More “Star Wars” movies on the way?
Well, they can’t be any worse than “The Phantom Menace.”
The announcement last week that the Walt Disney Co. is spending $4.05 billion to buy Lucasfilm from its retiring founder-visionary George Lucas came as a surprise only in its timing. This is entertainment mega-corp business as usual — the purchasing of vast swaths of pre-sold intellectual property — and it’s what Disney chief executive Bob Iger does perhaps better than any other suit in the industry. He buys not things but story lines and characters and creative brain trusts. Pixar in 2006. Marvel in 2009. (The latter deal looks especially brilliant in the wake of $1.5 billion in worldwide grosses for this summer’s “The Avengers.”) Now Lucasfilm, a deal including the pioneering special-effects house Industrial Light and Magic, rights to “Star Wars” and its many iterations, and all the other properties Lucas has created or owned over the years.
What does it all mean? Lucas gets to ride into the sunset with a sweet package: He can buy his own galaxy now. And the “Star Wars” saga, which began as a private fantasy about space warriors and princesses that a shy young man doodled on the margins of his homework, is now part of the most efficient content factory on the planet.
So, yes, we’ll be seeing more “Star Wars” movies — lots of them. The first, which Disney says will be an all-new story with no ties to existing films, TV shows, video games, or Boba Fett key rings, is slated for release in 2015.
Oddsmakers are already placing bets on which characters will return: Paddy Power, Ireland’s largest bookmaker, announced that C-3PO and R2-D2 have a 33-to-1 shot at turning up in Episode VII. The line at your local googolplex may be already forming. Disney will probably find a way to spin out fractal variations on “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” too. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a “Howard the Duck” sequel.
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week