George Lucas and Disney characters

Will Mickey Mouse be wielding a light saber sometime soon? On Tuesday, Disney bought Lucasfilm, the Marin-based company owned by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, for over $4 billion. Disney is now set to release the seventh “Star Wars” film by 2015. So what will this mean for the future of the “Star Wars” franchise … and for George Lucas?

Guests:
Sharon Waxman, founder and editor in chief of TheWrap.com
Jason E. Squire, associate professor of the practice of cinematic arts at the University of Southern California
Peter Hartlaub, pop culture critic for the San Francisco Chronicle
Dale Pollock, professor of cinema studies at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and author of "Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas"

  • TimR

    Doctors w/o Borders and their assistants are our Knights and they have my deepest gratitude and support. In our fantasy Worlds, George has presented us great stories, characters, animation and music of John Williams. Walt Disney left a legacy and set forth a purpose in his company that has held up well, not flawlessly, but very well over the years. Lucas has secured a good place for his company to endure, in safe hands. It seems Pixar has faired well and that must have factored into Lucas’ decision. Lets hope that we look back and see this departure of George as Obi Wan saying, “May the force always be with you” rather than the same words echoed by Hans Solo bidding farewell with his reward.

  • Only slight, if any, real reference to concerns about further consolidation of the media and impact on entertainment culture and culture as a whole. When will Chewbacca be replacing Stephanopoulos ? And what about consolidation leading to fewer jobs and fewer ideas ?

  • Reed C Bowman

    So this is why Han shot second. Lucas bowdlerized that moment and several others in his older movies, and lots of us called it ‘Disnefying’ the stories. Now we see where it was headed.

    What worries me and many fans is what will happen to the physical culture of fandom when Disney’s notorious intellectual property lawyers (who have rewritten US copyright law into its current insane state) get hold of all the ephemera of Star Wars. Small companies manufacturing Stormtrooper costumes and light sabres have had their tangles with Lucasfilm in the past, but I shudder to think what will happen to them, and the many, many others out there perpetuating the love of the films by bringing their world to life in the real world, when Disney is in charge.

  • One of the things that people haven’t really touched on is that Star Wars already HAS developed a “DIsney”-esque feel to it, beginning with Return of the Jedi. Marketing stepped in and instead of a planet of Wookies, we appealed to the children with Ewoks, or as many called it, “Muppets in Space”. Episode 1 was very Disney-like, particularly with Jar-Jar, and it really didn’t develop a darker feel again until Episode 3, but nothing in comparison to Empire or New Hope. Nevertheless, given that Disney has pumped out Pirates of the Caribbean, it should be at least interesting to see what happens when they take that creativity and apply it to something as grand as the Star Wars universe.

  • Vicky Chang

    As a former employee at LucasArts with many friends still there, I
    wonder what will happen to the Presidio property. LucasArts is not the
    money earner Lucasfilms or ILM companies are. In fact, there were rumors
    for the last five years that George would sell Lucas Arts. What does
    this sale mean for the gaming world – which often exceeds film audiences
    in sales.
    Thank you,
    Ms Chang
    PS- Disney has a small museum in The Presidio – will their prescence there change? A Mickey Mouse hugging the Yoda fountain?!?

    • cynthiaprice

      Disney Studios does not run the museum in the Presidio; it’s owned by Walt Disney’s daughter.

  • Aaron

    If people don’t like Disney, or don’t like what Star Wars movies it eventually produces, don’t watch. Don’t buy the merchandise. Disney only runs your world to the extent that you let it.

  • Nilesh

    Does anyone know what impact does this have on LucasArts, Lucas’s game-making division?

  • TfromSF

    I can’t imagine Disney can do more damage to SW than Lucas already has. I have no hope for Ep. 7, and it won’t be relevant to the older generation that was lucky enough to enjoy the original TRUE trilogy when it came out.

    Hey Mickey, here’s the winning formula for Ep. 7, for FREE!

    1) don’t design it for kids
    2) hire directors and writers not named Lucas
    3) limit your CG budget to $1 million
    4) have a edgy scoundrel with some personality and sarcasm
    5) show blood
    6) don’t have stupid alien languages and racial aliens
    7) don’t give droids speaking lines
    8) build a huge, expensive space model, then blow it up at the end
    9) get Billy Dee Williams on the cast somehow, even if he’s 80

    Oh yeah, but now it’s all about the movie “ecosystem” to sell other stuff and build the brand. It’s not about film quality or story anymore.

  • cynthiaprice

    The Disney museum in the Presidio is owned by the Disney family, not the Disney studio, so nothing will change there.

    Does this mean we’ll finally get the Star Wars Holiday Special on DVD? 🙂

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor