05 November 2012

FWS News Feed: Disney buys LucasFilms and ILM

On Devil's Night, Disney Corporation bought Lucasfilms and ILM for about four billion dollars in cash and stock from the bearded one, and nearly immediately announced that Disney would be branding the SW universe with their own new film trilogy, completing the long-rumored episodes seven, eight, and nine beginning in 2015. That is awful damn soon to be making a SW film if you ask me, and this could means that either Lucas had being planning to make the new films and give Disney his ground work. Or that this deal has been in the works for years, giving Disney time to prepare a new film. At present there is little information on the next trilogy. So, is this good thing for Star Wars? I believe yes. The prequel films are an abortion, Lucas killed that dream that we fans had for many long years, and Disney could avoid what he did wrong: not having fresh blood or eyes on the project, allowing for things like Jar Jar Binks to happen, that shouldn't have never, ever been.
Original, Lucas was going to have other directors direct episode II and III, but that didn't happen, and look what we got. Disney has the cash to draw some serious talent that Lucas would have never allowed to the new film projects and maybe that is what the SW universe needs most: fresh talent and a reboot of sorts. Some fans sites and rumors state that Disney is going to film the old Timothy Zahn Thrawn trilogy books, which will not happen. These new films will not star Han Solo or Skywalker, the actors are too old, and recasting them would be heresy. The best rumors on the subject point to extending the timeline out, beyond the lifespan of the original characters, Mark Hamill could still be alive has old Jedi Master, and you can beat that the two droids will be there. However, for the most part, Disney would want a fresh start for their SW films, and that means disregarding most of the Expanded Universe. Since most of the SW movies are about the struggle between the Sith and the Jedi, it is a good bet that VII/VIII/IX will have that has their central story. Could it be about a new Sith rising from the New Jedi Order, within their own ranks? After all, the Sith were seemly destroyed after ROTJ, with the Emperor and Vader dead. In the end, I welcome the news, and it is my hope that the SW universe gets back on track. Hell, Disney wanted to remake the prequel, that would be a good thing as well. And my vote for a director, is Ronald D. Moore. Just look at what he did for the long-dead BSG universe.

Here is what my favorite Youtube reviewer, Jeremy Jahns, says:


  1. Hi, William!! Can't say I'm exactly holding my breath for the new Disney Star Wars movies- the first three SWs movies are great, but after that everything just took a turn for the worst. Somehow, I doubt a four-fingered mouse can take tired, old space opera and get anything other than tired, old space opera- and the magic that fueled the original films just isn't there anymore. We'll see what happens, but my bet is that if Disney will shell out four billion dollars to get some worn-out space opera, those who can imagine their own fresh 'verses and stories can succeed big time with something new and exciting.

    Christopher Phoenix

  2. I see your point, and Lucas only has himself to blame, he waited too damn long between the holy trilogy and making the prequels. Episode One should have could out in '86 or '87, and there were rumors that supported this, then he abandoned the project in pre-pre-production.
    Lucas selling everything to the four-fingered mouse for what is my question. Sure, it's an ass-ton of cash, but he was already rich, and I've heard is donating most to charity. Was it because he had grown sick of SW? His official reason I read was because he wanted to pass it along...I call bullshit on that.
    A few sites have compared the sale to when Roddenberry's hand was off of Star Trek, and how it changed...some for the better, some for the worse.

  3. Seriously, though, he could have skipped EVER making the prequels and we would be better off than we are now- Jar Jar Binks should have been aborted before conception. Fact is, Star Wars is just worn out, artistically speaking. I don't know why Lucas sold it- maybe he is sick of it, as you said it- but I can guess why the Mouse bought it. Disney must think it is a good investment, and seeing as SWs already has a ready made fanbase, I can see why. With SW, the Mouse can make more SW films and then sell the inevitable lunchboxes and toys- maybe even make animated productions somewhere down the line, cartoons and things like that. Not only do they have an already extant fanbase waiting to buy their products, but people often imprint their children, who are growing up SWs fans as well. In other words, profit for the Mouse!!!

    What really annoys the heck out of me is that Lucas changed the original films by adding lame-ass CGI in some of the Mos Eisley scenes and making Greedo shoot first (seriously, it looks like I added the blaster bolt in Photoshop...), and, to add insult to injury, he stuck more lame CGI of aliens celebrating at the end of the first film. Why on Earth would anyone be celebrating? I doubt the destruction of the Death Star II (or so much as a hint of its existence) was on the galactic news channels, at the Rebel's victory would probably be seen as treason and insurgency by many Imperial citizens. Furthermore, with the death the Emperor, the Empire will probably break apart into warring factions as various ambitious admirals and high ranking officers see a chance to seize power for themselves. Still feel like celebrating? But what really annoys me, is that Lucas no says this desecrated DVD is the "real" Star Wars and won't release the original Star Wars I watched as a child!! Speaking of which, you don't happen to know where I could get my hands on the original release of Blade Runner with Harrison Ford's narration? I've only seen the director's cut, and while it was good, I'd like too see the original version for comparison sometime.

    Christopher Phoenix

  4. By the way, I finished "Ender's Game" some time ago, and I have to say that there are many elements of it I found troubling. I don't think it belongs on a list of top ten best MSF works. For one thing, Ender was way too young to be a tactical genius, and Orson Scott Card never gave us any reason why Ender's mother repeatedly bore "geniuses", not even a hint of technobabble!! I play chess, and I've found that younger chess players (including, once, yours truly) tend to focus only on their own moves and pieces, rather than their opponents threats. It takes time for children to develop higher level empathy and awareness of another person's feelings and intentions, and the tend to do this at an older age- no matter how bright they are. A soldier must be aware both of his enemy's possible intentions and the mood of his soldiers, and there is no way a twelve year old will have this capacity. We need Commander Breetai, not a refugee from grade school. The whole plot of Ender's Game was too unrealistic for me to accept.

    And the aliens. "Buggers". It sounds like they came and buggered people. (Readying anal probe!! Readying anal probe!!) Orson Card never describes a bugger, except for the infant queen near the end of the book- even though Ender watched films of bugger soldiers. No one even uses their proper name in the book, as far as I can remember. Another thing, I felt that Orson Scott Card used the book as a platform to preach about his beliefs against reducing the number of children we have to avoid overpopulation. He claims we can just ship the excess off to the stars. This is simply not feasible when you are dealing with exponential growth- even if you had the starlift capability, you'd fill up all available planets far sooner than you'd think. Orson Card is or was a Mormon, so this explains his beliefs- but I felt I was being preached too, and I don't like that.

    Finally, I just have to come out and say it- Ender's relationship with his sister is just creepy. You were right about that. And the "buggers" how can they claim to be so nice when they were planning on breezing right in and taking over Earth? They must have believed there was a human "queen" somewhere- what were they going to do, put her in a cage and through peanuts at her? It's just schizophrenic, invading every world you come across and then slipping into the role of helpless victims in the face of Earth's revenge. It just made no sense. Okay, okay, end of rant. I should go back to the collected works of Edgar Allan Poe and the Best of Analog short story collection...

    Christopher Phoenix.

  5. I saw all of the holy trilogy in the theater during their original run and in 1997 when they were 'remade', and I think Lucas, now Disney, should sell the classic edition of the SW films. And the official position of FWS is that Han Solo shot first!
    I thought the same when I read Ender's Game about the buggers...sounds like some sort of joke alien race from Red Dwarf or Monty Python. Oh, and that the line about Commander Breetai was classic and very true. Has there ever been a tactical child genius besides Alexander? And that is a good point about the alien believing that they were going to come in is such bullshit and a good point. Maybe it will be a better movie than book...that was true of BLADE RUNNER and Minority Report.
    The original 1982 release of BLADE RUNNER was in the 2007 boxset, and the recent 30th anniversary release. As far as I know, the original 1982 was NOT released on a stand-alone DVD, only VHS. Until 2007, the 1992 Director's Cut was the only one on DVD. I personally like the narration, but not the happy ending. If someone has the boxset, then they have the original. BTW, the 2007 final edition is pretty damned good and the mythic workprint is not bad either.
    If your into BR, then the best book on the subject is 'Future Noir: the making of BR' by Paul M. Sammon.

  6. Wow, thanks, William!! I have nothing against the other versions, but I really wanted to see the original version. I'll check out "Future Noir: The Making of BR" sometime- sounds interesting!! I might go hunting down some artbooks with BR concept art if I can find them- BR is a big influence on a lot of concept artists.

    The problem with Ender's Game is that the issues I have with it are so ingrained in the story, you can't remove them, unless you flush the book down the toilet and make whatever movie you want like Verhoeven did with "Starship Troopers". They might do that with Ender's Game, but this means that anyone who actually LIKED Ender's Game won't like the movie. In this case, I think a complete redo is necessary, though. Definitely, the "buggers" sound like a joke alien race- like blancmanges from the planet Skyron. Grey aliens are said to have a penchant for buggery, albeit buggery with mechanical probes- watch those skies!!

    Speaking of Minority Report- I'm watching the movie right now, and it is pretty good! I'm sensing a build-up toward John Anderton actually walking straight into his predicted future. I wouldn't want to live in this future- clearly forcible entry and search without a warrant is condoned, and you can be arrested for crimes you haven't committed!! Then they turn you into a human popsicle. The sonic shotgun was pretty cool though, and the car- although the sick sticks were pretty sick. As were those scenes with the eyeball removal and replacement...

    "Hey, Anderton, stop rolling your eyes at me-- AAAUUUGGHH, it touched me!!"- unfortunate secretary at Precrime

    Christopher Phoenix

  7. The new boxset of BLADE RUNNER has a massive art book with it, containing all of Ridley's art for the film. BR is a great example of taking the original work and making something better. I know people that are shocked when they read the book of Minority Report, BLADE RUNNER, and Starship Troopers. Modern sci-fi books, mine included, would be easier to translate to film, besides the length. Of course, the work that suffered the most from book-to-film is DUNE. No one seems to be able to get that one right.
    Watch the skies and your ass when it comes to the Greys...makes me think of South Park...Eric Cartman the unrealized poet of our age.