How Will Disney Capitalize On The Star Wars Brand?
Disney buying Lucasfilms for #4.05b, and manifestly the Star Wars franchise, is probably the biggest deal, not only in cinematic history, but in terms of global branding, ever.
With this, Disney continues their tradition of buying up already established properties and exploiting them further to maximise profit. It's a simple method, if you have the cash to pull it off: buy something already loved, and reap the rewards by expanding its content over time. But the percentage of people who care what the company do on business level pales in significant to those who watch on with trepidation, praying the creative decisions made by Disney over the coming years can match their financial prowess.
Retaining the services of George Lucas as consultant is one thing, but where can the franchise really go? The last three films made were a huge commercial success, but lacked the heart of the original, 70's and 80's efforts, which saw Luke, Han Solo and Darth Vader enter the conscious of the masses. Solo's character could be considered ripe for exploration; his rouge behaviour, and enigmatic background cry for a spin off, but even as I write those words, I fear for the integrity of the brand.
In fact, the possibilities to expand the rich and wonderful worlds, first fashioned almost four decades ago, are seemingly endless. Yoda: a character with no known race, scarce information into his background and little to go on re: his ascension to the mantel of Jedi Master, is something any Star Wars fan would love to delve into.
Then there are the myriad excursions we could take with the circuit-board-hearted, micro-chip-for-nuclei buddies C3P0 and R2D2. Their comedic premise, akin to that of Laurel and Hardy has touched the hearts of many, as we routed for their fuses and batteries not to get fried in the face of evil forces.
All of these possibilities will have played over in the minds of sci-fi geeks and film buffs alike, but perhaps, nay certainly, the most important thing is that honesty of the Star Wars story remains paramount in the creative process. The Clone Wars animates series built upon the disappointment brought about by the latter three films, and another slip up akin to those might ruin the legacy of what is truly a cinematic institution forever.