Monday, November 5, 2012

Star Wars, Disney and what comes next for Luke Skywalker



Last week the world of Star Wars fans were shocked when George Lucas sold his Lucas Films company to Disney. Twitter exploded with all the chatter about the 4 billion dollar deal Lucas made with Disney.
Here in the San Francisco Bay area that is use to mega-deals going down every other day, we were even set back by the deal. After all Lucas headquarters is in the Presidio, on the edge of Golden Gate Park, where Yoda stands guard. Then there is Skywalker ranch in Marin, all of it a big part of the culture of Northern California.
The noise that came out of the Star Wars geeks was, will the iconic characters of Luke, Han and Leia suddenly be Disneyized? Will Leia suddenly break into song around the Ewoks? Han will ride up on a white steed that isn't the Millennium Falcon? Will Luke become Buzz Lightyear? Oh, my stars, perish the thought, although I love Buzz, and he is a hero in his own right, but he's no Luke. Buzz doesn't have a half man, half machine for a father, who is the ultimate bad guy of all time. 
I was a young mother, with a toddler and a baby when Star Wars was released. I was an instant fan, and impressed with the special effects of the time. There was nothing really out there like Star Wars in 1977. Later as a writer, I used Star Wars as Luke Skywalker’s hero’s journey, and learned how Lucas had used Campbell’s books to create the story surrounding a young na├»ve adventure seeking Luke Skywalker. The first three films in my opinion were the best by far, but they were in the middle of Luke’s actual journey.
Disney is going to finish the story releasing three episodes following the fall of the Empire that includes the threesome. From the numerous books all approved by Lucas, we know already that they fall in love, get married, have children and continue to battle evil. I read the first couple of books when they were released, because I had heard Lucas wasn’t going to continue the story. After Revenge of the Sith, that received lukewarm reviews and was panned by the heartiest of the fans, Lucas had had enough and said no more.
There will be more, but they won’t be by Lucas, but Disney. Lucas will serve as a consultant. I have faith in Disney to preserve the characters as we know them. Of course we won’t see the same actors they’re all too old to portray their original roles, which has fans up in arms. Who can replace Harrison Ford as Han Solo? That one I can’t even imagine. He was my favorite cocky pirate, no one compares.  
I trust Disney to do a good job. Their all about making money, and to make a ‘bad’ Star Wars would literally be shooting themselves in the 4 billion dollar foot. I have faith it will all be good come 2015, when the first movie is to be released. But I know the true die hard’s won’t be satisfied. They’ll critize every movement of Princess Leia’s clothing, the lack of enough cockiness in Han, and then there is Luke, which this story is really about. He’ll still be battling back the dark side of the force, trying not to become his father, body part by body part. His is the true hero’s journey, something writers have been trying to imitate ever since he appeared on the big screen starring out onto the barren landscape of the two suns of his home planet of Tatooine.There will be a shutter in the force when the films are released this much I'm sure of.

No matter what the movies do, Star Wars will always be Star Wars. As I finished this blog, it was time for my grandkids to go to bed. I tucked them in and said good night as I turned to leave my granddaughter's room, I saw the Star Wars poster above her dresser. Not a princess, not a pony or some boy band, but Star Wars. 35 years later it endures just as popular as before. I'm sure with Disney it's in good hands and will continue for the next 35yrs. 

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