October 31st, 2012
04:39 AM GMT
(CNN) – News that Disney has purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas – creator of the Star Wars saga – for $4 billion drew immediate reaction online, which was quickly populated with Darth Vader masks and Death Stars adorned with Mickey Mouse ears.
Or as someone who with the Twitter handle “Yoda” wrote: “Bought Lucasfilm, Disney did. Replace me with Mickey Mouse, they cannot.”
Disney is planning to throw the full weight of its empire behind relaunching the Star Wars franchise, which saw its last installment in 2005 with “Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith.”
“We’ve got a plan for 7, 8 and 9, and other films also,” Lucas said. “We have a large group of ideas and characters … we could go on making Star Wars for the next 100 years.”
Why now? The 68-year-old Lucas said he wants to head toward retirement to do “philanthropy, more experimental kind of films, but I really couldn’t drag my company into that.”
Succession planning played a part, Lucas said. “One of the most important shifts toward that was Kathleen Kennedy, who I’ve worked with for 40 years,” agreeing to become co-chairman of Lucasfilm earlier this year.
“Once that piece was in place, I knew I could step away and retire. The final block was to find a good solid home for the company, and the first place I thought of was Disney.”
There’s plenty of ambivalence about the move. One analyst told Iger "I can say, Bob, that you're risking the wrath of the entire Internet," according to CNN Money’s Stacy Cowley. "But, I dunno, I'm excited."
Much online reaction expressed fear of Disney “ruining the franchise,” while others suggested taking the saga out of the hands of Lucas. Josh Gates of the Syfy Channel wrote, “To those complaining that Disney just bought Lucasfilm... `Meesa thinks this is probably for the best,’” referring to the much maligned character Jar Jar Binks from Episode 1.
What do you think? Is Lucasfilm backed by the Force of Disney a good thing or a drift toward the Dark Side?
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