Why the Disney/Lucasfilm deal is good for Star Wars

Feature Simon Brew 30 Oct 2012 - 21:52
The Star Wars logo.

Don't be afraid of Star Wars Episode 7, argues Simon. This might just be what the Star Wars franchise needed...

The internet seemed to shake to its very foundations with the out-of-nowhere news that Disney was to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05bn in cash and stock. Granted, George Lucas had asserted that he was looking to get out of the movie business a while back (and apparently had been planning this for years), but few thought he’d sell his company, lock stock and barrel. Yet that's just what he's done. The deal gives Disney a huge position of strength in the entertainment business. Not only does it get the Star Wars franchise, Skywalker Sound, ILM and assorted businesses. It’s also got Pixar and Marvel already safely tucked under its wing. It’s fair to say that it’s outmanoeuvred many of its competitors, and bolstered its slate for many, many years to come.

One part of the announcement was the confirmation that Star Wars Episode 7 was being readied for 2015. This has already been met with, it’s fair to say, less than upbeat reactions. The thought of another Star Wars film doesn't seem to be going down very well at all.

But is the world being a little too hasty here? Because one thing this deal might just do - in fact, should do - is put the Star Wars cinematic franchise right back on track.

By the time the new trilogy came to an end in 2005 with Revenge Of The Sith, the patience of many long-time Star Wars fans had long worn thin. There’s still a lot of affection for the franchise, and it’s still bringing in new viewers – just look at the near-$100m take for The Phantom Menace re-release earlier this year (and that's pretty much the least-liked film). But the original trilogy is more cherished than ever, given the disdain with which the newer films are held. The Blu-ray sales last year helped prove that.

So, with that in mind, why is the news of a new Star Wars movie a good thing?

Well, several reasons. Even the most ardent of Star Wars fans would admit that George Lucas wasn’t the best pair of hands to write and direct The Phantom Menace, Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith. In fact, and this is easy in hindsight, there's a strong argument that a prequel trilogy was the wrong move, hindered as it would be and was by a need to ultimately join the broader dots.

We’ve a huge amount of admiration for the vision of George Lucas to bring Star Wars to life in the first place, but the new trilogy really felt like it needed new creative impetus. The announcement of a Star Wars Angry Birds crossover a few weeks ago, and the selling of Star Wars characters for television commercials, did little to disperse the feeling that George Lucas was more interested in the financials than the end products of late. It felt like he'd fallen out of love with Star Wars too.

Granted, many like the new trilogy. But if Star Wars is to live on as a cinematic franchise, then here’s a golden opportunity to properly reinvent it. To tell more stories in what’s a compelling universe. The Clone Wars TV show delivers more interesting tales week in week out than the last three movies (we're excluding The Clone Wars' own big screen adventure, although that too was quite disappointing), and this is a big chance to put the films back at the heart of modern day Star Wars.

Just imagine what creative, imaginative new film makers could do with Star Wars now. We’ve just had the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall,  which has shown that you can take a franchise that’s long established and still find new and interesting things to do with it. Star Wars isn’t so centred on one character as 007 either, so the possibilities are even broader. This is a chance for someone to walk into the universe that George Lucas created, and genuinely inject it with something new and exciting again. It's arguably the best thing to happen to Star Wars in nearly three decades.

After all, go back to that feeling just before The Phantom Menace was released on the big screen. Remember how exciting it was to have the thought of a new Star Wars movie on the big screen, in the days before we actually met Jar-Jar and his chums? There’s no reason it can’t be like that again. George Lucas will remain as consultant on the Star Wars films, which will be useful, but he won’t be writing or directing. This, then, becomes a franchise with effectively only its second owner in its 35 year history.

There’s also the fact that there’s a lot of time to put a film together. Even appreciating how special effects-intensive the Star Wars movies are, the widespread negativity about a film coming as soon as 2015 is a bit of a puzzle. The Avengers 2 hasn’t been written yet, but people are excited about that. That comes out in 2015, too. The script for 2015's Justice League is only a few months ahead of where Star Wars Episode 7 will be. There’s plenty of time to pull the film together, and so there’s time and space in the schedule to do this properly. That said, Disney would be ill-advised to hang around too long.

Disney, crucially, needs to get this first film right. It’ll be a big hit come what may, Star Wars Episode 7. But the plan is firmly for more films. What’s perhaps most compelling at the moment, though, is that this new Star Wars film may be a standalone adventure. That it won’t have to be the start, middle or end point in a trilogy. It won't be bound by having to reach already-established parts of the story. There’s a chance to tell a two hour story in the Star Wars universe that's separate from everything we've seen to date. There will be threads to pick up in Episode 8 no doubt, but there won't be the immediate need to adhere to a stricter arc. Putting together a new trilogy arc in three years, after all, is a trickier job than turning out one film (although we do understand that Disney is looking at three new movies at least).

The speculation will inevitably begin as to who will be writing and who will be directing the new film. And that in itself is surely exciting. The early fan favourite for the job, Joss Whedon, has his hands full with The Avengers 2, of course (another Disney project). But what about Duncan Jones? JJ Abrams? Neill Blomkamp? Science fiction has interesting voices who could do wonders with Star Wars. Heck, all of a sudden, it feels fun to talk about a modern Star Wars movie again. That there’s a chance to do what perhaps should have been done back in 1999.

This deal, then, will have done many things. But damaging Star Wars is unlikely to be one of them. Quite the contrary, we'd argue. Disney buying Lucasfilm may just have injected the fresh life into Star Wars on the big screen that money-grabbing 3D re-releases have failed to do (just look at how well Disney has handled Marvel). See you in 2015, because - as things stand at the moment - there's an exciting new Star Wars film to look forward to. And when was the last time you could genuinely say that?

(And you never know: Disney might yet release the original trilogy on Blu-ray...)

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Great article. Echoes a lot of my thoughts. Add the fact of how well the Marvel Universe movies have been handled by Disney, and this new Star Wars saga has a lot of potential.

Surely episode 7 would just consist of the millions of ships left in the Imperial armada bombing Endor, the rebels and all the Ewoks to space dust?

When Disney bought Marvel I was worried. After seeing what came out of that.. I'm very excited and can't wait for Star Wars episode 7

After allowing this monumental news to sink in, I'm feeling pretty positive about this. Marvel Studios was bought up by Disney and look at the Avengers! By handing it over to new talent, Lucas is finally realising the potential of his massive universe on a cinematic scale, rather than limiting it to the tale of the Skywalkers. This could quite possibly save Star Wars as a film series. Granted, it could fudge it up further. But I'm holding out for the positive. I can't wait for 2015. At the least, this will be very interesting.

its also my feeling that George Lucas is the worst person to make another Star Wars film - so go for it House of Mouse.

I really thought this type of deal was another 10 years coming. I'm VERY surprised it happened so soon. I always knew more Star Wars movies would be made despite Lucas ' insistence he wouldn't allow it--how could they not. It's such a pop culture powerhouse, it would be idiotic to sit on that franchise forever.

Anyway, I am PRO new Star Wars. I'm a huge fan of the movies, and in recent years it's pained me to see how poorly the prequels have fared. They're BAD. Phantom Menace is straight up awful unless Liam Neeson or Ewan are on screen. All CGI in the world can't make up for wooden acting and lack of any main character to root for. I still maintain Ep 1 is the worst, but a friend of mine made a valid point: in Attack of the Clones, Jar Jar is given a government title. I mean, WTF.

The Avengers example is a great one. Disney has the cash to really do something with Star Wars and the longevity of having put out a lot of amazing creative projects--just about everything with Pixar has been stellar, Cars 2 excepted. Unseating Lucas from the director's seat is the best thing that could happen for the franchise. I'm on board with him as a creative consultant--after all, it's his world, his characters. Just keep him out of the script and get a great director. I would love to see a really great director of photography bring a sweeping cinematic quality back the to films. Go back to Tunisia and film some epic moisture farms. Keep the CG where it's needed.

OK I'm done. Viva la Episode VII!

I'll admit I'm beginning to see some of the potential positives, there are proverbial tons of novels, comics, games etc. that they could use. My big problem is with them declaring an Episode VII... as someone who adores the whole saga (no lie), it doesn't really make sense to me. The saga is based around Anakin's life, where do they take it from there? Plus the original cast aren't exactly spring chickens anymore, if they're thinking of placing a sequel that close after. But really good films that leave the main saga alone would be brilliant.

I'll get excited only, and I mean ONLY, if they get Neill Blomkamp to do it. Then I would just sit back and await the epicness! :)

The crucial question is, why does Star Wars need "to live on as a cinematic franchise"? The only reason I can see is financial. & how can you say "there's an exciting new Star Wars film to look forward to"? What do you know about its plot, characters etc in order to make that claim?

Duncan Jones! Very interesting.

I wonder what's going to happen with the live-action TV series now.

I'll remain very skeptical until the writer, director and synopsis is revealed.

Please. Why keep the " SW franchise" going if you are only going to screw it up ala Abrams Star Trek heretical movies...no thank you !

Brian K Vaughan is my nomination to write the script. Anyone who has read Saga or even Y: The Last Man knows he would be perfect. Directors I think would be up to the task: JJ Abrams, Brad Bird, Edgar Wright, Bryan Singer, Alfonso Cuaron, Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro, James Cameron. Most importantly: I want it to be fun again. Not teeth-itchingly juvenile like the prequels, but I have ABSOLUTELY NO DESIRE to see yet another dark, angsty reboot in the vein of bloody Batman Begins.

Maybe Episode VII is just a working title while they build up hype and figure out exactly what kind of film it will be? Or maybe it is a sequel? Who knows!? That's why it's so exciting!!

i'm starting the "Robert Downey jr for Han Solo" campaign right here and now!

I'm personally getting sick of seeing directors talk about their reboots and saying "We're using Batman Begins as our template." Sure, there's some great films benefiting from the added grit. But please stop before we end up flogging a dead horse. It'll get that way soon, I bet...

Here's hoping!

As a fellow "adorer" of the franchise---where they COULD take it is about 40 years into the future. The galaxy has enjoyed a long time of peace & prosperity, Luke is the Grand Master of the restored Jedi Order, Han & Leia are parents of 2 or more VERY powerful Jedi & THEN--a new threat to the Galaxy emerges. So, my point is--they can "riff" on what has been done in the many novels(many of which are quite good) without actually using any of those stories directly & work in the older characters we all love as a way of "passing the torch" to the new generation. You may or may not know it, but in the novels, Han & Leia's son Jacen eventually becomes a Sith Lord after visions of the future lead him to believe that its the only way to stabilize the galaxy and prevent an even more horrible future where he kills Luke--so again, the "story" of Anakin CAN continue in a generational sense without his direct involvement

and no, Im not suggesting they would use that plotline, but just giving an example of how it can still be the story of Anakin & his descendents, because it wasnt JUST Anakin's story--it was Luke & Leia's as well & how when they(Luke specifically) were confronted with the same type of decisions Anakin had to make--they made BETTER choices & allowed their father to redeem himself as well.

Even just the fact that Star Wars is considered a "franchise" is indication enough that we've already had too many of them. The story has been told, we're ready for something else. Let it go.

That is true, I just fear that the ultimate storyline might retread familiar ground or lose focus a little now that the character that brought all the films together is gone. I guess a better question is where do you take Luke and Leia now! Episode VII probably needs a really substantial, original idea to make it stand out and work. Even the Jacen story you mention sounds like, if done poorly, it would just go over the 'turn to the dark side because of fear of loss' storyline again, with nothing really new to say. But yeah, I'm praying for the whole deal to work out well.

WOW didn't see this coming but am looking forward to see what the future brings :) Didn't quite understand the last bit in brackets about Disney releasing the original trilogy on BluRay as they have already been released or did you mean the original theatre versions without the updated parts.

given the scale and depth of the universe tat Lucas created there are may stories yet to be mined and look at disney's last two major acquisitions. They bought Pixar and gave John Lasseter the job of heading ALL animation for disney and pixar, then the Marvel buy which as discussed has been good all round. What it shows is Disney have a policy of getting the right people in to do jobs and letting them do it, this can only be a good thing, now we just need the right person picked. The mouse house has been going in a good direction for a few years (Job's effect??) I trust them.

It will be weird seeing a live action starwars without the Fox fanfare

Works for me

Some context - Empire was the first film I ever saw at the cinema. A number of psycho-analysts have identified a 'crisis point' in childhood where the child starts to realise that adults get it wrong occasionally, something that goes against their inevitable prior assumption that their primary care-givers are always right (given their ability to exert control over the child's environment). My 'crisis' was during 'Jedi'. I remember vividly sitting in the theatre with the thought almost daring to form in my head that 'this is crap. But it can't be. Grown-ups made it'. So I would like that. Plus you tease out some of the credible implications of one small(ish) strategic base belonging to a galaxy-straddling force being destroyed, and the sorts of retaliatory measure that would likely be taken. Maybe one of the Ewoks becomes a Jedi. It's Disney. I'm pissed

I don't mind as long as any post episode 7 stories are totally original, and not based on spin-off merchandise.

splinter of the minds eye should have been made years ago

Yes, presumably he meant the original theatrical releases. Lucas has said the original negatives don't exist, but I don't believe him for a second.

I don't understand the hate on for episodes 1 to 3. The original movies always struck me as somewhat childish and simplistic in tone. I was 17 when star wars came out and my impression was wow the spec eff were awesome, the story more for 12 year old kids. I understand the nostalgia for all those kids today, but time to stretch. It reminds me of my father who held the original flash Gordon serials as the apex of adventure. There was so much to love in the original trilogy, but the last three, especially the last, have a depth in emotion and intellect that eclipses the originals. Be gentle with me fans.

THIS. I was stunned - STUNNED - when I heard this news today, but the very first thing that crossed my mind was NOT a potential new 'Star Wars' film, no, it was much more than that... DISNEY MIGHT ACTUALLY LISTEN TO THE FANS AND RELEASE BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED AND ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN NEW PRESENTATIONS OF THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY'S THEATRICAL VERSIONS...sorry for the capital overload, but the thought of anyone but Luca$ now in charge of the 'Wars has opened all kinds of new possibilities,,,

...I'll get me coat, rant over.

Why only white male directors? Is there not a women (Kathryn Bigelow) that could direct?

nope, Nathan Fillion as Solo's son

Amen to that, theatrical versions of the OT on remastered DVD and Blu-Ray - with original trailers/tv spots, deleted scenes, original 'making of' documentaries, and the audio commentaries from the 1993 Laserdisc release - after that's out, I couldn't care less about 'Star Wars', it's been finished since 1983 anyway, let it go... unless Disney decide to hire Neil Blomkamp to REMAKE the prequels, other than that, no deal Mr Bond.

The only reservation that I have is that don't you think Jar Jar looks a little too much like Goofy? George will sit there on his pile of cash thinking, 'well, if episode 7 sucks, you can't blame me.'

Have to say i love This whole Move. i was a kid when the movies come out they are my Childhood so Regenerating like a New Doctor in Doctor Who is Great with me new ideas new Blood i am so excited for 2015

Dan Kirkman Bellingham Wa

Considering what JJ Abrams did for the Star Trek franchise (in that i still can't think of anything wrong with that film at all!) Personally i think they would be foolish not to get him to direct this film. I would also agree that if Joss Whedon wasn't involved in the Avengers 2 then he would be my choice as well......but because of this JJ Abrams gets my vote!

Here's an idea. Han and Chewbacca are trying to get to Chewie's home for some sort of holiday celebration, but they get held up by the empire. Meanwhile, a series of guest stars turn up to entertain Chewie's family with some modern vaudeville acts, but 3 stormtroopers interupt for no particular reason.

On second thoughts...

Luke Skywalker of Mars

Disney doesn't have the rights to the already-existing SW films, they will remain with FOX, sorry Northern, hopes dashed again I'm afraid...

In some ways I agree, in some ways I don't. The original trilogy was about the personal journey of an annoying brat as he turned into a wise warrior, helped by teddy bears. The prequels were about the fall of democracy to hate and tyranny with the help of a bumbling amphibian.

The prequel dealt with such a wide area and had more underdone themes than you could poke a stick at (although the Clone Wars series is doing a very good job at slowly picking them all up), the originals were a pretty unoriginal story of upholding a moral code in the face of anger, except with lightsabers and magic.

Other than basic cinematic and acting errors that plagued all the films (and it seems crass to pick on a sci-fi film for it), my criticism of the first three was that he tried to do too much, and of the original it was much too basic for what I wanted. That said I like politics and would have preferred to focus more on the struggle between the empire and the rebellion than one man's emotional journey, but perhaps that's unique to me.

Fanboys too often apply criticisms to the prequels that they ignore in the originals, as well as complimenting the originals in ways that apply equally to the prequels. Whatever Lucas produced for the first three, regardless of how good or bad, would have been sacrilegious in the eyes of them.

Fox never had those rights, they were merely the distributor. Lucasfilm has all of those rights.

I think Disney will find SW fanboy film talent knocking down their doors to get in there and so will be able to pick and choose the best. Unfortunately Lucasfilm don't have the same quality control model for their output as Pixar and Marvel atm so hopefully Disney can bring something to the table in terms of improving on what Lucas has built.

I'm guessing this was their plan B after John Carter.

I agree. They still need to come up with the goods in terms of creating new characters that we're going to love or at least invest in outside of the Skywalker Legend in order to open up those possibilities but with the creeative powerhouses of Pixar and Marvel as sister subsidiaries that can be learned from there should be no excuse for melding great characters with great story and spectacle.

Where does this leave the mooted TV show though? Still going ahead or dead in the water?

I was wondering the very same thing too.

Disney has a natural home for it on ABC though. Can you imagine a double-bill of Star Wars and SHIELD?!!!

2015 is going to be one stuffed year: The Avengers 2, Justice League, Avatar 2 and now a new Star Wars!

Let's face it, Disney cannot do a worse job with any new Star Wars films that Lucas did with the prequels! Even if we had a director who could actually direct the actors, that would be a start. Look at the quality of the acting in Empire where Kerschner directed. I don't give a s**t as much as I used to about Star Wars - the original trilogy still has a place in my heart, and I look at them completely separately to the rest of the Star Wars machine. So it will be with Marvel.

OK so I have slept on this massive news. I still think that the best thing for Star Wars is to not make any more movies at all. To cherish what we have and enjoy it for what it is.
However, there was always going to be more movies, its too much of a cash cow to not carry on milking it, so I think that this is probably a good thing for the franchise overall. The Marvel universe and Avengers in particular has shown that, with the right talent behind it, Disney can bring a complex universe and set of characters to life in really awesome ways. So I think that if there are to be more Star Wars films this is one of the best chances the franchise has of succeeding and growing into something really good.
Fingers crossed everyone!

Does this also mean new Indy?

TV Just sounds so much more interesting with those two in the mix. How about a three-fer? Imagine. Remember that Worf Trek movie they were talking about? So successful it goes to pilot status, and a new series is born.

Your username is apt.

Agreed. Holy... holy crap... Whedon has so much clout at Marvel now... It could happen.

Kathryn Bigelow would turn it into a pro-war ra ra ra film, no doubt. Screw her.

Star Trek (2009) was the best Trek movie for about 15 years. And they were pretty inconsistent with quality up to that point anyway.

I wouldn't want to be Joss Whedon right now because he's probably just had a massive geekasm and has had to call up Disney to ask them: "Seriously!? You bought Star Wars?! Seriously?!" It must give him such a wonderful conundrum. He loves comic books, but he adores Star Wars as well.

I mean Firefly was basically his own version, it was really based on Han Solo, he said so himself. I reckon Joss won't hang around to be making Avengers 3, he'll be chomping at the bit to be given the Star Wars gig as soon as Avengers 2 is up and therefore make episode 8 and 9 maybe. All depends if they don't screw it up with episode 7.

Although pretty much they could get any film maker in the world to sign up to make Episode 7 surely? Much of the current generation of directors got into the business because of Star Wars and would no doubt love to be able to do it.

Possibilities are endless.

P.s. George, I love ya, but you should have done this ages ago.

Yes on Vaughan. Brad Bird, Edgar Wright or Del Toro yes.

I don't get people who are all excited about this?!

Lucas whoring Star Wars out is "bad" and "greedy", but a multi-national corporation that practically invented whoring out anything for everything for money, is "good news"??

And what exactly good thing has Disney done with Marvel? Same old crap that Marvel has been churning out since the mid-90's: big "epic" stories that ruin continuities and change timeless beloved characters.

And can't people see this announcement of an "Episode 7" at the same time as the announcement of the purchase, is meant for financial reasons, raising stocks and the like?

People whine about the Prequels being all cgi and shallow characters, but what makes you think Disney will be any different?

Finally, why is everyone happy that a huge corporation has swallowed up yet another media entity? Whatever happened to "a few companies own much of our media" complaints we used to hear so often? What?, fan-boyism now negates ethical considerations? A chance to see yet another mindless money-grubbing Star Wars film filled with over-the-top meaningless light -saber duel is more important than keeping something independent and true?

Whatever Lucas' faults, he atleast was the creator, and was an independent who did his own thing.

This isn't Walt's company we're talking about, and it shouldn't be trusted or applauded with your childhood memories anymore than any other big business.

I've only just heard about this - I must have been living under a rock yesterday. The only thing I know at the moment is that when I read Disney had bought Star Wars, a little bit of sex wee came out.

Think of the possibilities - New Movies, new TV Shows, new theme park rides. Ooh, a bit more just came out....

Never mind the Star Wars IP, what about all the amazing LucasArts IPs - Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle? Combine these with Pixar and you've got something which could be bigger than Star Wars. Oh yes, I went there.

Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy... gogogo

This is stupid. 3 new films after the main series is a bad idea and with Disney at the helm they are destined to be as bad as the clone wars series. They should instead been set in the time of the old republic and used the basis of either kotor (the first kotor game only at least for now) or better still of the Jedi guardian campaign of swtor.

A billion words will be written about this but none funnier than: "Go back to Tunisia and film some epic moisture farms." Brilliant stuff!!!!

If only Joss wasn't kind of busy between now and 2015.

The prequels weren't as bad as you say and were good for everyone except the people who had fallen too in love with the old low action with extra wobbly story of the originals (I'm not saying they weren't amazingly good films). Also if it wasn't for George we wouldn't have the originals anyway so stop being cruel he made six great films. Despite this maybe the filmmaking shouldn't be with lucasfilm anymore since their filmmaking has been shown to be not as good after the clone wars series and maybe lucasarts (which happens to still be owned be George) should take the reigns since their cinematic trailers of swtor have show people that they would be capable of making a full and amazing film better then lucasfilm.

*use* not used.

But Star Wars ISN'T based around Anakin's life. That's a prequel retcon. The Original Trilogy was about Luke Skywalker becoming a Jedi Knight and helping the Rebel Alliance overthrow an evil empire. I mean, in the first film Vader was only a henchman!

This whole stuff about "Star Wars is the story of the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker" is tarring the actually good films with the same brush as the prequels. It was when Lucas started acting like Star Wars was ALL ABOUT ANAKIN that the films went tits up!

I believe the time of kotor and swtor is the right way to go and George Lucas should try to use lucasarts to make them rather than Disney's new purchase lucasfilm.

Shhh, Jedi is awesome.

No he made 6 truly amazing films but too many people were living in the past of the originals when he released the prequels and as a result people like you hate him.

Well said. Apart from praising the clone wars I totally agree.

You obviously have a very different definition of "a depth in emotion and intellect" to me!

Nobody is saying that the Original Trilogy is Shakespeare. But it's not TRYING to be. It's good, fun, good versus evil, epic galactic space opera, and it's bloody good entertainment. It's got an incredibly well-realised world and a simple story about good triumphing over evil which has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions.

The Prequel Trilogy tries to be a serious tragedy and political satire. And it does it badly. There's nothing deep or intellectual in there, just a few films written by someone desperately trying and failing to get you to take the story seriously. And so it loses its sense of fun and lightness of tone, and just becomes an incredibly dull mess.

As for using "childish" as a pejorative... well, to quote another sci-fi legend who has nothing to do with Star Wars, "There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes".

Does Disney have the right to Lucasarts now as well? Bloody hell, that's amazing news if it means we get more Monkey Island!

Things we'd like to see in the new Trilogy
1 - Engaging characters. Traditional Jedis are dull.
2 - A director who's more concerned about actors and their performances. The SFX boys came up with most of the whiz-bang stuff using storyboards as a basis so it won't need a Michael Bay. No Joss Whedon either, just doesn't seem the right fit...
3 - More practical sets
4 - More practical creatures
5 - No central characters under the age of 10. Think how much better Ep 1 would've been if Anakin had been 15/16 when we met him instead of a whiny little toddler.
6 - No more politics. We need a straight up bad ass like Grand Admiral Thrawn from the novels to bring the New Republic to it's knees by simply blowing a lot of things up with large Star Destroyers.

Well, this is...big.

Not really sure how to feel about all this. But willing to give something new a shot, for all the entertainment I had from the six films.

Something tells me George Lucas has made it so that his (original) story ideas for the next 3 episodes will be the basis for the movies , so that his intended 9 part epic will be finished.

Well it is and it isn't. We would only get more good Monkey Island with Ron Gilbert at the helm, but he is unlikely to get the IP back from Disney. I do think that Grim Fandango would be a great Pixar film though.

Hey, we can put dollar signs in Di$ney too ya know!

Maybe Lucas burned them all in a fit of pique when he was trying to convince the world Han Solo was a nice guy who wouldn't kill someone without provocation. I wonder if the Greedo scene would be fine as it was if Harrison Ford was playing Indy and Greedo was a Nazi.

It's only stories creating illusions on a screen. This too shall pass. :)

I'll thank some sort of god if they don't make the TV series. How better to make a franchise stale, bland, lifeless and cliche-ridden than to have 100 episodes of sub-standard actors banging out a moral every week. And this week, Greedo's son learns the value of human life.
All hail Episode 7.

This news has relit my passion for the franchise....have that same buzz I did waiting for Episode 1 to be released (don't let me down Disney!)

Curse of Monkey Island was just as good as the first two, and that had no Gilbert, Schafer or Grossman involved. Sure, it botched MI2's ending but it made up for it by being a wonderful game in its own right. And Tales was pretty decent too, if not as good.

I guess I see it that ultimately, Vader is revealed to be a much deeper character than the evil henchman in A New Hope, as you mention. Yes, the trilogy mainly followed Luke, but Anakin's legacy became more important as it went on, with Luke made to face the same choice Anakin did years before. It's just that, with Anakin having redeemed himself and Luke resisting the dark side and essentially completing his journey as a Jedi, I wonder where could the story be taken without it feeling quite thin.

I would love to see Chris Nolan do a take on Star Wars, Im sure he could put emotion into the characters, something which lacked in the prequels, the downside is that Im sure Disney will want it 3D and he isn't a huge fan of CGI, Mark Hamill possible involvement too judging by his tweet earlier on, would also want to see Boba Fett back.

Please god no, don't let it be Joss Whedon. I'd take Nolan over him any day. Whilst Star Wars is a fun, family saga, it does have a very, ahem, dark side, and the SW universe as a whole requires careful characterisation, attention to detail, and an epic feel. I think Christopher Nolan would be ideal for that, and I think there has always been a certain grittiness underlying the space swashbuckling, plus Nolan has a penchant for live action rather than CGI. The prequels were, ironically, a bit Disneyfied. Duncan Jones would be a fascinating choice also, of course. Maybe even Danny Boyle. Then again, maybe they should do a whole new trilogy as found footage.

One would hope that they are exceedingly careful about casting, with regards to the possible inclusion of Luke, Leia, Han etc. Will it be set at a time that fits with the actors' ages, or will they have to use other people (I'd not like that very much). One thing I wouldn't mind, even if it was shoe-horned in, would be an ethereal appearance by Palpatine. I think he was consistently the best thing across the 6 films.

True, re: the Jacen story, BUT I was really just using that as an example of the inter-generational theme because I cant imagine that they would use any of the existing "expanded universe" material note for note as basis for the new movies--I also gave you a VERY "readers digest" version of the idea. They built up to it over a decade or more of novels & different storylines that followed all the major characters & Han & Leia's' kids as they grew up, became Jedi, had their own trials, relationships & challenges, etc. By the time this occurred, Jacen was in his 30's, had a child, had discovered that the Sith weren't ALL dead, and next to Luke & his sister Jaina, was one of the more powerful Jedi in the order. So, there was a LOT that led to his decision & it happened over many years & novels(and his "turn" WAS ultimately about fear of several losses & endless galactic war), but all that aside--YES, ANY story if done poorly is gonna be a disappointment. Like you--ultimately I just want some good SW movies that stay true to the spirit of the originals while blowing our minds.

Same here! Now the wait begins...

Does this mean that there wont be the Amazing 20th Century Fox music at the beginning? It wont feel like a proper Star Wars movie without that.

The problem, of course, is that any new movie could completely trample the established canon of the 100+ novels of the Expanded Universe -- which, arguably, is where the heart of the Star Wars story moved a long, long time ago by writers much more talented than George Lucas (Timothy Zahn, Troy Denning, Aaron Allston, Drew Karpyshyn, to name a few). The millions of die hard Star Wars fans who have not limited themselves to the 2 hour ease of simply watching a movie, but are in fact avid readers, will have their hearts broken if any new movie crushes the printed lore upon which the EU is based. If Disney would truly like to put out an excellent series of Star Wars movies that occur post ROTJ that tell a deep, exciting tale that warmly embraces the true SW EU fan base, they'd do well to consider bringing The Thrawn Trilogy (takes place 9 years after a New Hope) to the screen and having its actual author (Timothy Zahn) do the screenplays. That story arc is extremely well written and even ties in well with previous movies nicely. Whatever Disney decides to do, however, let's simply hope it doesn't bring the rich canon established over the past two plus decades in the written word stumbling down -- especially if its only to bring us singing Ewoks and dancing Gungans. I think many Star Wars fans over the age of 12 are fatigued by the direction Lucas has insisted in taking the franchise with its hard focus on toys and merchandising. So please Disney: respect canon (and the EU) while giving us a Star Wars that adults can once again enjoy!

I'm quietly hopeful that the new movie(s) wont be a series of toy adverts like the recent films. This article does great in getting me excited all over again and I'm pleased someone (anyone) other than Lucas will be writing it.

Hopefully this time they will mirror the originals and centre on one persons journey and evolution through the trilogy rather than spreading themselves too thin and cram as many characters in as possible. Strangely, I am hoping for less special effects and CGI and more real models and real locations as a backdrop.

You sir need to go back and watch the original movies, that old low action you speak of is call a Plot and its something that has been missing from movies since the late 80s. I like to be entertained with a good plot and story not flashing lights and pew pew pew because the story writers and directors don't have a clue how to write anything anymore and just play to a dumb moronic audience. Episode 1 was terrible Lucas himself admitted to as much when he was asked about Jar Jar. The actors were terrible except for Liam and Ewan and the over use of CGI was just pathetic.

The original three showed the world that you don't need a massive movie budget to make a film something that the Paranormal Activity series are doing now. I just hope that the new movies return to the original feel of star wars and that is STORY over flashy effects.

what about Andrew Stanton and Luke Skywalker of Mars?

... I love the six Star Wars movies, I couldn't care less about the Expanded Universe, The Clone Wars and the likes, but I think you speak with the truth brother... Star Wars was probably the only big independent thing in the entertainment business. All hail monopoly, greed and studio execs deciding what should we like from now on!

... so Avengers again? I better go back to my Star Wars Blu-ray and hide under a rock...

It's not a good thing if directors need to use a template from someone else's work. Nevertheless, I think the approach taken in Batman Beings is rightfully influential because it's just a carefully made film. Star Wars has some very dark moments, the models always look better than the CGI, and there is a sense of despair through much of the series.

But how can they make another one? Anakin grew up to Luke Skywalker and killed Darth Vader. There's no where else to go with this story.

of course they can - apart from Vader & the Emperor being dead the Empire is still there, weakened but 100% still in charge, more than likely there is a still a Count Dooku or Grand Moff Tarkin ready to step up and run the empire and the Jedi Order is basically 1 guy with incomplete training, there is still a lot of story to go to get back to the situation at the start of Phantom Menace.

Didn't Boba Fett die in Return of the Jedi? besides I've never seen what is so interesting about Fett. I do hope Luke Skywalker is not the focus of the story, bloody awful character.

The prequels lacked the fun and adventure of the originals ...wooden acting....wooden story. The originals had many ...at the time unknown or grade "b" actors...the new ones had famous actors in many roles that proved to be the worst roles they have ever portrayed.

Finally, someone with some sense. Disney making Star Wars films isn't necessarily a good thing. It's a big corporation that's only interested in making money out of a product. Maybe they will hire a great director, and a couple of great writers to make it into a good product, but that's not a guarantee. The prequels were crap, the Blu-ray release was crap, and it all made a lot of money. Star Wars doesn't need quality to make money. The Phantom Menace made a lot of money early this year, and it's popular culture's definition of a bad film. Disney knows this, and they know they don't really need to work hard to make it successful. They bought a brand, and it will make money no matter what. The people on here are talking about Marvel, and The Avengers, but there's good chance it will end being John Carter. The only difference will be that it could be even worse than the prequels or John Carter, and cost 500 million to make, and it will still make money. People will go and see it, because it's Star Wars. Just like ti27ne, I really don't see any reasons to get excited about this just yet. Part of what ruined Star Wars was Lucas turning into a corporation himself. Now he's selling to a bigger corporation and everybody's applauding ?!?! ti27ne is right, hypocrites.

Dude! Radio Four! Dude!

CMI was ok I suppose, but I felt it recycled too many ideas from 1 and 2 hook line and sinker and was a bit too light-hearted and cheery rather than follow the same slightly acerbic, mocking tone of the first two.

I'am the only one who thinks they will make movie for 10 year olds. I mean look at Avengers....

I don't agree. The TV show can add depth to the universe and try out new characters relatively risk free who, if popular enough could make the transition to movies and extend the storytelling possibilities available there too.

You're just thinking worst case scenario but since Pixar joined Disney their general quality level has risen across the board. A good sign for the new movies but IMO also for the TV show, assuming it's still going ahead.

I posted this on my FB account earlier:

So George Lucas has sold to
Disney. Good I say, they can't do ANY worse than he did with the last 3 films,
and whilst we're at it, should we petition Disney to re-boot Eps 1,2&3?
After all, re-boots are all the craze these days and no one seems to mind.

George said after Ep3 that he'd never make another SW movie. Now that's true.
George also said that the story arc of Anakin Skywalker had completed after the
6 films and that was that. That on the other hand is BS!

Eps 4,5&6 are about Luke. Always were. Eps 1,2&3 WE'RE about Anakin,
fair enough. But by following that sequence, Eps 7,8&9 should be about
Leia's kid(s), ergo, the 3 generations of the Skywalker family.

This was ALWAYS George's original plan. How so I hear you say? Well, I once saw
an interview with Mark Hamill who said that on the set of SW in 1975/6, George
asked him 'What are you doing in 2015?' The startled Hamill replied 'I don't
know, I'll check my diary?'

George knew that by 2015, Hamill, Ford & Fischer would be the perfect age
to continue the story, when Han&Leia's kid(s) would be mature Jedi. And
don't believe all the crap from Ford & Fischer about hating SW. Disney just
paid $4.05bn for the franchise, I think they got enough to get the old gang
back together. As Krusty the Clown once said 'They drove a truck load of money
up to my house and I couldn't say no!'

Hamill on the other hand can't wait to get a bit of work!

I made this same summation in the mid 90's, and it looks like I was right.

(As usual!)

It had a shockingly beautiful art style that still holds up to this day (especially the backgrounds), a wonderful atmosphere, pitch perfect voice acting and one of the best gaming soundtracks of all time (Michael Land is a GOD). I didn't like the last chapter with the evil theme park and it didn't wrap up MI2's ending well (in fairness, Gilbert left and didn't tell them what the plan was), but the game itself was pretty wonderful, and has some of the series' most memorable moments. The "A Pirate I was Meant to Be" song, the unbeatably piratey middle chapter when you're sailing the high seas beating other pirates at insult sword fighting, the moment where you "die" and the end credits roll, Skull Island (which looks like a duck), the scene where you get swallowed by a snake, El Pollo Diablo, and of course the unforgettable Murray. It's not quite the twisted masterpiece LeChuck's Revenge is (and I'd not say no to seeing Gilbert's version of MI3) but I'd say it's on the same level as the first game, if not better.

Escape was wank, though.

I remember back in 1978 in an interview (somewhere, lost in my mind-fog) where George Lucas said that The Star Wars (what He called it back then) was a 9 part story broken down into 3 trilogies, but that he only hoped to get the middle trilogy finished in his lifetime. When the interviewer asked him about the other 6 parts, he said he would "love to do those too, to see them someday", but that he held very little hope it would ever come to fruition. Now it looks like that just might be possible, and I can't wait to see if he finally gets his wish!

I also wish I had had the internet back in 1978 so I could link the article here, but I did READ it somewhere (maybe Rolling Stone or some other "hippie mag" of my day) and I look forward to finding out what was written for Episodes 7 8 and 9! Peace! And may the force be with us all!

Couldn't agree more.

avengers was terrible

THANK YOU!!!!! If they don't use Timothy Zahn's books as the basis for the last three, fans are being robbed or worse.

I wondered about the Fox fanfare too, I do immediately start salivating and doing light-sabre noises every time I see and hear that, Pavlov's dogs style(ish). I s'pose Disney could just buy Fox to maintain the tradition. They've bought everything else

I think you're right there, pretty sure I read somewhere that he'd be a 'story consultant' or some such and that the new trilogy would be based on an outline of his own design.

In movie 7, Yoda is not. :'(

The world has changed and unlike you believe the best films nowadays have depth and extra layers not just the main story, they have other story's branching off like politics, other less main characters feelings and not to mention the professional look that the low budget films lack. If George had made the prequels in the same old style of the originals he would be hated even more.

Btw I have watched the originals a lot and the other day the old episode 6 video I watch broke because of over use.

I am going to say though the prequels didn't quite fit in because of the style of the originals. If the prequels had been made maybe 5-10 years after the originals and in the same style as the originals or if the originals had been made 5-10 years before the prequels and in the same style as the prequels they would of worked very well. The problem of the prequels wasn't the style it was mainly the time difference.

The originals were mostly sci-fi adventure but the prequels went with the times and sci-fi action.

Everything you said I agree with and I am sorry about yoru video breaking :( I was lucky enough to pick up the DVD collection that on one side had the remastered copy and the other the original cinema release. I agree totally that if they were done straight away they would have been awesome films, the over use of CGI I mentioned is that if you notice in episode 2 EVERY clone trooper is CGI.....why? This would have cost far more than to get a guy in a suit and have it look REAL.
I agree with the layers, look at Tron Legacy there are several sub plots going throughout that movie and it was well done. But the majority of movies today are all special effect shows rather than plots with decent substance. I think the first Transformers movie we can all agree should be listed as a 2 hour advert. I am curious to know how the prequals would have turned out if they were done within 6 years of episode 6's release.

I'm certainly not averse to adding depth and expansion, but I wouldn't say that trying out new characters would be relatively risk free, considering the whole thing already got put on hold due to cost issues. If they were making it for a pittance they would have carte blanche to try stuff out, but I doubt they'll want to take a risk if it costs a right wedge to make an episode. You're right though, I'm generally a pessimistic person. I personally feel Star Wars needs the epic, cinematic "event movie" feel though. Even the very best TV series just don't capture that for me (see Band of Brothers vs Saving Private Ryan, or This is England 86 & 88 vs the film).

Nothing wrong at all?! Kirk's dad dies seconds after he's born, and yet his personality develops in such a similar way that he ends up using exactly the same cheat on exactly the same Starfleet Academy test. Two major planets are destroyed and the exact same half a dozen or so people end up in exactly the same positions on exactly the same ship. And this in a franchise in which the central organisation has a 'prime directive' forbidding involvement in other worlds' affairs because the slighest change could ripple out into a major unforeseen effects. The whole thing was beyond nonsense.

Agree completely, but not JJ Abrams, please - Duncan Jones would be great

As a SW fan, after hearing that Lucas is using the bulk of the proceeds from the sale to help further education, they could flush the whole franchise and churn out nothing but crap and I think it'd still be worth it. Anything new and of value that we get from the Star Wars universe going forward will be considered a bonus in my book. Love or hate him creatively, I guess Old George is pretty good guy.

At the end of the day I think a lot of fans (including myself) were happy about the TV show because there didn't seem to be any prospect of new movies, but now with movies confirmed I wouldn't be surprised if they dropped the TV show and perhaps any development for storyline and characters was folded into production for that.

We'll just have to see what further announcements bring.

Aye, that does sound mouth watering.

I had totally written off Star Trek as a franchise with a future after Enterprise was canceled. However, when JJ Abrams Star Trek came out, I had hope again - for good reason. After the mess that was the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, I had written off Star Wars, as well. So, I have hope again that there will be great Star Wars films in my lifetime. I wonder if JJ will abandon ship with Trek to do Wars?

I think that JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof will be first on that list. I really hope that John Lasseter has something to do with production, as Pixar consistently tells great stories.

I'm not sure I want Lindelof involved but I'd be happy to see lens flared lightsabres make an appearance.

I hope to god that Disney pee all over the "EU" tripe from a great height.....Terrible, terrible stories, all of them. The bloody Yuzhan Voong or whatever they are called....seriously......Hopefully we will finally get some good Post ROTJ Star Wars material

"One part of the announcement was the confirmation that Star Wars Episode 7 was being readied for 2015. This has already been met with, it’s fair to say, less than upbeat reactions. The thought of another Star Wars film doesn't seem to be going down very well at all."

What utter crap that statement was- I've read thousands of comments on countless sites and the overwhelming reaction is that this is a good thing. I'd say 98%+ of people are looking forward to a Lucas-less trilogy.

Couldn't people jus put up with the fact that the prequels are there, they 're part of the story arc and there are lots of people that like them? I am looking forward to Ep VII but NOT because I think it is finally a chance to look forward to a new SW movie. I looked forward to EP's I through III just as well and loved them ... despite the fact that I came to SW in 1977 through EP IV. To all the Prequel bashers: get a life and get-on with it.

I think the Darth Caedus story would be a perfectly fitting 3rd trilogy though ... especially given that Anakin's story is very vibrantly present in that arc.

I don't think this was a great article. It started out by saying that the Disney deal would be great for Star Wars but then didn't provide any examples of why specifically, other than that Disney have done great work with Marvel, which only begs the question of what did they do to/with Marvel that would work with Star Wars?

I think there is a lot of unexplored potential here with Episode 7. If Disney plays the cards correctly, they might dig up a gold mine for themselves, and revitalize the pretty dead fan base.

I look forward to these new movies. Hoping Disney also looks toward expanding Star Wars IP into some new and innovation video-games, I'd love a new gen RTS or FPS for Star Wars.

I'm a massive Star Wars fan and read a lot of forums on the subject... EVERYONE, myself included is relieved that Lucas is handing over to Kennedy to make another trilogy. I think the writer might have been basing this on journalists/colleagues initial reactions, as I'm seeing very little negativity towards the idea! :)

a. im sure the next movie will be part 1 of a trilogy, every big movie franchise nowadays does trilogies for some reason. thats just how it works currently.

b. disney knows they have to make a really great movie because they just paid 4 billion & will want to make star wars movies every few years as long as they own them. they just need to make a movie that is looked upon as 'cool' & well-reviewed, but still has to be family friendly in most aspects. im sure an 'r-rated' starwars movie would be awesome but thats not going to happen. it will just be interesting to see if they make a completely new world for it, or era for it, etc., or if it will be more familiar with things like yoda & chewie in it again or like luke skywalker as a grandpa. i think they would probably be better off avoiding that & creating a new time & space for this trilogy, but i have a feeling disney executives would feel like they cant leave out yoda or chewie or familiar things like that. i would think there will be a lot of info coming out soon since if they want a 2015 release they will probably have to start it pretty soon since maybe cgi editing & all that will take a long time.

I say do teh fianl 3 and remake the middle two so the style matches. That way the originals will be just that.

"And you never know: Disney might yet release the original trilogy on Blu-ray..."

If they don't, their nuts. I'll never watch a Star Wars movie again until I've seen the RESTORED UNMOLESTED ORIGINALS on Blu-Ray.

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