Fade to Black

The era of Star Wars as the artistic vision of one man has ended.

Star Wars now literally belongs to the public. George Lucas has sold Lucasfilm to the Walt Disney Company for over 4 billion dollars. The publicly traded company immediately announced the production of ‘Star Wars Episode 7′ and an ongoing series of films to be released every 2-3 years thereafter. The Star Wars saga will now model the James Bond franchise, turning out movies until people stop going to them.

What it also means is that the hateboys’ wildest dreams have now come true. Frustrated for years that their complaints, rants, protests and petitions have fallen on deaf ears by a filmmaker who insisted that he has the final say on what is and is not ‘Star Wars,’ hateboys now have businessmen and shareholders who will react with knee-jerk twitches every time they bark. ‘Star Wars’ can now become ‘Star Trek’ — a corporate entity they can control. Years after they boasted, “We won,” now it’s actually true. Congrats, hateboys.

Here are the words hateboys have so longed to hear:

“It’s now time for me to pass `Star Wars’ on to a new generation of filmmakers.”

What this means is that it’s now only a matter of time until the release versions of 4-6 trilogy will be released. It’s only a matter of time until ANH is revised by the corporation so that Han shoots first (the only question is whether they’ll wait until Lucas is dead before doing it). It’s only a matter of time before George Lucas’ special edition versions of the 4-6 trilogy are withdrawn from the public with an apology, the way Spielberg has done with the ‘E.T. Special Edition.’ I won’t be surprised if at some point hateboys don’t start a serious campaign to reboot the prequel trilogy with three new films that better reflect THEIR vision for how the saga should unfold.

Hateboys are no doubt rejoicing right now. They got their wish: they have gotten Star Wars away from George Lucas.

It’s also likely to mean sites like this will go away soon. I’m not messing with the Disney legal department. I’ll hang on for a while longer, but the truth is that this is a sad day for me. I understand Lucas’ decision to do it. Either he did it now in a process he could control, or it would put his heirs in a vulnerable position later down the road. We’ll learn a lot more about this deal in the days to come, but for now I can only say this: I hope Disney respects George Lucas’ vision and his art. I hope they will continue to present his work in a manner he would approve, not according to whatever the fickle internet hateboys demand. I hope ‘Star Wars’ remains the greatest saga in cinema history for centuries to come.

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39 Responses to Fade to Black

  1. Omar says:

    Wow…. I don’t know where to even start… I never thought that this would happen. Although, won’t Kathleen Kennedy (now a Disney employee) still be in charge of Star Wars. After all, Lucas did choose her.

    • A New Hope says:

      Kennedy is still heading the company for now, and hopefully she’ll protect Lucas’ vision. The bottom line is that Disney can do whatever they what whenever they want. So she (and anyone else connected to the saga) will be there only as long as they keep the money flowing in at a rate Wall Street says is acceptable.

  2. Rosie says:

    I’m too flabbergasted to say anything. There are some who are upset at the news. But I have come across many positive reactions from fans who are looking forward to “Episode 7″. I hear that Lucas will become a creative consultant. But if they plan to release the next SW movie in 2015, isn’t it a bit late?

    • A New Hope says:

      I absolutely hope Ep7 is great. I’m looking forward to seeing it. I’m not one of those old timer fans who clings to the past and refuses to accept change. Hell, that’s why I EMBRACE the prequels and the SEs. As my good friend reminded me, “Always in motion is the future.” I just hope the movie has Lucas’ fingerpints all over it and is a reflection of his talents.

      • Omar says:

        I agree. Admittedly, for a bit, I thought I should just ignore these new movies. But then I realized I would’ve turned into the very thing I’ve been fighting for a long time, a hateboy. So I’ll watch Ep. 7 with an open mind, and hope that I do enjoy it.

        • A New Hope says:

          All fans should hope for the best. Star Wars is, after all, about hope. I want great Star Wars films that will fit perfectly in with the previous ones. And Kathleen Kennedy is a terrific person to be at the helm. It’s going to be a ride!

  3. Simon Maxwell says:

    The haters always claimed that all Lucas cared about was money. It that were true, he could have churned out a new Star Wars film every three years since 1983, and we’d now be on Star Wars Episode XII or thereabouts. No, Lucas cared more about telling his story, which is why he made only three Star Wars films in the last 30 years.

    Disney, on the other hand, care about nothing but money. Now that they have Star Wars, they will churn out a film every couple of years and run the franchise into the ground. Today is a sad day for Star Wars.

  4. Ryan says:

    All things considered, I’m happy for George Lucas. He says he’s been wanting to retire, and by God he’s retired with a nice chunk of change. He’s free of his corporate obligations and now can go off and do whatever he wants.

    If we could all be so lucky.

    • A New Hope says:

      This was a logical and unavoidable move for Lucas. He couldn’t really just hand the company down to his kids. That’s a huge burden and one they may not want. Eventually, Star Wars would be sold to someone, so I’m glad it’s Lucas who made the call. I only hope the deal has strict stipulations about which versions of the current six films will be the “official” versions released to the public.

  5. EmSeeSquared says:

    i share very similar sentiments. this has me unnerved, i can’t tell if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

    see my journal:

  6. Nicholas (Darth Bizarro) says:

    The OT.com guys are already talking about starting up a new petition to Disney so there is that, however, I don’t think we’ll be seeing a ban of the Special Editions anytime soon. The hateboys might be able to built enough rage to get the OUT released but I don’t think it will be at the expense of the Special Editions. And honestly, I hope they do just so they can finally shut the hell up and leave the rest of us alone. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say we’ll probably be seeing another home video set around 2015 when Episode VII comes out that will include the 3D and 2D versions of all 6 movies and the original 3.

    • A New Hope says:

      If Lucas approves it, then yeah, go for it — release the OUT. I’m not opposed to having the different versions of the films on a master set as long as A) Lucas gives his blessing, B) it’s made clear that the SEs are the canon story of Star Wars, and C) that Disney legal crushes all fan edit distribution and the sites that enable it.

  7. Paul F. MCDonald says:

    From what I’ve seen, the hateboys are just as furious as ever. Honestly, they hate it when Lucas is in control, they hate it when he isn’t. They hate it when sequels aren’t being made, and they hate it when thet are. They just hate, period.

    • A New Hope says:

      I’ve glanced through a few message boards on news sites. Most of it is the usual “they can’t be any worse that the prequels” or “Lucas already ruined it, Disney will just finish the job” stuff. As for the future of the saga, I’m optimistic. My biggest concern now is that Lucas’ previous work, the Skywalker Saga (as I guess 1-6 is now being called), be presented as he prefers it: as the SEs.

      • Simon Maxwell says:

        I think it depends where you look. I’ve come across reactions such as the ones you mention. But I’ve also come across reactions such as the following anti-Lucas, anti-prequel, pro-Disney piece:


        One thing’s for sure – Star Wars fandom will split into even more factions.

        • A New Hope says:

          Here’s the takeaway line from that article: ” This deal means his creation has finally been wrested free of his troublesome mitts.” Fuck you, Charlie Gates, you supremely worthless piece of shit. Any self-described lover of art or cinema has no legitimacy in being happy about artistic control moving from an individual to a corporation. Like it or not, until yesterday Star Wars was the vision of one man. That is and will forever be an amazing thing we’re likely never to see again in our lifetime on such a scale. To celebrate that passing, I think, displays enormous selfishness and arrogance. “Finally we, the chosen ones, have taken another man’s art to do with as we please! Huzzah!”

          • Stefan Kraft says:

            I have read (or rather skimmed through) a similar article today… Oh the horror.

          • Speak it, brother.

          • Stefan Kraft says:

            Yeah, I could provide a link, but…
            - there are probably dozens of articles like that on the internet just now (people who know exactly what was wrong with SW since… the release of RotJ ;-) and that Lucas has been surrounded by yes-men since he and Kurtz stopped working together)
            - why link to something negative and give journalists like Charlie Gates more attention than they deserve?

          • lazypadawan says:

            I similarly let some douchebag hack on Wired.com have it for saying the same thing.

  8. lazypadawan says:

    I’m really in shock.

    Somebody was going to buy Lucasfilm eventually but I didn’t bet on it happening while Lucas was still alive. I’ve always felt that of any of the Hollywood/entertainment outfits out there, Disney would be the best caretaker.

    That said, I have a LOT of concerns.

    • A New Hope says:

      You and me both, sister. What gives me optimism about the new movies is Kennedy as the gatekeeper. She’s Lucas’ friend and she respects him. The other big plus is that I expect the Mouse legal team to CRUSH the making and distribution of fan edits.

      • Eddie says:

        What I also like is that Lucas called his own shots up to the end–it just strengthens my admiration of him as an independent artist, which I realize sounds ridiculous when you sell to Disney, but I’m glad that HE chose where it was going rather than some lawyers in a couple of decades…it was going to happen eventually. I hope that he feels unburdened and relieved right now, because he’s more than earned that right. Who knows what will come out regarding the terms of the deal, but I’d be surprised if Lucas didn’t demand some clause stating that the SEs are to be the only versions theatrically released…he is a pretty astute businessman, after all. ;)

        And if the future hateboys ever demand a rebooted Prequel Trilogy, let them…they can never take our Prequel-Era memories of the films or the experience away. I’m prepared to tune those people out even more than I already have, because their din is just going to get louder.

  9. Omar says:

    Not sure if you saw this video on StarWars.com:

    • A New Hope says:

      If you mean the Lucas interview, yes. It’s also amazing to note that many people at Lucasfilm knew this news back in June. So at CVI in August Pablo, Dave Filoni and a bunch of others were sitting on the biggest Star Wars story in a decade and didn’t say a thing! Crazy.

      • Kitster's Shoe says:

        I know. It must have been bad. I can’t stop talking about this and I don’t really have many friends that are as into Star Wars as I am, so I can only imagine how hard it would be to keep quiet when surrounded by them. >_<

  10. Kitster's Shoe says:

    I’m excited but worried. :/

    I think I’ll be concerned until I found out what exactly this new trilogy is going to be about and who the writers and director(s) may be. I hope whoever ends up scripting and helming these really, really understand Star Wars and George Lucas and bring out a few movies worthy of the name and respectful of the spirit of Star Wars and what it truly represents, instead of throwing out a few “badass” and ultra-serious action movies like the ones hateboys have been demanding all along. :/

    • A New Hope says:

      Right. I’ve already seen multiple posts around the web suggesting gleefully hiring Christopher Nolan so they can get a “dark” and “serious” Star Wars. If Star Wars starts catering to the trenchcoat psychopath crowd, I’m out.

      • Stefan Kraft says:

        I am a Disney fan and Star Wars fan, so I am rather positive about this deal.
        However, I cannot tell whether the release of Ep. VII is GL’s own idea or maybe something Disney demanded for (I rather think it is GL’s idea – if yes, then we should not worry that much). Still, I always thought SW was the story of Anakin Skywalker and his family – even the 12 movie drafts seemed to tell the story from the rise of the Jedi to the fall of the Emperor (i.e. more or less the story we have seen in 6 movies). What will therefore come next?

        I’m also a fan of Chris Nolan – but not of the idea that he directs a SW movie (it’s just not his type of movies, I’d say. But I’m willing to be proven wrong).

        What I’d like to see is Lucas or Kennedy choosing the directors of the new movies – they’ll maybe not be the “usual suspects” fanboys want, but talented directors that GL or Kennedy consider to “get Star Wars”. After all, GL wants to “… pass `Star Wars’ on to a new generation of filmmakers,” and what better opportunity for talented directors to prove their value as an artist than directing a new SW movie? I have this daydream where GL sees a young talented director and wants to give her/him the right opportunity to prove her/his talent…

        By the way, Fox will still hold the rights for distributing Ep. I-VI – will that affect the fan edits?

        And apart from all that… The usual “SW has finally been saved from GL” and so on all over the web is really annoying. (But also the usual “Disney will turn SW into a kid’s adventure movie.” First, SW has always also been for kids – the grown-up kid in you included. Second, say what you want, but Walt was a visionary, too, who made movies not only for kids – never seen Chernabog in Fantasia? Third, Disney has IMHO still the spark of Walt in it and can make good movies if the company wants to.)

  11. PrinceOfNaboo says:

    I am shocked, too. I didn’te expect this to happen right now.

    Now I’m wondering if I should buy the current blu ray set immediately (even if I don’t even own a blu ray player)?
    But this could be the last release of STAR WARS the way George Lucas imagined it to be….

    Star Wars was a synonym for George Lucas until now. Now it’s Disney.

  12. Louis says:

    I’m both excited and worried. So, so many things to consider. This could either be the greatest day for Star Wars, or the worst.
    I hope the Star Wars fandom won’t be further divided, but rather unified. Sadly, that doesn’t look to be the case. Prequel bashers are divided, some saying Star Wars is ruined, others happy that it has been wrestled away from Lucas (its creator). Prequel defenders are also divided, some saying that cynicism directed at future Star Wars films would just turn us into hateboys, others worrying that Disney will cater to fans’ needs and bury the prequels.
    But the fact is, I don’t know what to expect. I hope the “new generation of filmmakers” doesn’t include people who hate the prequels and want to distance themselves from them. I’m worried that the new films will betray Lucas’s vision simply because of popular demand. But the fact that Lucas himself did this, after a long time of careful planning and execution (it’s been in the works for a year and a half), and his remaining a creative consultant, leaves me a bit optimistic. It seems as though he knew Star Wars was going to pass on to someone else eventually, and did this to ensure it happened while he was still alive and able to dictate the terms of his vision passing to the next generation. And I do hope he dictated those terms to the letter, ie making sure his story does not fall into the wrong hands, and that his vision survives long after his direct influence is gone, prequels and special editions included. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t give away his baby rashly.
    On a side note, I hope the Special Editions remain untouched. I wouldn’t mind Disney releasing the unaltered version of the OT on Blu-Ray to please their fans, just so long as they make it clear that the Special Editions are canon. Because if we’re going to have more sequels, then a well-defined canon is essential, and the SE canon is the best and makes most sense to me, continuity-wise.

    • A New Hope says:

      All great points!

    • Omar says:

      I agree about cynicisms turning us into hateboys part. When I first heard the news about Episode 7, I immediately thought of just ignoring it and pretending that only the six movies (plus Clone Wars) exist. But then I realized I was becoming a hateboy so easily. So I figured that I should wish the best for the new trilogy, and hope that I love it as much as the two existing trilogies.

  13. Stefan Kraft says:

    ANH, I must confess I am a bit confused by the first part of your article; you seem to state your worst fears (and don’t worry, I can absolutely understand them) as facts. A stilistic choice?
    Fortunately, you end the article with (positive and hopeful) speculation what may be the best end to the whole story.

    • A New Hope says:

      It’s fact that all those things could now happen. To what degree Lucas arranged to prevent them from happening is the really issue.

  14. This was my reaction: http://nilbogsstorybookland.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-house-of-mouse-in-galaxy-far-far.html

    There are just so many ways this can go wrong vurses so few ways this can go right. They need to do a lot more to convince me.

    (though, in all honesty, I can’t help but hope for open nation-wide auditions…)

  15. Simon Maxwell says:

    “It’s also likely to mean sites like this will go away soon. I’m not messing with the Disney legal department. I’ll hang on for a while longer, but the truth is that this is a sad day for me.”

    I’m puzzled as to why you say this. Are you suggesting that Disney will seek to shut down unofficial fan-made Star Wars websites?

    • A New Hope says:

      I think its more likely now. Disney is very protective of its property. We’ll see what happens.