The news that Disney has agreed to acquire LucasFilm, Ltd., is big and somewhat shocking, and yet it makes perfect sense. The two companies have been working together for many years, and a walk through any Disney Store leaves most of us wondering where one brand ends and the other begins. It’s almost as if it were meant to be.
The existing ties between Disney and George Lucas, who owned 100% of LucasFilm, include an Indiana Jones ride and stunt show, Star Tours rides, and Star Wars Weekends, not to mention Captain EO and a long list of co-branded products. Lucas also owned Pixar at one point, which is now part of the Walt Disney Company.
And that is just the public connection—the two have also worked together on the production, primarily sound, of many films that you know and love (I learned that when I toured Skywalker Ranch!).
Basically, all this does is make years of courting official. Disney liked it and they put a ring on it. Also, they are giving George Lucas $4.05 billion in cash and stock, which is a nice touch.
There are sure to be naysayers out there that think Star Wars should stay in its own galaxy far, far away, and they fear the hand of Disney more than the dark side in a Jar Jar t-shirt, but I do not agree. I think that the Star Wars franchise has a lot of untapped potential (I know, hard to imagine it having a bigger influence on pop culture) in its vast characters and the plot lines found throughout the numerous books that feature them. The possibilities really are endless.
Growing up I was heavily influenced by a number of things, namely KISS, the Beatles, Disney, Star Wars, and comic books. That list expanded to include girls somewhere around 7th grade, but that’s a different post. The point is, Disney has acquired parts of my childhood before, and if The Avengers is any sign, they are treating it with the respect it deserves.
It wasn’t long ago that Disney acquired Marvel, which is home to the Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man, and many other heroes, which followed on the heels of Disney CEO Bob Iger making peace with Pixar and taking their partnership up many levels (see, John Lasseter). Basically, Disney is spreading its reach, like all successful companies do, and that reach has scooped up the legacy of my childhood and wrapped it in the now of my boys, making all of these things we enjoy together actually come together, and the magic of it all is some kind of wonderful.
I can’t help but wonder how this will influence the Disney parks, and how they will continue to change just as Walt Disney always said they would. It is quiet possible that my boys will soon add memories of meeting Captain America to those of meeting Goofy, and making the kessel run in less than 12 parsecs over and over again. The Force will assemble in the magical world of Disney, and I, for one, am excited for what the future may bring.
Read more from Whit Honea at his site Honea Express and the popular group blog DadCentric. You can follow Whit on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).
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