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Random Thoughts on Disney, Star Wars and the Future of ‘A Long Time Ago’

And then there are those things that just blow your plans to hell. While I know what the bigger news actually is, it’s hard to say which piece of news actually feels bigger: Disney buying Lucasfilm, or Disney then turning around and announcing that not only is there going to be a seventh Star Wars movie in three years, but that there are already plans for an eighth and ninth beyond that.

The idea of a non-George Lucas Star Wars is actually hard to wrap my brain around. Sure, he’s not involved in the day-to-day of something like The Clone Wars series or the various tie-in novels or games, but all of those have such a particular tone to them that’s so clearly indebted to Lucas’ voice (for better or worse) that they still “feel” like Lucas’ work nonetheless. That’s not necessarily something that will change with Disney buying Lucasfilm– Lucas is officially the “creative consultant” for the new series, after all — but just the announcement that Star Wars is now an ongoing franchise of movies, instead of a closed series with ancillary material feels like enough of a sea change to suggest that changes are, indeed, under way.

Of course, that might just be nostalgia paranoia creeping in; people in both Marvel and Pixar will repeatedly and eagerly say that their corporate cultures or output haven’t changed since their companies were bought by Disney, but I’m not entirely sure that that’s true, at least on Pixar’s front. Consider, after all, the new-found reliance on franchises with existing characters rather than all-new ones that has overcome Pixar in the last few years (for Marvel, I think the changes have been mostly positive for the company, and very much in the direction of “more opportunities for Marvel” whether it’s been the various promotional appearances on ABC shows or the Marvel TV/ABC partnership for S.H.I.E.L.D). It’s very possible that what will happen with the Disney-owned Lucasfilm are things that would’ve happened without the sale. And yet …

There are many things to wonder about coming out of this sale. Will Clone Wars finish, or at least switch from the Time Warner-owned Cartoon Network to Disney XD? Who will direct and write the new Star Wars movies? (Joss Whedon is under contract to Marvel, but if it’s a corporate sibling to Lucasfilm, then who knows?) Will Disney push for the long-awaited Star Wars live-action show to finally be brought to completion now that it’s out of the hands of Lucas himself — and, if so, will it end up on ABC? What happens to the other intellectual property of Lucasfilm (Apparently, the Indiana Jones franchise “doesn’t factor in” to current plans, which seems odd)? Does the audience even really want a new Star Wars movie every two or three years, as Disney apparently does?

And that’s before you get to the fanboy wish-fulfillment aspect of the sale: When will we see a Star Wars/Avengers crossover in some form or another (If we’ve seen Phineas and Ferb cross over with the Avengers, let’s not pretend that it won’t happen)? Will Princess Leia be folded into the Disney Princesses? How long before we see Mickey Mouse face off against Darth Vader? And so on. Much like the Disney purchase of Marvel a few years back, this news feels like a massive shift in pop culture that we don’t quite understand yet, just know that it’s big. Perhaps we should feel happy with that take on it, for now, and go back to thinking about more important things in the world…


  • Dkharris74

    A Kingdom Hearts game taking place in Star Wars locations?

  • Guest

    Nice article, it’ll be interesting to see how things go. 
    But I gotta say, that Goofy Darth Vader….just doesn’t cut it. I hope they don’t mix it up too much. 

  • Brandon McKinnis

    Kingdom Hearts with Disney, Square, Marvel and Star Wars Characters!

  • Zor-El of Argo

    As fun as it is to speculate, I would prefer if Marvel and Star Wars characters remained in thier own respective galaxies. Seriously, Thor is the only Avenger who could logically meet up with SW characters and I really don’t think he would fit.

    For Leia to hang with the other Disney Princesses they would first have to re-re-re-re-release the “Original” Trilogy edited to have Leia only kiss her brother on the cheek.

  • Zor-El of Argo

    Oh God, I hope no at Disney sees this and actually does the re-re-re-re-edited thing. I swear, I only joking! PLEASE DON’T DO THAT!!!

  • Dswynne1

     Yeah, “Black Pete” would have been a better “Darth Vader”.

  • Christopher Douglas

    No Marvel characters. 

  • Joe Burden

    It’s… interesting. I’m not sure how to feel about it, other than I hope (and pray) that the comics stay with Dark Horse long enough for Brian Wood to complete his run.

  • Demoncat4

    the deal includes Indie but parmount still owns the rights to distribute the films. and  if nothing else maybe the legendary infamous star wars holiday special will get a legitimate dvd and blue ray release . plus this means one can see ewoks some day roaming the parks. or worse jar jar and goofy in shorts. odds are things like clone wars will stay on cartoon network till the contract is done.

  • Demoncat4

    and no doubt the tv show will now move forward proably after episode seven. for Disney will want results of spending 4 billion . on the franchise

  • Peter Hohman

    Wait, has the Phineas and Ferb/Avengers crossover already aired? Did I miss my reason for living?!?!?

  • Milwookie

    Go on with more important things? Yeah right (lol).  

  • Darthrai

     is becuz accually is darht gooby

  • johnsimcoe

    I’m excited that Star Wars is now out of Lucas’ hands. He created it, but other people — better story tellers — have managed to really craft it into an exciting place with some great depth.
    That being said, I wish it was somehow purchased or transferred to a smaller entity than Disney. There aren’t many significant, independent entertainment franchises anymore.

  • Will

    A huge fanbase of Star Wars is now kids, especially because of the new trilogy, and currently, Clone Wars.  Those Disney planned 7, 8, and 9 already have a built in audience that Disney already caters too.  I’m sure the mouse really could care less about us old fogies.  By the way, I’m 36.  I’m old compared to the Mouse’s target audience.

    “When 36 years old you become, look as good, you will not.”

  • Xum

    The Star Wars saga was original envisioned by Lucas to be 9 movies back in the 70s… it is possible that Disney intends to end with episode IX… maybe.

  • pDUB

    only Deadpool.

  • Black Cesar

    You know that Marvel had the rights to make Star Wars comics in the 70’s and 80’s and they did not cross over with the MU characters, right? Or are you making a joke?