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Why was Disney always going to buy Star Wars

STAR WARS

 

Why would George Lucas sell Lucasfilm, and why would Disney buy it? In some ways, the answer is obvious: both parties see an opportunity to make money. Lucas gains billions of dollars in return for a company that has developed perhaps as far as he can; Disney gains the rights to exploit some of the most valuable media properties of the last 30 years. While this is undeniably true, the deal announced this week can also be understood as the culmination of a long, complex relationship between Disney and Star Wars.

According to most accounts, George Lucas never really expected the first Star Wars to be a hit when it was released in 1977. He had already shown a rough cut of the film to several of his peers, including Francis Ford Coppola and Brian De Palma, who had found it baffling (although Steven Spielberg reportedly saw its potential). Moreover, family films were not considered particularly viable in the 1970s, a decade better known for more violent and challenging movies. Lucas actually went on holiday when the movie was first released, to avoid exposure to negative reviews.

We know now that Lucas had almost unwittingly made a movie that a whole generation had been waiting for, and American cinema is still very much in the shadow of Star Wars’s astonishing influence and success. In fact, Lucas had made something very like a Disney film, when Disney itself was struggling to connect with its traditional audience.

Disney had become a major company by producing films and other material for the relatively underexploited child and family audience in the 30s and, especially, the 50s. By the late 70s, though, the company was struggling, and its movies throughout this period, from The Rescuers, through The Black Hole and Tron, to Basil the Great Mouse Detective, lacked much of the sparkle and appeal that defined its earlier hits. By contrast, the film historian Peter Kramer has observed that Lucas and his longtime collaborator Steven Spielberg became the defining film-makers of the age, by addressing Disney’s core audience with a new generation of family-friendly adventures (and the American trade newspaper Variety actually described Spielberg’s ET as “The greatest Disney movie Disney never made”).

Uncle Walt had built his entertainment empire on the back of child audiences in the 50s, and Lucas forged Lucasfilm in a similar way in the 80s. Of course, Disney eventually got back on track by the late 80s, and today is an almost unstoppable force in the business, but George Lucas showed them the way, and so there is a neat historical inevitability to the news that Lucasfilm will finally be subsumed by Disney.

The move makes sense for Disney on multiple levels, and actually, their relationship with Lucasfilm has been growing closer for decades. Disneyworld already runs regular Star Wars weekends, which connect the two brands in interesting ways. Lucas has also initiated a series of new developments which reconstitute the Star Wars for a new, younger generation of fans, by creating the Clone Wars TV series, and handing over a great deal of creative control to supervising director Dave Filoni. There may be almost universal agreement that the prequel trilogy was a misadventure that highlighted Lucas’s weakened creative powers and tarnished the brand in various ways, but those movies certainly didn’t kill Star Wars, which exists today in a more slickly commercial form than ever before.

Star Wars may have lost much of its magic for die-hard fans as a result, but it makes Lucasfilm seem much more suited to acquisition by Disney. The unexpected, handmade charm of the original trilogy has been replaced now by a glossy veneer of commerciality that defines many Disney products today. Star Wars today just “feels”s like something that Disney might be involved with (and I don’t exactly mean this as criticism – for my sins, I rather like Clone Wars).

As for Disney, acquiring Star Wars (and Lucasfilm’s other productions) represents an opportunity to further extend its demographic reach to target male consumers of all ages. Over the past 15 years, Disney has been enormously successful at producing material for girls, through its Princess and Fairies brands. It has been less successful at targeting boys – although Pixars’ Cars was a cash cow for the company. Recently, Disney’s acquisition of Marvel Productions seems to have been driven by a desire to expand its reach to older boys. Now, when you walk into a Disney store, you turn left for princesses and right for superheroes. Acquiring Lucasfilm continues this process, of developing brands with a broad sweep of demographic appeal (and I’m not for a minute suggesting that boys exclusively like cars, space and superheroes, or girls prefer princesses – rather that this kind of thinking motivates Disney’s decision).

It has ultimately acquired Lucasfilm partly because the companies have a longstanding creative relationship, but mainly to intensify its grip on consumers. In effect, the company just paid $4bn to ensure that now, when you walk into the Disney store, you just head straight on for lightsabers.

Star Wars Celebration Europe 2013

Star wars celebration europe 2013

Fresh from the heels of another spectacular Star Wars Celebration,  the largest Star Wars convention will once again head to Europe next July! Join the Party July 26-28, 2013 in Messe Essen, Germany. Be sure to check out StarWarsCelebration.eu for more information and to purchase tickets later this year!

Star Wars Celebration is the ultimate fan experience — focused on a galaxy far, far away…

The biggest party this side of the galaxy, Star Wars Celebration brings fans of all ages together, from all points of the globe, to celebrate the pop-culture phenomenon that is Star Wars. Whether its young fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars or die-hards fueled by the nostalgia for the original Star Wars trilogy; curious, casual followers; gamers, readers, costumers or collectors — there’s something for everyone at Celebration.

Both hardcore and casual fans will gather to have fun while celebrating their passion for all things Star Wars, discovering what’s new, and being the first to see what’s next. It’s four fun-filled days of exhibits, a vibrant, interactive show floor, screenings, exclusive merchandise, celebrity guests, panels, autograph sessions, fan-inspired activities, and other surprises.

Star Wars Celebration delivers a landmark experience where memories are made, families brought together, old friends reunited, and new friendships formed — all in the setting of the ever-evolving Star Wars universe.

 

 

Article on who is the hero in Star Wars!

LukeVrsDarth

 

When I ask my friends who is their favorite Star Wars character is, the most common reply is Luke. Yes, you are entitled to your own opinion, but I think Luke sucks. The biggest reason people admire Luke is because he destroyed the Empire and blah, blah, blah. Technically, he didn’t really do that, because Darth Vader was like, “AHHH!!! My son is getting his butt kicked by Emperor Palpatine! I’m ditching this role of Mr. Evil guy, and I’m gunna save him!” As you can see by my wonderful interpretation, Luke did not actually defeat the Emperor, Darth Vader rules, and the people who say Luke rocks, think of it this way. other Jedi are famous for destroying Sith as well, but the main difference between Luke and the other Jedi is that they don’t rely on there daddies to save their sorry little behinds if they screw up.

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Star Wars Celebration VI is coming on Aug 23rd – 26th Orlando Florida

Celebration is a series of Star Wars fan conventions sponsored by Lucasfilm limited. The 6th such convention is in a few days time and here is a short description of what  will be happening there.

There are 150 panels, screenings, contests, shows and demonstrations available at Star Wars Celebration VI, and that’s not counting the dozens of merchandise vendors and autograph opportunities (for additional charges). Topics range from great (big-screen movies) to small, right down to origami “Star Wars” characters. Sessions last an hour or more, and some are repeated, so nail down the details using the schedule on the event’s website (StarWarsCelebration.com). Here are 10 examples of what’s available.

•Building the future: Demonstrations on how to build a droid from styrene or aluminum, plus how to build an animated R2-D2 with Lego blocks.

•Hour power: Actors in “Star Wars in 60 Minutes” portray all six motion pictures of the saga in hyperspeed. It’s an expansion of “Star Wars in 30 Minutes,” which covered only the original trilogy.

•Six pack: Have more than an hour? Two “Star Wars” films will be shown, in order of the overall story, on Thursday, Aug. 24 and Aug. 25, beginning with 1999’s “Episode I — The Phantom Menace” on Thursday and climaxing with 1983’s “Episode VI — Return of the Jedi” on Aug. 25.

•Star power: Luminaries including Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels and Warwick Davis will share memories of their film experiences. A separate-ticket event featuring director Kevin Smith is 7 p.m. Thursday. Tickets range between $15 and $75.

•Collectible calling: Several sessions cover niche markets of “Star Wars” merchandise, from action figures to homemade items, from on-set props and fast-food restaurant promotions to music formats. Behold the 8-track! (Fun title: “Collect all 2769! Hasbro Action Figures Since 1999.”)

•Brilliant disguises: Many “Star Wars” enthusiasts embrace the dress-up element of fandom, so expect elaborate contributors onstage in the sessions of “Costume Masquerade” Aug. 24 and 25. .

•Think small: Origami not challenging enough? Check out “Japanese Star Wars Vegetable Carving,” which is touted as demonstrating how to make “stunning Star Wars edible creations.”

•How Chewy met Sally: There’s someone for everyone in the Star Wars universe, so why not find them fast in one of six “Star Wars Speed Dating” sessions?

•Ever after: Which leads to the next logical step: “Plan Your Star Wars Wedding.”

•The end: The closing ceremony heralds the beginning of the end at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 26. The website calls it a “new, not-to-be-missed tradition.”

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