By now, genre entertainment fans may have seen the news that Disney is buying Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. I’ve already seen lots of snarky comments online, but this purchase might be good for the franchise, and by extension, space opera.
I have no love for megacorporate deals, some of Lucas’ more stilted dialogue, or the “nerd rage” of many fans. Get over Jar Jar Binks already — yes, the character is unintentionally offensive, but most small children I observed loved him as previous ones loved R2-D2, Yoda, or Ewoks.
On the other hand, the fact remains that the Star Wars movies and multimedia helped rescue science fiction from obscurity in the late 1970s, and Lucas handing off his creation to the next generation of directors isn’t necessarily a bad idea.
The “expanded universe” of Star Wars novels, comic books, games, toys, and TV shows has generally maintained consistent quality (notwithstanding the occasional cheesy Christmas special). As much as I love other franchises from my youth, such as Doctor Who, Star Trek and Planet of the Apes, I’ve become more of a Star Wars buff.
We’ll have to wait and see if Disney’s “Episode VII” and other sequels continue the dreams born from a kid in California watching old Flash Gordon serials or whether the worst fears of hypercritical fans are again realized. May the Force be with us — always!