The Disney Empire Strikes Back

First of all, apologies for the terrible pun in the title – I can do better!

As someone who is, shall we say, more interested in Star Wars than your average Joe, the takeover by Disney was something I took great interest in, and even prompted me to write a blog on it towards the end of last year. So a good few months on I’d thought I’d touch base on where I’m at with the whole thing.

At first I was afraid, I was… wait a min, lets start that again. A first I was excited. One of the biggest companies in the entertainment world has given new life to a universe that has so much more to give. I was confident that disney would take Star Wars under its wing and give it a successful reboot, which fans like myself would love, or not totally hate (the latter is more likely). The franchise needed a bit of a lift, after scraping the bottom of the barrel with their spin off series and fairly average video games. To be fair I haven’t seen much of The Clone Wars, but what I have seen didn’t really inspire me to watch the whole series. I was starting to think that Disney was the breath of fresh air that Star Wars needed.

And then they closed LucasArts. I get it, when it comes to developing games they’re not exactly Naughty Dog (that one’s for Ian), but they did create some half decent titles, and did a fairly good job of entertaining Star Wars fans with new content. But what got me was that it seemed LucasArts knew they needed an improvement, and had set out to do so with their latest development called ‘Star Wars 1313’, which looks to me like a Star Wars action/adventure RPG (similar I guess to Mass Effect). This is something I’ve been looking for for a very long time, and now thanks to Disney it seems this won’t become a reality. Not the end of the world, but that’s a real shame. I’d like to think that as Mickey Mouse and his Disney army were busting their way through the LucasArts doors, one of the team in desperation frantically sent all the 1313 files to a friend at a third party development company, who could give the title a new home and finish the good work that was started there. But somehow I doubt this happened.

This little imaginary scene played out in my head got me thinking. Behind the plastic smiles of Disneyland, behind all the sparkle and joy, there’s a machine that’s growing, with a need to expand into as many places as it can. I’m not saying Disney are trying to take over the world, although I’m sure people have come up with such conspiracy theories. I’m saying that Disney seem to want to be a force in every area they can be, and perhaps need to learn when to stop. There are areas that they won’t be able to make better, and in fact will make worse. Please don’t make Star Wars worse.

Let’s go back to when Disney bought Marvel. As someone who’s never really been into comic books, I saw the results of this purely through the Avengers film and the origins stories surrounding it. From my experience it was a huge success, but I’m sure there are hardcore fans who think otherwise. At least we know JJ Abrams can make a good sci-fi film, so there’s hope yet. As much as I’m looking forward to new Star Wars stuff, I’m getting more and more worried about how the pixie dust of Disney will affect it.

Disney have become such a hit and miss in the film industry. Avengers was a hit, as was the first Pirates of the Caribbean. The sequels to the latter were definitely misses. It’s pretty 50/50 how Star Wars will turn out, and that’s quite worrying. Whatever you do Disney, don’t mess up the Star Wars video games, because you have a lot to live up to by getting rid of LucasArts.

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2 comments

  1. This sort of reminds me of one of my early posts. Come to think of it, I remember writing a post kind of like the post you wrote, and that was in the very beginning of my site’s existence.

    Check it out if you want: http://smagicblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/why-the-new-star-wars-trilogy-is-a-bad-idea/

    1. Joe Topliffe · · Reply

      Thanks for sharing! For me it can go either way, and no matter how good the new films are there will always be those who don’t like them. I wrote a post on here back when the takeover was announced, and since then I’ve just become more worried that it’ll end up being a disaster. I guess Star Wars fans will have to learn that change is inevitable, and we should at least give the new direction of the franchise a try. Worst that can happen? We don’t like the new films and we don’t buy the DVD/Blu-ray

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