Why Getting Mad at the LucasFilm Buyout isn't Worth Your Time

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Posted by inferiorego (22334 posts) - - Show Bio

Unless you were buried up to your neck in sand and had a soundproof bucket over your head, chances are you know about the big news last week: Disney bought LucasFilm for a touch over 4 billion dollars in cash and stock, and opinion on the net is split, There are a lot of people on the net pretty angry about the direction "The Mouse" is going to take this fan-favorite franchise.

Star Wars VII: Princesses Unite

Remember a couple years back when Disney bought out Marvel and the internet collectively screamed at the top of their lungs that Disney is going to ruin the company? The rumor, which turned to be true, popped up a little more than three years ago to the tune of cries of "NOOOOO!" Well, it's been three years, and what's changed? Is Spider-Man still Spider-Man? Yep. Did Donald Duck team up with Howard the Duck? Nopem sadly. Nothing has happened from the onslaught of ridiculous predictions: censorship, Mikey Mouse appearing in the comics, the world ending. Essentially, Marvel wasn't ruined like so many people claimed it would be.

Now, it's 2012, and Disney has bought another large property. While it's understandable that lots of people are upset about the buyout because the Star Wars franchise is so near and dear to so many people's hearts, there's a few reasons you shouldn't be upset about this whole buyout. Take a deep breath and together, let's check them out.

You Don't Spend $4 Billion to Sink a Ship

The first thing you do when you buy a company for $4,000,000,000 is turn all its properties into unwanted, water-downed pieces of garbage, right? Am I wrong? Well, that's why I'm terrible at business. To make money, you have to spend money, and Disney understands this.

The "you don't spend money to sink the ship" remark was made by a lot of level-headed people during the Disney/Marvel buyout, and very few angry fans listened. Then, a few years later, we got an amazing Avengers film. While it's true that the Avengers movie had been in the works for a while, I'm sure the Marvel team was able to take more chances, budget-wise, because of their mouse-eared financial backer. Technically, we'll never know, but it's some food for thought.

However, since their buyout, Marvel Studios has released some of their best films to date: Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers. As a film production company they're on a roll, so it's not too hard to see this translate over to some of the LucasFilms properties.

Also, keep in mind, Disney owns a lot of properties that are doing pretty darn well for themselves: ABC, ESPN, Hulu, and The Muppet Studio to name a few.

Other People's Takes on Star Wars/Indiana Jones

When the Star Wars prequels came out, many people were complaining on and on about George Lucas' writing and stories. The same thing happened when the alien Indiana Jones film came out. There were complaints aplenty, but now, these film franchises are out of Lucas' hands (although a few sources say he may be on as executive producer, which is understandable). While his two original trilogies (for both Star Wars and Indiana Jones) were brilliant, many people believe they've lost a bit of that magic with the newer films.

The great thing about the Star Wars Universe is that it's so expansive and awesome. There's been a plethora of television series, books, and comics about this universe, all by different writers. Out of everything outside of the films that's been created, there's a good chunk of stuff that's awesome. Now, think about letting some other people have their hand at it. Sure, there's pros and cons to this, but getting another creator's take on this universe is extremely exciting, good or bad. This really opens the door, and it revives my faith in this franchise. Plus, personally, I have always been much more interested in what happens after the original trilogy than in the prequels.

Aside from the sequels, imagine if we finally got to see something like Shadows of the Empire come to life or any of the Dark Horse comics in cinematic form?

The Money is Going to a Good Cause

One of the things I read, on numerous sites, is that George Lucas is swimming in a pile of money and he's a horrible, greedy human being. Well, he was swimming in a pile of money BEFORE this deal went through. However, he's not a greedy, horrible human being when it comes to this deal, and his money, in general.

George Lucas cares when it comes to the future of this planet. He wants future generations to be able to function in the real world. That's why he wrote his "Philanthropy Pledge," which appears on the Hollywood Reporter site, which flat-out states he's planning on putting his money to good use:

I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. It is the key to the survival of the human race. We have to plan for our collective future -- and the first step begins with the social, emotional and intellectual tools we provide to our children.

According to a more recent article on Hollywood Reporter, a spokesperson from LucasFilms states that Lucas plans on putting a large portion of the money into a foundation that focuses on education. Lucas has been known to lay down some heavy donations that reach the millions: his alma mater USC, the Film Foundation, Stand Up to Cancer, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Say what you want about his work, but don't come down on him as a human being when it's obvious the guy cares a lot about the world around him. He's got a good heart. Sure, the deal hasn't gone through yet, and he hasn't donated the money yet, but his track record shows that philanthropy is his passion, so it's extremely plausible.

Princess Leia is a Disney Princess

I saw this as a complaint on numerous websites. Out of all the things you could have a real complain about, this was one big reoccurring one. Frankly, I don't get it. I only see this as a good thing, if Princess Leia actually became a Disney princess. You know what little girls love? Disney princesses. At one point, my niece had the stuff plastered everywhere. It didn't matter who the Disney princess was, my niece ate it up, even if she didn't see the movie. There's tons of little girls like this. Ones that just buy everything Disney Princess, so if anything (if this happens), it will just increase exposure to the Star Wars Universe to a whole new generation of little girls.

Most importantly, this is a terrible complaint. Fans are complaining that a princess from the Star Wars universe is on the same level as Belle, Snow White, and Cinderella? I can understand why people would make the other complaints, listed prior, but this one? It makes no sense. What would it matter? Leia is still awesome and a super-cool rebel. That won't change.

By the way, the super awesome Leia drawing was done by Sketchy Mcdrawpants, and it makes everything right in the world.

The Movies You Used to Love Still Exist

Gimme all your Star Wars action figures, so I can light them on fire in front of you.

No matter what happens to the Star Wars Universe from here on out, those three original films you used to love still exist. Sure, they're not the originals because they've been "upgraded" by CGI, sound, and Greedo shooting first, but they're still there, as you kinda remember them. Screaming "they've destroyed my childhood" is a faulty claim. No one has gone back in time and punched you in the face for thinking Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is awesome. Your memories remain the same.

Just because a company you no longer like bought another company you claim to like doesn't mean that everything they've ever done disappears. It's not like, after this deal goes through, a bunch of muscular men in Mousekateer outfits are going to kick down your door and take all your original trilogy Blu-rays/DVDs/VHSs/Laserdiscs and burn them in front of you while singing "It's a Small World, Afterall." You can still go back and watch them whenever you're feeling bummed out.

By the end of the day, there's nothing anyone can do that will sway anyone from this buyout. It's probably going to finalize, and people are going to get mad about it, but a few years down the road from now, no one is going to remember being super angry about this, especially after Star Wars Episode VII comes out.

The most we can do is have faith in the company that it will put out some great stuff and most importantly, we can hope that they'll release the original Star Wars films, untouched, old special effects and all, on Blu-Ray without young Anakin's ghost hanging out with Obi Wan and Yoda. As of now, the rights to those reportedly still lie with Fox but we can still hope.

All-in-all, we probably won't notice any changes, so let's just have faith that the company will continue to run on its own, and let's really hope that Dark Horse will keep the rights to the Star Wars franchise for their comics. They put out some great stuff.

Mat "InferiorEgo" Elfring is a comedian, writer, and was the mayor of a town in Star Wars: Galaxies until they screwed with the combat system and got rid of the Creature Handler class, which forced him to quit.

Check him out on twitter and his podcast Mat & Lewis vs the Internet.

#1 Posted by Uncas007 (388 posts) - - Show Bio

Well said - a voice of sanity in an irrational cacophony.

#2 Posted by Dernman (16865 posts) - - Show Bio

I wasn't upset at this. I was actually happy in a way. Just looking at what has already been done beyond the movies we know Star Wars can be good without him. So now they will bring new life to the movies. Which could be a good thing.

#3 Posted by Mbecks14 (2114 posts) - - Show Bio

Well said. I am embarrassed to admit that I was angry/terrified at the announcement. And although I'm still holding on to some reservations, I have calmed down enough to realize this could be a great thing

#4 Posted by inferiorego (22334 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mbecks14 said:

Well said. I am embarrassed to admit that I was angry/terrified at the announcement. And although I'm still holding on to some reservations, I have calmed down enough to realize this could be a great thing

Thanks. With something of this magnitude, even with our fanboy senses going nuts, it's best to sit back, take a breath, and imagine the positive possibilities and outcomes of this event.

#5 Posted by red_rover (100 posts) - - Show Bio

I can see Fox releasing the original, original trilogy around the time of Episode VII to take advantage of the Disney advertising. That would be fine by me. Lucas saying he made the deal to protect legacy of his work makes complete sense.

#6 Posted by Mbecks14 (2114 posts) - - Show Bio

@inferiorego said:

@Mbecks14 said:

Well said. I am embarrassed to admit that I was angry/terrified at the announcement. And although I'm still holding on to some reservations, I have calmed down enough to realize this could be a great thing

Thanks. With something of this magnitude, even with our fanboy senses going nuts, it's best to sit back, take a breath, and imagine the positive possibilities and outcomes of this event.


#7 Posted by Inverno (13715 posts) - - Show Bio

But I am not even mad. I am so glad Star Wars is back and kicking.

#8 Posted by CircularLogic (320 posts) - - Show Bio

While I have a certain amount of respect for George Lucas for using his money the way he did, I think that you missed a big point here: While a good man, it was Lucas who made such crappy prequels and updates. With him taken away from the series, the sequels have a fighting chance at being great.

#9 Posted by inferiorego (22334 posts) - - Show Bio

@CircularLogic said:

While a good man, it was Lucas who made such crappy prequels and updates. With him taken away from the series, the sequels have a fighting chance at being great.

I 100% agree with this.

#10 Posted by Omega Ray Jay (8271 posts) - - Show Bio

Great article Matt.

I've moaned and complained as much as everyone else about George, the changes to the originals and aspects of the prequels but I've also defended him. Say what you will, he did them his way and stuck to his vision regardless of how many people said other wise so I can respect that. I could go on and say various things that would not be as well said as the above so I'll just do everyone a favour and cut to the chase, without George Lucas we would have nothing, he is a visionary and pioneer. The main concern I have about this takeover is the expanded universe, I love the work that has been put into it over the last twenty or so years, it would be a real shame to see some of that be pushed to the side or retconned. I just hope that the new caretakers of the galaxy look after all the trophies not just the prize ones. If I could say anything to George Lucas I would wish him all the best for the future and sincerely thank him for giving me some of the greatest cinematic experiences of my life as well as being instrumental in the expansion of my imagination.

#11 Posted by kennybaese (1199 posts) - - Show Bio

I guess I'm one of the odd ones out in that the majority of my friends and things that I've talked to about this aren't particularly upset by it. In fact, it's the most interested in Star Wars I've been in quite some time, and that's coming from a self professed Star Wars fan.

The bigger concern for me is the licensees. I'm kind of wondering how well companies like Dark Horse (to keep it to comics) are going to do without the Star Wars license. Warner Bros and Cartoon Network have got to be worried as well because they're loosing The Clone Wars.

#12 Posted by JoseDRiveraTCR7 (1020 posts) - - Show Bio

TBH, I'm surprised that so many people were angry at the buyout. Lucas has shown that he isn't in touch anymore, and I thought that him selling it to a company that has a history of putting out good products would make the fanboys happy. This is a chance to get new, good Star Wars movies again. Hopefully, they remake the prequels into something better.

#13 Posted by inferiorego (22334 posts) - - Show Bio

@JoseDRiveraTCR7 said:

TBH, I'm surprised that so many people were angry at the buyout. Lucas has shown that he isn't in touch anymore, and I thought that him selling it to a company that has a history of putting out good products would make the fanboys happy. This is a chance to get new, good Star Wars movies again. Hopefully, they remake the prequels into something better.

As much as I am not a fan of the prequels, I say let them be. They are what they are.

#14 Posted by CircularLogic (320 posts) - - Show Bio

Also, most of the concepts of the entire Star Wars universe came from no input from lucas at all. There's a great article by Cracked explaining how a man named Ralph McQuarrie made up most of the franchises' iconic moments on the spot while pitching it to studios, including most of the characters, not the least of which being DARTH FREAKING VADER. And producer Gary Kurtz had more of an influence on a new hope than Lucas, whereas the sequels were directed by entirely different people.

Lucas only gets so much credit because he owned the rights. So no big loss there.

#15 Posted by HackedLife (6 posts) - - Show Bio

What reason could any Star Wars fan have to be upset about this? The Prequels were SHIT. It is 100% impossible that Disney could make anything worse. On the contrary, it is highly likely they will produce something much better. Avengers says hi.

#16 Posted by mattwing87 (438 posts) - - Show Bio

I admit I was upset at first. But like 5 min later I got excited that we might have a new Star Wars trilogy. I would love my future children to have a Star Wars trilogy to call their own! I was mainly upset that George Lucas said "This way I get more money, as well as Disney"

#17 Posted by spinningwebs (36 posts) - - Show Bio

The moment I first heard the news I reacted like an angry fan boy for about 10 min. Then I realised how great this could be for the franchise.

#18 Posted by Shamelesslysupportinaznballers (553 posts) - - Show Bio

The only thing I can take from this merger and the fan reaction is that at least the hate for this wasn't as stupid & senseless as the hate for Disney buying out Marvel.

I guess SW fans are a bit more sensible than Marvel fans are.

#19 Posted by EdwardWindsor (14517 posts) - - Show Bio

all iask is for a star wars original cut set on blueray just 4-6 and i will certainly buy them. thats all i want

#20 Posted by Herx (472 posts) - - Show Bio

I was never upset about it, sure i went and found a audio clip of obi-wan from episode 4 saying "as though a million voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced", but come on, when are you ever going to be able to use that sound clip for anything starwars related? The star wars universe will have some new life injected into it and with lucas now only a creative consultant and not with compleate unquestionable controlle over the universe we can finally get writers and directors who can expand into those other stories that we all know (and which lucas dosen't. He apparantly has never read anything about the expanded universe). Now as for what will happen with the expnaded universe? well im guessing, as what happend with the expanded universe in the clone wars tv-series, elements will be included wich will please fans both familiar with it as well as thoes who arent. :D

Now what i really think that star wars 7 needs is me.... as a wookie, as it is now a viable carrear choice again :)

#21 Posted by Suprman (458 posts) - - Show Bio

Fair enough. I agree with you, I think about the major franchises Disney has had over the years particularly Marvel and Power Rangers. Power Rangers was in no way ruined, in fact 4 of the best seasons in the franchise were made while disney had the rights. Marvel's mistakes, and I'm talking about things like One More Day and endless crossovers, were done by the company itself without any influence from disney. The majority of good things done by Disney are things that are done with the right people in control of the material, the right directors, writers, actors etc. This is why the majority of Pixar films have been so good, Disney being willing to step back and let the creative people do their jobs.

The only problem I may have with this is that in the next Kingdom Hearts game, Sora will be teaming up with Captain America and Luke Skywalker to fight Red Skull and Darth Vader. I'd have a multiverse meltdown.

#22 Posted by Spideycap (212 posts) - - Show Bio

Very well said. Agreed on almost every point. GL is also awesome for giving most of it away.

#23 Posted by leokearon (1929 posts) - - Show Bio

Empire wasn't done by Lucas and that is the best of the series

#24 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (38979 posts) - - Show Bio

I dislike Disney greatly 

#25 Posted by pspin (1079 posts) - - Show Bio

It isn't the but out that had me worried, it was the possibility that they ruin the books with the new one that worried me. However, Kathleen Kennedy seems to be in touch with everything so I guess we will wait and see.

#26 Posted by Jayso4201 (617 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice to hear someone lay out all of the things I've been saying since the news dropped. I have been waiting on episode 7 for a very long time nice to know I'm finally going to get it.

#27 Posted by zombietag (1612 posts) - - Show Bio

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this article. everything said here is so true.

#28 Posted by ThomasElliot (371 posts) - - Show Bio

@HackedLife said:

What reason could any Star Wars fan have to be upset about this? The Prequels were SHIT. It is 100% impossible that Disney could make anything worse. On the contrary, it is highly likely they will produce something much better. Avengers says hi.

This times 1,000,000.

I dont get the fanboy hate at all. Even if you LOOOOOVE those god awful sequels, those people need to realize that a Disney-produced trilogy would still be better.

When Star Trek had no where else to go, Paramount finally took it out of the hands of the people who'd been running it for over a decade and handed it over to JJ Abrams. Now, not EVERY fan loves it... but you know what? There's less of a divide among Trekkies in regards to Abram's Trek VS the divide among Wars fans about the prequels. The potential to have some really creative people pulled into make great SW movies... its NOT something Lucas would have done or else he would have done it w/ the prequels.

And again, for the 1,000th time: The best flick, Empire, wasn't even directed by Lucas, nor was he even the screenplay writer. He only had story credit, and had 2 very talented scripters write it. Compared to all 3 Prequels where Lucas gets writing and story credit on ALL 3. Lucas sucks and the prequels killed my fandom back in the day.

#29 Posted by RazzaTazz (11941 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Leia is a pretty awesome choice for a Disney princess. The company has been trying to move forward with more competent and less passive princesses, and so she would be an awesome addition.

Only drawback that I see is at Disneyworld. That lineup to get pictures taken with the princesses was already like an hour long and that was only little girls. Now it is going to be full of fan boys lining up for a picture with metal bikini Leia while Belle and Cinderella get bypassed and ignored.

#30 Posted by ScreamingGhost (81 posts) - - Show Bio

I didn't know people were freaking out about it I would think the Muppets and Marvel were clear examples of how Disney handles these studios. Which is provide funding and resources and let them do what they do best, there successful for a reason. Also with this buyout hopefully they'll eventually have a blu ray set with all of the verisions of the films this time. I have nothing against his retooled verisions but as a film buff and someone who's never seen the original verisons It'd be a reall joy to be able to.

#31 Posted by TheCrowbar (4397 posts) - - Show Bio

This is why the internet NEEDS a slap in the face function. When people complain too hard, a hand comes out of your monitor and just slaps you.

#32 Posted by Arevish (305 posts) - - Show Bio

Disney bought Marvel: Awesome Avengers Movie came out

Disney bought Lucas: Awesome Star Wars movie? (:

#33 Posted by SlickyMike88 (250 posts) - - Show Bio

If it weren't for Disney we wouldn't have The Avengers movie would we? , that movie did really really well at the box office. The movie was really entertaining as well^^ ,So I don't worry :P. It is in the right hands now :)

#34 Posted by acomicbooklook (66 posts) - - Show Bio
#35 Posted by Maxman3 (58 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with most of what your saying. I agree that the studio wont intentionally do anything to make the film bad. But they can make it bad the same way Warner Bros made Green Lantern bad. By thinking that the changes they made would make the film accessible and more interesting while making it terrible. I hope Disney doesn't make that mistake but they may or may not

#36 Posted by BatWatch (3943 posts) - - Show Bio

Thank you Mat. You are absolutely right on every point. I've been listening to my friends, not even particularly nerdy friends, freak out about this. Who cares if Disney owns it? They cannot possibly do worse with the movies that George Lucas did.

Please do not prove me wrong Disney.

In all seriousness, I am hopeful that Disney will make the next franchise more like the older films. Even if they do not, the average Disney film is better than the prequels.

#37 Posted by chocobojam (288 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh come on guys! Honestly, who wouldn't want to see mickey mouse wielding a lightsaber!!

#38 Posted by ssejllenrad (13028 posts) - - Show Bio

The Movies You Used to Love Still Exist

This sums it all up.

#39 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6959 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm actually not upset anymore over it once I saw the potentials of EU being done for future movies and all the more to come out. I'm just leery of what Dark Horse will have to do with its current ongoing titles. Other than that, yes Lucas put the 4B toward a good cause so all is right with the world I think.

#40 Posted by zackattack529 (1408 posts) - - Show Bio

@Arevish said:

Disney bought Marvel: Awesome Avengers Movie came out

Disney bought Lucas: Awesome Star Wars movie? (:

Im pretty sure Paramount studios made Avengers and will continue to make most of the Marvel films.

But Pirates of the carribean has been a pretty succesful series and epic. If Disney can give Star Wars that same treatment Im okay with it. Plus more star wars rides at Disney land. maybe more Video games and TV shows in the making.

Im all in. :)

#41 Posted by Mercy_ (92661 posts) - - Show Bio

Awesome article.

#42 Posted by JamDamage (1195 posts) - - Show Bio

I enjoyed the hell out of the last Indiana Jones film. It was fun. The alien things was a bit hokey, but the movies enjoyable. The only problem with the last Star Wars movies was the dialogue and acting. I blame the directing because of how stale the performances were. Look at Sam Jackson and the Black Swan chic (I can't think of the name) and were dry as all hell. Same for Ewen McGreggor and Lian Neeson. As long he profuces and has his vision on it, it wil be fine. As for Disney. All I know, is I see a whole lot more Marvel around since they bought it, and that's not a bad thing. The quality in the most important parts is as good as ever. The comics a what they should be. I don't read comics to see the movies of them. That's a bonus. I'm to old to play with toys, so that doesn't bother me, and most of the Marvel cartoons and animated movies sucked before Disney. There were a few exceptions, but 85% are not even okay. They're just crappidy crap crap.

#43 Posted by KnightRise (4811 posts) - - Show Bio

Watching Episode III as we speak :)

#44 Posted by yeahbowen (15 posts) - - Show Bio

The man who brought us Jar Jar Binks and who killed Darth Maul after like 12 minutes of screen time sold the star wars franchise. People were upset by this? The way I see it maybe George Lucas is done killing my childhood, I'm tired of everything turning to crap "the way George Lucas originally intended it."

#45 Posted by Darkmount1 (1397 posts) - - Show Bio

Personally, the only reason I am against this buyout and feel that "there could've been another way" is because I feel Disney is taking a more Ghengis Khan-like approach in recent years. I long for a time where, instead of six entertainment conglomerates controlling our pop culture output, we have the 50+ independent, individual companies fairly competing, as they did four or so decades before.

#46 Posted by Whitley (84 posts) - - Show Bio

I am in the minority, but i thought the prequels were pretty good for what they were. The hype especially for the first one was so high that it never was going to meet it. They did suffer from a couple problems though...

1) Lucas relied a bit too much on CGI effects for the prequels.

2) It is hard to buy that Anakin Skywalker is that awesome at age what 5 or 6 in the first movie. Especially when he takes about being able to pod racers---hell, he could barely see over the dashboard. If you make him 7 or 8 that is a lot more believable.

3) The problem of trying to do everything at the speed of light just to cram it into 3 movies. Episodes 4-6 covers what 5-6 year period? Whereas the prequels cover 15-20 years.That is a lot of ground to cover.

#47 Posted by sturmritter (81 posts) - - Show Bio

Might I point out, that the best Star Wars Film: The Empire Strikes back, was NOT directed by George Lucas. Go figure. Kudos to Irvin Kerschner and Lawrence Kasdan for outstanding Star Wars Memory making!

#48 Posted by Michiel76 (192 posts) - - Show Bio

Okay so i'm not an american and i may not have been exposed to all the "horror" that is Disney nowadays, but when i was a kid i loved the Disney movies. Alladin, the Lion King etc. etc. 
Of late they have done great things with the Marvel movies, so much so that i hope they get the rights to X-men and Spiderman sooner than later.
So in my book Disney is still one of the greatest american companies out there today for which i have fond memories with the muppets, movies and pixar animations.
Adding Lucasarts to that is imo a great move, i'm truly happy about this.

#49 Edited by mrdecepticonleader (19230 posts) - - Show Bio

I wasn't upset when I heard about this,I certainly didn't get on the internet and shout about it.

I was surprised,just as everyone else was.

I would say I am skeptical,I am not going to say Disney are going to do fantastic things nor am I going to say they are going to do awful things. I am just going to see what they come up with thus giving me something to form an opinion over.

And I do hope they let Dark Horse and other companies carry on making Star Wars related media.

#50 Posted by Grey56 (797 posts) - - Show Bio

Like most folks, I grew up on and love the franchise. At this point in its franchise history - I am more pleased that new creative blood will flow in and hopefully revitalize the stories for generations to come. I keep that in mind as an overbearing value - above all else.

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