I'm really not sure if I should be cringing at the news that Disney is buying Lucasfilm. Apparently, they have already started planning for "Episode 7" to be released in 2015, and for a new Star Wars film to be released every 2 or 3 years after (probably indefinitely, until they stop making money).
George Lucas is being retained as a "creative consultant", but it is yet to be revealed just how involved he will be.
This could be very good news or very bad news for Star Wars fans. On the one hand, Disney seems to be intent to milk the franchise for all its worth and could very likely drive it into the ground with the inevitable straight-to-dvd released (see Bambi, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast). This could be good news for the more feeble-minded fans who happily eat up anything with the words "Star" and "Wars" and the Lucasfilm logo on the box.
But can we really say for sure that Disney will further tarnish the franchise any more than Lucasfilm has already done with the prequel movies? After all, Disney has a track record of making pretty good movies. Their handling of the Marvel film licenses has been respectful at the very least. Sure Captain America and Thor didn't blow critics away, and Iron Man 2 received mixed opinions. But considering that all those movies were really just feature-length teasers for the exceptionally-well-executed Avengers movie, they turned out pretty well.
And with Lucas's control on the project likely to be very restrained, and the majority of the movie's development being left in the hands of people who know what they're doing, there remains a solid chance that these could be good.
Disney is smart enough to have taken away Lucas' absolute control. Maybe this is a sign that Disney knows what they're doing?
It's really too early to call it one way or the other. The intent to release a new movie every few years is certainly discouraging, but pulling absolute control out of the hands of Lucas is an encouraging first step. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens before we judge.
There's also the lingering question of what happens to other Lucasfilm properties, such as Indiana Jones, which (I believe) is at least partially owned by Paramount?
A reboot of Star Wars?
It could also always be worse: Disney could have announced that they are "rebooting" the entire franchise. Although I wouldn't complain if Disney decided to start over with the prequel movies, I would be very ambivalent about the eventual redoes of the original trilogy. So far, it does not appear that Disney has any plan to reboot the franchise, but they rather intend to continue with the original continuity.
Here's an idea though: what if Disney decided not to reboot Star Wars, but instead to just redo the prequels?
Alternatively, what if Disney decided to "reboot" the original Star Wars movies as sequels to the prequels. This would essentially remove the prequels from the canon of the original trilogy, and allow Disney to recreate the original trilogy to be more consistent with what's established in the prequels. Disney could then go ahead and create new (hopefully better) prequels to the original trilogy, as well as any sequels they want.
What do my fellow Star Wars fans think of those ideas?