Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Why Star Wars fans need to calm down

So it has been about 2 months since the news of Disney buying LucasFilm and its properties. To say Star Wars geeks have had their panties in a twist would be to say PlayStation and Xbox 360 fans took the news of Bayonetta 2 going Wii U exclusive rather indifferently. The new date for the apocalypse has officially been set to 2015 with the release of Star Wars: Episode 7.

Now my crystal ball is in the shop so I obviously can't guarantee the quality of Star Wars 7. The main issue that a lot of people seem to ignore though is the fact that Disney bought LucasFilm itself, not just the Star Wars property. The film will therefore still be handled by the people who always handled the franchise minus George Lucas (who semi-retired). What I'd like to address here are some of the comments that have been floating around ever since the news became public.

Allow me to point out this is not an attack towards the Star Wars fanbase (I like it too). This is merely a fan of Disney being both amused and frustrated over the comments of the last few months.


Disney will turn Star Wars into a musical!

Because we all remember the famous scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl where Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow has a duet with his rival Barbossa ... no wait that was a duel. How about that lovely piece of poetry Tony Stark recites in the trailer for the upcoming Iron Man 3 ... oh, that was him being shell shocked. Or maybe you did not like to see the Hulk dancing with Black Widow. No wait, that only happens on the dark corners of the Internet.

So Disney has a history of making animated musicals. That's what their animation department does best. So far they've done a good job of not having that style of movie-making bleed into their other departments. It's not even like all films in the Disney animated canon are musicals, just the ones where it's appropriate.


Disney makes a million sequels to everything!

They make sequels to things that have been successful in the past, yes. That's how Hollywood works these days. So yes, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides might have been the franchise overstaying it's welcome.

The infamous and uninspired Disney sequels most of you are probably referring to however have been discontinued since The Little Mermaid III: Ariel's Beginning back in 2008. (There was a typical manatee-written Family Guy skit which made fun of this concept by introducing us to Aladdin IV: Jafar May Need Glasses, which was only funny because they had years to make this joke but they only got around to it after the discontinuation was already announced).


Why couldn't Warner Bros. buy the Star Wars franchise?

Oh you mean the company that ALREADY does what you fear most? The kid friendly Lego Star Wars games? Made by Traveller's Tales, subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive.

There was a comment that used the upcoming Disney movie Oz the Great and Powerful as evidence that Disney only wants to milk franchises and therefore Warner Bros. is a better candidate. I assume he meant the same Warner Bros. who in 2011 gave us the brilliantly conceived Tom and Jerry & The Wizard of Oz (not to mention all the other direct-to-video Tom & Jerry and Scooby-Doo films released on a near-yearly basis).


Disney will cast Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Zac Efron!

I thought that after High School Musical ended we had all agreed that Zac Efron actually turned out to be a pretty decent actor. Justin Bieber isn't even signed with any Disney brand. His contracts are with the Universal Music Group. Selena Gomez is signed with Disney, but still, why would they do it? The only time Disney has done this before that I can think of is casting Miley Cyrus as the voice of Penny for the movie Bolt, which turned out pretty damn well.

Like all good companies, Disney likes money. That doesn't mean they are stupid enough to attempt to aim a main series Star Wars movie at the same teenage girls that ruined the Disney Channel.


Disney will milk the franchise for everything it's worth!

Okay, you have a point there. However, here's a question: how is that any different from what has been done to the Star Wars since its inception? Star Wars isn't some obscure movie franchise known only to sci-fi geeks. This isn't 2009's Star Trek that made a cult franchise mainstream. Star Wars is placed as the third highest-grossing movie franchise. The list of Star Wars video games, spin-offs, toys and books is nearly endless. There isn't a lot of room for Disney to do any more milking than is already being done.