Halloween Scare: Disney Buys Star Wars!
Actually, all of Lucasfilm, including Industrial Light and Magic. They're planning to have a new Star Wars movie for us by 2015. And if that doesn't scare you, I don't know what will. (Well, okay, maybe a hurricane.) In the last few years, Disney has acquired Pixar, Marvel, and now Lucasfilm. That's a lot of heavy lifting, money-wise (over $4 billion for Lucasfilm alone), and gives you some idea of how much gold the Mouse is carrying around.
But is it a bad thing, or a good one? Well, the Disney ownerships doesn't seem to have hurt Pixar too much. And Marvel seems to be doing okay, judging by The Avengers. But Star Wars? Will we be glad to have another episode, and then another? Certainly the empire has been faltering creatively for decades, so it may be that new blood in the driver's seat will be just what we need. But here’s some perspective offered by Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr:
The new “Star Wars” will come in 3D, IMAX, and someday -- who knows? -- holo-vision and jack-in brain cinema. But Disney CEO Iger’s announcement of the Lucasfilm acquisition is telling. “This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including ‘Star Wars,’ one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”Yeah, there is that.
There are certain things missing from that sentence, words like movie and story and characters.
Meanwhile, in book publishing, Random House and Penguin are merging, and I can't think of too many examples of giant publishers merging that have been good for either writers or readers. Will this merger better enable them to meet the challenges of ebooks, and promotion through social networking? Well... Richard Bowker has some thoughts on the question. They pretty much mirror my own, so I'll give him the floor.