Amazingly, the Walt Disney Company has bought LucasFilm, George Lucas’ long privately-held company. In short, this means that Disney now owns Star Wars (they’ve already said we can expect Episode VII in 2015) and Indiana Jones. As we are in a down time of baseball, here’s some suggestions I have for Disney on how they can use their new toy:
A) Respect the Fans
Star Wars fans are infamously creative and rabid. They make fan-films, write fan fiction and make costumes and props based on the series. And George Lucas and LucasFilm has generally always been supportive of this, in fact, they’ve held contests over them!
Disney, however, has been notoriously protective of it’s intellectual property, which now includes Star Wars. In fact, they’ve in the past been the driving force for increasing the length of copyright– usually lobbying for the longer copyright limits whenever Mickey Mouse is about to enter the public domain. And they, in the past, have been willing to go to court to protect their characters, even if it’s something innocent like cartoon characters decorating a daycare mural.
This, needless to say, would not be a good way to handle LucasFilm and it’s properties. In fact, if they were to try and mess with the status quo that Star Wars fans have been operating with for decades, they would be shooting themselves in the foot.
B) Make sure these new movies are in good hands
Episode VII, VIII and IX will probably be the most scrutinized movies ever made. The prequels were, of course, also scrutinized extremely heavily, and as a result all three of them, with the possible exception of Revenge of the Sith, were at best considered somewhat entertaining and at worst (in the case of Episode I) just plain bad. And these were movies that George Lucas was heavily involved with, fleshing out the little jottings of backstory he had had for decades.
So now, presumably, Episode VII will be done without Lucas involved in anything beyond an advisory role (perhaps in helping them flesh out whatever little jottings he had about the future of Star Wars in the same way that the prequels were the fleshing out of the little jottings he had about the history of the Star Wars universe). They need somebody good and focused to do it, somebody who has experience dealing with big universes and devoted fan bases. The first name that comes to mind is J.J. Abrams, however, he’s probably taken. The same probably goes for Joss Whedon (although maybe he could be involved in some sort of other capacity, or coordinate a TV series, or something). So perhaps it could be either Brad Bird or Jon Favreau, both of whom are already getting some talk on Twitter about possibilities.
C) Have Indiana Jones and Captain America team up to fight Nazis
Disney owns Marvel, famed home of noted Nazi-fighter Captain America. Disney now owns LucasFilm, home of noted Nazi-fighter Henry “Indiana” Jones Jr.
If they do not have a comic book or video game or something made that features them teaming up to stop a fiendish Nazi plot, I am going to be disappointed.
D) Make a whole Star Wars amusement park
Disney already has a Star Wars ride in some of their park, as well as Indiana Jones rides. Go bigger. Make a whole amusement park down in Florida that is focused entirely upon George Lucas’ grand creation. Let us dogfight in X-Wing simulators, let us eat lunch at the Mos Eisley Cantina, race landspeeders and have lightsaber fights with family members we are annoyed at.
E) Give Yoda a part in the next Muppets movie
Tomorrow: I return to baseball as I give out the Baseball Continuum awards, which are like real awards, only they are decided only by me and have no prestige whatsoever.