Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mickey, You're My Only Hope

The news that Disney purchased the rights to Lucasfilm (owner of the Star Wars franchise, among others) was pretty big news at the end of last week. I figured that now would be a good time to made a confession: I really don't care for Star Wars.

Now, I don't hate Star Wars, by any stretch of the imagination. It's just that I never really had that childhood affinity for the movies like most people did. I was born just a touch too late for it to be a proper movie-going experience for me, and so I never really watched the movies until I was well into my teens. And when I did...well, let's just say I was less than impressed.

It's all a game of expectations, of course. They were good, solid, movies, but the elementary-school cultural landscape of the 1980's had basically painted these movies to be the epitome of drama, science fiction, crack dialogue, and character development all rolled into one epic monument to the greatness of Western Civilization. What I ended up watching was more or less a high-concept soap opera that involved laser beams and messiah parallels.

Plus, I had reached that point, where most early teenage boys do, where I was discovering the classic science fiction novels. Reading Clarke and Heinlein and Asimov and Herbert and even the thrash-heap pulp books picked up for ten for a dollar at the YMCA book sale seemed to have plots more deep than what Star Wars had produced. Granted, despite what people say, movies and books are going for two different things, but I just couldn't find anything spectacular.

So now is when I make a second confession, in that I have never seen the prequels. I just couldn't come up with a reason to do so and so I never have. I know I will, eventually, but I just can't dredge up enough care to do so. No one seems to like them, but I'm sure they are still something that should be seen.

And all of this is a shame. I more or less fit exactly into the demographic of Someone Who Should Love Star Wars, but I really don't. Some people are surprised at my complete lack of knowledge of Star Wars trivia. I don't know what to say, usually, except make some lame attempt and pretending like I can make up for it by being sufficiently outraged about the treatment of Firefly.

Now, as for the actual transaction itself--I don't think it will make any difference. Lucasfilm and Disney already had a partnership, and I think Disney will take good care of the property. While I'm not a fan of the transaction itself--Disney is starting to collect too much intellectual property that I don't want them to turn into the movie equivalent of Electronic Arts--there are still enough big names in the industry (such as Warner Brothers, Fox, Sony, and Universal) that there's still plenty to go around.

The biggest concern I have is Indiana Jones. On the one hand, Lucasfilm had been pretty tight on the IP for Indiana Jones, which is both a good and a bad thing. My fear is that Disney, seeing it (rightly) as the lesser property, will pimp it out. Since the fourth Indiana Jones movie didn't do the series any favors (for the record I didn't hate it, but it certainly was disappointing) it's hard for the whole thing to be a net negative.

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