Star Wars succumbs to Disney. A fan's perspective: May the force be with you, Mickey

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George Lucas always thought that Star Wars might be too wacky for the general film audience of the 1970s, but maybe he underestimated how wacky the general public can be. As well as technical advances in special effects and the first mass-marketing use of merchandising rights from celluloid (the merchandising of the brand generated three times more revenue than box-office sales) the groundbreaking film also spawned a cult following. The religious zeal with which the advocates of the force avidly follow their fictional role models can be found, for example, in spoof attempts to create a Jedi religion in censuses taken in several countries, such as in Australia. 

So it is not surprising that Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm has enraged a large portion of this Star Wars community, some of whom decry the sale of the hallowed brand to a monopolist mouse (one such comment: “What the fuck have you done George Lucas? Rot in hell, you greedy little nerve hurter!” NB: Although this is a play on words, the correct terminology is of course “nerf herder”, as some readers of this blog have kindly pointed out). Some of this may be based on age depending on whether you grew up with the original versions, or with the later prequels and re-makes. Ask the question “Who shot first?” and the reply will give you a clue to differences among the generations of Star Wars fans. (The answer is Han Solo, by the way.) The original trilogy loyalists, now in their 40s, think that the prequel of the late 1990s and the re-releases of the originals corrupted the Star Wars ideal by being tailored to a politically correct audience. Yet they are the ones less animated about Disney’s ownership.

For those originalists Star Wars is all about the story of Luke Skywalker and his journey from simple beginnings to courageous hero, who saves the universe from tyranny while coping with an accompanying morality play about redeeming his father. Luke’s growth through the films was something any young boy could be inspired by. This may explain why the prequels were generally disliked. Not only was their premise more sinister, but the older audience had knowledge of the previous films and the wider anthology that expanded with the Star Wars galaxy. Science fiction author R.A. Salvatore, for instance, has become a hate-figure for a certain section of the fan base. He wrote for the Expanded Universe series of books based on Star Wars and penned the novelisation of Attack of the Clones, killing off Chewbacca, Han Solo’s beloved Wookiee companion. (The fact that he did this under Mr Lucas’s instructions is irrelevant.)

For the originalists what Disney does now going forward with the saga is more important. The prospect of a new film in 2015, and then one every year or so after, gives reasons to be hopeful and fearful. The completion of the often speculated nine-film series has been a holy grail for fans for eons. Mr Lucas made it clear he was never likely to do it alone. Disney should do a good job. Given its record with the acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel there is every hope, indeed a new hope, that old fans and new will have more Star Wars films to look forward to.

Those fans in the anti-camp should follow the wisdom of the Jedi master Yoda: attachment leads to jealousy, the shadow of greed, that is. Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.

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Julio Marchi ©

Publisher / Editor at BS News & Media Services
A free thinker, not labelled as anything, not associated with any party, not part of any group or engaged with any religion... A simple guy tired of the nowadays bullshit who decided to promote more serious debates about what is really happening hoping to bring back intelligence to the superficial and shallow news & headlines that unfortunately took over the existing media scene.
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