Many Star Wars fanatics were concurrently ecstatic and worried when it was announced that Disney bought out Lucasfilms Ltd. for over $4 billion last week.
Quite soon after this transaction was made, the “Mouse House” announced it would release Star Wars: Episode VII by 2015. Although this may sound intriguing, I do not know if I want to trust Disney with one of the most successful film franchises in the history of cinema.
My biggest concern is that Disney will decide to turn Star Wars into something more juvenile or kid-friendly. Disney is well-known for its critically acclaimed animated movies and documentary films; however, the last thing Star Wars fans desire to see is Mickey Mouse making a cameo appearance.
Disney’s record with PG-13 films is 50/50. They are responsible for the highly successful film, "The Avengers," and one of the biggest flops in film history, "John Carter." Disney also produced the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, of which the first two were amazing and the latest two were completely overrated.
Disney is willing to drop exorbitant amounts of money on this project, but I feel that money is the only upside they have. Their most expensive product of all time is John Carter, which they spent approximately $300 million to make. It is also the last science fiction film they made. Another interesting point is that Andrew Stanton, who directed the latter, is at the top of the list to head the new Star Wars film.
Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill director Quentin Tarantino recently laughed at the idea of a Disney-made Star Wars film. However, Star Wars fans will not be laughing the least bit if Disney runs the franchise into the ground.
Should we even give Disney a chance to ruin one of the most fantastic movies to ever show in theatres?
What worries me most is Disney tries to take creative control away from Lucasfilms' president Kathleen Kennedy. If it tries to “Disney-fy” the story of the new Star Wars: Episode VII, it will not be around for an episode eight or nine. For example, there are some sources predicting actor Zac Efron could star as Luke Skywalker in the upcoming film. That action would make true Star Wars fanatics cringe, but they may win over the High School Musical crowd.
However, leadership may not be the only reason this film could fail. Many Star Wars fans are worried about how the story will flow from episode six, released in 1983.
Lucas stated he “wanted Star Wars to be around for another 100 years,” it would be a tragedy for Lucas to watch his whole operation explode into thin air like the original Death Star.
The ball is in Disney’s court. The film has promise if Disney can hang back, take care of costs and let the direction control the project. If it doesn', fans should be prepared for a complete bust.
Disney is not known for taking a backseat on projects, and something tells me it will take the new Star Wars films very seriously, which is not a good thing.
After Lucas sold his company to Disney, most Star Wars fanatics probably said the same thing: “It’s a trap.”