The crimes of George Lucas are many. But today, in selling Lucasfilm for over $4 billion in cash and stock to Disney, he washes the slate clean. I wish him good health and the kind of happy retirement that only his now-even-more-enormous riches can buy.
Now, when can I buy my tickets for Episode VII?
I’m excited at the reality of new Star Wars movies. I know this will be dismissed and mocked by many doubters as fanboy fawning, but there is much to love about how the original films, and even elements of their prequels, make people feel. It’s magical, and if anyone knows magic, it is the Walt Disney Company. Amazing people are going to do amazing things with the beloved franchise, and it couldn’t be in better hands. Just you wait and see.
For a long time it was an unspoken truth — now vehemently spoken, at every opportunity — that the best parts of the original trilogy were those that Lucas did not himself direct and/or write. I rejoiced that after he drove the prequels into the ground with bad dialogue, pacing, narrative focus (I could go on), he wisely stepped back and allowed others with amazing creative powers to execute his vision for the animated TV series, The Clone Wars. I was among those issuing a collective sigh of relief earlier this year when he said he was retiring and would never, ever make a Star Wars movie again, even if it was because he was blaming pissed-off fans for that. And I was happy at his choice of Kathleen Kennedy as his appointed successor. It no longer mattered that he had tinkered with his beloved original movies — and they are his to tinker with — until they were barely recognizable. It only mattered that he wouldn’t be forcing himself to write and direct new Star Wars movies that would alienate even more fans. He had lost his touch for that side of the business and finally moved on.
Most important of all, we are now going to get at least one new set of Star Wars films anyway, finally delivering on the long-promised “trilogy of trilogies” structure that Lucas has teased us with as he alternately felt the triumph of success and the weight of creative burden. And this time, like our much beloved The Empire Strikes Back, others will be refining the story. George’s story, but edited with a fan’s eye. We, the fans, deserve that. And though it’s his galaxy, we deserve to enjoy it again.
When the opening crawl for Episode VII begins in 2015, there will be things to love and things to hate, but we’ll all be there as Star Wars fans, debating and discussing and geeking out about it until the banthas come home. That has always been what it’s all about.
Thank the Maker, he has given us our galaxy back again.