plummeted, I give him full credit for creating three mostly amazing films in Episodes IV-VI. Episode V is by far my favorite at this point, but I’m happy to watch any of those three at any time.

I was incredibly excited when Episode I came out. I saw it four times in the theater before I realized how bad it was–that’s how enamored I was by Star Wars. All the components were there–the universe, the characters, the music, the special effects–but on the surface it was silly, poorly written, poorly acted, and there was nothing under the surface. No wonderment or magic behind the Force. Unfortunately that trend continued through the other prequels.

Like so many other Star Wars fans, I resigned myself to the fact that at least we would always have the original films. Maybe there would be TV shows (there is an animated series that is pretty good) or other ancillary adventures, but there would always be three great movies, three terrible movies, and nothing else.

Until today.

Today is the day that George Lucas sold the films to Disney. Disney, the studio that bought Pixar and continues to let Pixar make incredible films. Disney, the studio that bought Marvel and continues to let Marvel make incredible films.

The one big difference here is that George Lucas isn’t going to continue making Star Wars films for Disney. He might consult on the films since he knows the Star Wars universe better than anyone else, but that’s it.

That means that Disney can hire a great director and a great writer to make a great Star Wars movie for the first time in 30 years. Mind. Blown.

Of course, speculation is running rampant about which director will be hired and when the movie will be set (after all, most of the original actors are still alive). If I had my pick of directors…you know, I’d have to go with Brad Bird, director of The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Mission: Impossible IV. I don’t think he’ll do it, but I think he does a fantastic job of melding story, characters, and action. I also would not put it past Jon Favreau to do a great job, especially considering what he did with Iron Man. Tony Stark is essentially Han Solo in a robot suit instead of the Millennium Falcon, so I could see that being a wild ride.

Whatever happens, I could not be happier that this buyout has happened, and I can’t wait for 2015. I’m already standing in line.