All across the Internet and social media, it was if millions of voices cried out in a mix of excitement and anger at once. This was not the news most Star Wars fans were looking for.
In a press release late Tuesday, it was announced that The Walt Disney Company had made a deal to purchase Lucasfilm — which includes the massive Star Wars franchise — from creator George Lucas for just over $4 billion. But even more shocking was the announcement that starting in 2015 fans can expect a new feature Star Wars film to hit theaters. More specifically, it will be the elusive and long rumored Episode VII.
Along with control of the movie franchise, Disney also obtained command of the special effects studio, Industrial Light and Magic, and the audio production studio, Skywalker Sound, both of which were created by Lucas and associates during the production of the first film in the franchise.
“It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers," George Lucas said.
It’s likely that Disney executives are salivating even more over the prospects offered by a huge merchandising behemoth and additional content in ancillary media, from video games to a hit animated series on Cartoon Network.
It is still too early to predict how this acquisition will affect the legacy of one of the most beloved film franchises of all time. After the marginally lukewarm reception of the Star Wars prequels by most fans, many may have cooled to the idea of a proper sequel for the original trilogy.
But with regards to the production of Episode VII, the key quote that may offer new hope to doubters comes from the bearded-one himself. According to George Lucas, “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers."
Lucas will remain as a creative voice for the series, but he appears to believe a transition towards new opportunities for the Star Wars universe is in order. It may be hard for many fanboys to accept, but it will be happening regardless.
Apologies to any non-Star Wars fans out there — it seems like the online community will be dominated by one topic for the foreseeable future.