Twitter and Facebook blew up yesterday with the news that George Lucas sold Star Wars and all its rights to Disney. As the YouTube video of George’s explanation spread, fans seemed divided over whether this was a good or bad thing but were hesitantly excited about the simultaneous announcement that there would be new Star Wars movies as a result.
One of the most interesting reads was George Lucas Just Saved Star Wars by Firing George Lucas. Others had fun proposing possible names for the new movies to come from a Disney-owned Star Wars franchise:
Here are a few:
— When You Wish Upon a Death Star.
— Finding Greedo.
— Song of the Sith.
— Snow White and the Seven Droids.
— The Princess Leia Diaries.
— Emperor Palpatine’s New Groove.
— The Wookiee.
— Lilo & Sith.
— Droid Story.
As I trick or treated this year in a Star Wars inspired costume…
After getting a taste of the Power of the Force on Endor, where he was first honored as a god, C3-PO secretly decided to begin to study the ways of the Jedi around him until finally in 2012 he would reveal himself as a true Jedi Knight…never again to be mocked as a mere protocol droid.
And after displaying my Yoda Jedi Master Pumpkin…
People asked me what I thought of George’s sale of Star Wars to Disney. Usually, they wanted a short answer, so I just said, “Hesitantly optimistic, and happy for my son. Hopefully there will be a Star Wars Theme Park in the future in addition to more movies.”
But I have a longer answer.
As a fan of Star Wars (just search this blog), I’ve never jumped on the “hate George” band wagon. Yes, I have been mildly disappointed with the prequels, but I’ve also believed that the fans don’t own Star Wars, they are the recipients of it. We owe gratitude to George Lucas for a lot of joy he brought to our childhood – and even if he didn’t do everything the way we would have liked it, let’s not forget, it’s just a movie people. What he gave me as a boy was something more powerful than a movie or a story; he gave me the gift of IMAGINATION.
That has been something I have carried with me ever since I saw my very first movie in May 1977 at the young age of eight. When I watched that Star Destroyer passing overhead and saw and heard those laser lights blasting away…I was hooked.
I never stopped imagining. That’s why my basement is filled with Star Wars toys and why I never stopped playing with action figures, even creating my own silly action stories for kids via ToyBoxTales.com
Star Wars took me to a galaxy far, far away…where there were two suns, robots as funny as Abbott and Costello, a walking carpet that grunted – but his dashing partner understood every word – and a beautiful princess who needed rescuing. There were spaceships and aliens and so much more… and an evil dark villain, who it turned out in time, still had good in him and could be redeemed because, believe it or not, he still loved his son.
Perhaps, in time, George lost his way and that’s why some of that original magic was lost in the prequels. But the creativity and charm and visual splendor of far off worlds and tightly edited chase scenes only got better, even if the writing grew dull and the dialogue became wooden and forced. That far off galaxy still calls children to imagine and play with light swords and dress up and dream. For that, I still celebrate Star Wars.
I don’t think the problem with Star Wars is so much with George. I think it is with us growing up. I’m not saying I don’t agree with the criticisms of George Lucas and his handling of the prequels. It’s just that when I was eight years old, they wouldn’t have mattered. Like the lights of an oncoming car, it is so much easier to see the faults of another than our own. Could I have done better? I doubt it.
We have all made mistakes and missteps and fallen short of the expectations and hopes and aspirations of others. I’m glad I don’t have millions of fans! That’s far too many people to disappoint and let down for one mere mortal man. So I cut George Lucas a lot of slack. I think that’s called Grace.
I just look forward to what he does next. I’m his fan, unconditionally. We all need fans like that – fans who celebrate us with gratitude, even when we blow it. Those who will let us dust off, learn, and move on, a better man for when we’ve fallen on our face.
And I look forward to what Disney does with the characters and planets and story that he created.
May the Force be with Disney now!