George Lucas, right, and Darth Vader (Photo: AP/Chris Pizzello, File)Fans are shocked that the "Star Wars" series is going to be taken over by Disney, though it seems they could benefit from more information.
People took to Twitter immediately following the news on Tuesday that "Star Wars: Episode 7" will be coming out in 2015. Some expressed excitement at the prospect of a new trilogy, but many were displeased that Disney would be taking over the reigns. One fan's disapproval was quickly expressed in an image depicting three death stars in the shape of Mickey Mouse's head. Another compared the deal to Superstorm Sandy: "...Focus on one major disaster at [a] time!"
Incidentally, the plot details around "Episode 7" are scant, but Lucas has dropped these hints over the years: It takes place a few decades after "Return of the Jedi," continues the story of Luke Skywalker, and would deal with the rebuilding of the republic.
Celebrity "Star Wars" fans also weighed in:
The reason I didn't tweet immediately is due to the heart attack I just had.Holy S***.#EpisodeVII
— Damon Lindelof (@DamonLindelof) October 30, 2012
Lindelof, former co-creator of the ABC hit show "Lost," also mused over the possibility of writing a script for the upcoming "Star Wars" film.
(Photo from Jon Favreau's Twitter profile)Actor-writer-director Jon Favreau, known lately for his involvement in the "Iron Man" series, simply retweeted a follower's comment about his profile photo which depicts "Star Wars" character R2-D2 in "Iron Man"-like armor. (Was Favreau tipped off to the deal early? He is part of Disney's extended family, after all.)
Here are major questions the Lucas-Disney deal raises:
Didn't Lucas just say there would be no more "Star Wars"?
When Lucas was asked in January whether he would make another "Star Wars," he told the New York Times, "Why would I make any more when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are." Lucas addressed this head on Tuesday saying, "I always thought I wasn't going to do any more ["Star Wars" films], and that's true: I'm not going to do any more. But that doesn't mean I'm unwilling to turn it over to Kathy." Disney announced Lucas will stay on as a creative consultant for the next "Star Wars" trilogy and that Kathleen Kennedy -- who will be taking over as president of Lucasfilm -- will exec. produce the upcoming series. (Kennedy is a longtime producer for Lucas' pal Steven Spielberg dating back to 1982's global hit "E.T." She is currently Lucasfilm's co-chairwoman.) Lucas further indicated that he will be handing over already-made story treatments for the next trilogy of films (Episodes VII, VIII and IX).
Where does this leave the "Star Wars" television show?
"Star Wars: The Clone Wars" has been airing on Cartoon Network since 2008. Disney CEO Bob Iger picked up the baton, saying Tuesday, "We really like Star Wars' potential on TV, and Disney XD would be a great home for that." Hmmm. Interesting.
How does this compare to other Disney buyouts?
The Disney-Lucas deal is about the same as what the company paid for Marvel Comics -- around $4 billion. But what Disney got this time around is much different: Marvel has a much larger catalog of characters than does Lucasfilm (established in 1971), which is a much younger company than Marvel (founded in 1939). Lucasfilm, however, has many more films under its belt than Marvel did when it was purchased. In comparison, Disney bought Pixar -- also much younger than Marvel -- for much, much more money: more than $7 billion. (It's worth noting that George Lucas used to own Pixar before he sold it to the late Steve Jobs in 1986.)
Will Princess Leia become an official Disney princess?
The answer to that is not yet clear, but Disney did announce plans to further the "Star Wars" brand in their parks, games and "other initiatives." Watch out Star Tours -- you have some competition now!
Watch George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy discuss the future of "Star Wars":