The GeeksverseDisney Buys Star Wars

Disney Buys Star Wars
Published on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 by

The biggest news in a very long time came on the wake of one of the largest storms of all time.

Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the United States and did a lot of damage from the Carolinas up to New Hampshire, with New York and New Jersey being heavily hit. But a storm of a different sort hit the Country, or at least the Geeks, when it was announced that Disney had bought Lucasfilm for 4 billion in cash and stocks.

That’s right, George Lucas has sold his properties to the Mouse.

Disney; who already owns ESPN, ABC, Pixar and Marvel Comics; added another juggernaut to it’s holdings.

If the news of the sale alone wasn’t big, what was also announced definately floored the fandom. There will be new Star Wars movies, the first will be episode 7 in 2015 with new movies coming every two to three years. What form will the new movies take? Will Han, Luke and Leia be recast? Will it be a new generation? Nothing is none, and probably won’t for awhile. But the speculation will keep the internet abuzz for a long time.

The sale includes all of Lucasfilm, from the Star Wars properties to the videogame side as well as the special effects studio.

Disney bought Marvel Comics a couple of years ago and moved their properties from Boom! Studios to the Marvel umbrella. Currently the Star Wars comics are published by Dark Horse Comics, which releases multiple mini-series a month and has a new ongoing debuting in January. The status of the comics at Dark Horse were not mentioned in the releases but Dark Horse president Mike Richardson did release a statement: “Dark Horse and LucasFilm have a strong partnership which spans over 20 years, and has produced multiple characters and story lines which are now part of the Star Wars lore. ‘Star Wars’ will be with us for the near future. Obviously, this deal changes the landscape, so we’ll all have to see what it means for the future.”

What does the near future mean? What other changes will Disney bring to Star Wars?

No one knows, but the internet will be an interesting place to be the next couple of weeks and months as more is revealed.

6 Responses
    • Well that was unexpected. Star Wars is one of my bigger pop culture blind spots, but the possible implications this deal has for the future of Dark Horse Comics license are huge.

      • Mike Richardson from Dark Horse said the “near future”, which could mean the current contract, it could mean he hasn’t heard anything and the comics all get yanked. It’ll be interesting.

        Marvel had the Star Wars license before Dark Horse and did some books that are fondly remembered.

        • I doubt Disney will break the contract. It’s easier to let it run its course and then move on. The House of Mouse won’t do anything that could cause legal trouble later.

    • I’ve been making Pigs in Spaaacce jokes all night with my geek friends since Disney now owns Lucas/Star Wars, Jim Henson’s non-S.Street, and Marvel I’m just sure that we will see Star Wars: Episode 8 “Pigs in Spaaace” directed by Joss Wheadon announced sometime soon for 2017.

      Film maker Kevin Smith has a nice perspective on the Disney acquisition of Lucas Films. Smith focuses on how Disney is trying to attract little boys to the brand loyalty by buying product/movie lines that can build young boy brand loyalty to complement the Disney Princess girls lines. Smith wrote:

      “Sounds dirty but it’s just business: the
      Disney Princess market gave the Mouse all the little girls they could
      sell an Ariel costume to but Disney couldn’t interest boys in their
      wonderful world beyond the single digit years. Few boys are clamoring to
      play with a Peter Pan action figure and hooking the audience while
      their young is an important component of long term brand loyalty. So
      rather than develop their own boys brand in-house, they started buying
      “boy” stuff. It started with Marvel and it now continues with the world
      of STAR WARS.”

      Disnificiation sounds like a problem, except it hasn’t hurt Marvel comics noticeably. I still wish they’d bring the Disney Comics from Italian creators back to American creators, and release more Incredibles or Dark Wing Duck comics, and that’s not happening, but otherwise Marvel seems fine. Mickey Mouse isn’t teaming up with Howard the Duck or anything truly strange.

      I doubt Episodes 7-9 of the Star Wars franchise will give me what I want from the series, but then again I didn’t like Lucas constantly tinkering with it all anyway. I didn’t like the prequel movies despite the one or two cool things that happened. I don’t like the remastered/changed original series. I still stubbornly think that Star Wars should be the movies that I knew as a child, the original theatrical trilogy and then the made for TV Ewok movies. That’s it. I figure the new trilogy will have a few cool things and then more filler for the next 7-9 hours collectively.

      I’ll probably still buy a ticket to check it out.

      In the end, I’ll probably still buy a ticket to check it out. I agree with K. Smith that younger me would have loved more movies even if the older, jaded me just isn’t down for it.

      I think the implications for the Dark Horse Comics license is really writing on the wall. Boom! had a comic partnership with Disney before Disney bought Marvel. The contract ran out and was not renewed. Disney had already let previous deals lapse without renewal with SLG and a few other companies on their titles—a still miss that Greg Weisman penned Gargoyles. I would not be surprised to see Dark Horse not being renewed at the end of the term. Dark Horse/Star Wars fans need to make some noise, but otherwise I expect that will run out.

      As for are those stories canon and lore? I’m not sure the comics really impact the movies any more than the novels do.

      • I think DIsney’s people are smart enough not to mess too much with the success of their acquired properties and franchises. They’ve pretty much let Pixar and Marvel operate as they have before, post-acquisition (I mean, it’s not like we suddenly have a Finding Nemo/Namor crossover in the comics). When I first heard that Disney had bought Marvel, for example, I was worried about them clamping down on Marvel’s MAX and ICON imprints (which can and do feature so-called “mature readers” material), but they haven’t really messed with the publishing/creative side of the comics, and all they’ve really done is leverage their media standing and capital in support of the Marvel Studios films.

        I agree that they’ll probably let the Dark Horse Star Wars license run out and move it to Marvel, unless working with Dark Horse proves to be a cheaper and/or more profitable option… a corporate comics IP holder outsourcing production to an external entity with an entrenched business isn’t entirely without recent precedent: Marvel Toys/ToyBiz (a part of Marvel Enterprises) used to produce Marvel action figures, but when Hasbro came along with their larger distribution network and established production infrastructure, they got the license over Marvel’s own toy people. I don’t know if Dark Horse can do the same thing, though. It will likely come down to whether Disney thinks they can make more money moving the Star Wars comics in-house via Marvel (which comes with its own not-insignificant costs) compared to whatever Dark Horse is paying for the license.

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