By now, chances are you’ve seen the big news: Disney is buying LucasArts — and the Star Wars property with it. It’s a whopping $4+ billion deal and represents a major shift in the direction for the Star Wars franchise. Here are five reasons why this could be a great thing for fans of a galaxy far, far away:
1. A new Star Wars film is coming in 2015
Even with the lackluster prequel trilogy, I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I’ve always wanted more Star Wars films. It’s a real shame that Lucas stopped after Jedi in 1983, especially if you consider that we could’ve had a couple more films with the original cast. By 1999′s Phantom Menace, something was missing (many somethings, actually), but we were still happy to be getting new Star Wars after all those years.
A new film in 2015 is practically right around the corner. I’ll be able to take my son to a first-run Star Wars film. My last memories of a Star Wars movie won’t have to be whiny Anakin and “NOOOOOOO!”
2. There will be even more Star Wars movies after that
Disney said that it’s planning a new trilogy — episodes 7, 8 and 9 — although there are no details past that. It did say that beyond those three, it plans to release Star Wars every “two to three years”. By the time my kids head off to college, they might have more new Star Wars films than I ever did.
3. George Lucas is stepping down
This is probably the most significant part of the whole deal. Sure, Disney could screw the pooch, mess up Star Wars forever, what have you. But that’s an unknown factor, and compared to what is known, it’s preferable. George Lucas has many talents as a businessman and an investor in technology, but writing and directing are not two of them. The best Star Wars flicks were the ones where he wasn’t directing, and that’s pretty damning testimony, especially considering what happened with the newer trilogy. Giving others a crack at Star Wars is something we’ve been clamoring for for years.
Plus, Lucas refused to budge on a new Star Wars movie past episode III, so this sort of deal is the only way we would’ve gotten new ones.
4. We’ll finally move past the Clone Wars era.
I don’t know about you, but I’m completely sick of the Clone Wars and what it represented for the franchise. Lucas was obviously totally in love with the prequel setting, but it got to be overkill. With the three movies, the micro cartoon series, the regular cartoon series, the Clone Wars movie, and the proposed live action show, it was mining an era that was pretty shallow to begin with. Anakin and Obi-Wan were no Han/Leia/Luke, and it fills me with revulsion that kids have grown up thinking how awesome “Annie” is because he’s been shoved down their throats.
5. Disney has great storytellers on its side
I’m not going to sit here and say that Disney is a wonderful entity with no corporate greed or penchant for making big mistakes. It does and have both of those. But it’s also pretty well-known for storytelling, and that’s something that Star Wars needs now in spades, more than ever.
Whatever the new Star Wars film is going to be, it’s simply got to be way better than what’s come since 1999, because fans will be watching it so closely. So closely indeed.