David - Communication — 06 December 2012
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A New Kind of Empire

My childhood was sold for $4.05 billion. Well a big part of it was anyways…

On October 30, Disney bought out Lucasfilm Ltd. home of the Star Wars franchise, in one of the biggest business entertainment deals of all time. But you already knew that didn’t you? You knew that because, like me, you grew up watching Luke Skywalker and his rag-tag group of friend’s adventure around space in a galaxy far, far away. Then, like me, you let out cries of joy as you were sent for the ride all over again in three prequel films chronicling Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the dark side.

For whatever reason, George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away has resonated with millions and millions of people all over the world. So much so that Star Wars has become one of the most universally recognized and highly successful brands known today. Books, TV shows, videogames, action figures, and clothing make up just some of the merchandise that Star Wars has pumped out over the years to feed their die-hard fan base’s constant appetite for anything related to the films. This brings me to my main point…

When Disney purchased the rights to a very, very lucrative franchise, they also inherited a now very, very skeptical fan base. The recent announcement of a new Star Wars film to be released in 2015 by Disney only adds to fan’s skepticism. But don’t take my word for it. Here are a few excerpts from screenrant.com’s Top 20 Hollywood Reactions To Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ Acquisition:

 

“Part of me? Thrilled. Part of me? Terrified.”

“So excited for the new Star Wars films! First up, three Jar Jar movies.”

“Looking forward to seeing what exciting new Star Wars adventures will be cooked up by the dream factory that brought us Mars Needs Moms!”

“OMG you know what the Disney purchase of Star Wars means? DANCING JAR JAR IN DISNEYLAND PARADES. We have to go back in time to fix this.”

 

This is coming from well-established, successful movie directors and actors, mind you. It’s plain to see that many fans are afraid their beloved franchise will become “Disney-fied.” They don’t want to see the rugged scoundrel, Han Solo, and his savage companion, Chewbacca, showing up in cartoons like Phineas and Ferb. But if Disney’s past can give us any hint towards Star Wars’ future, it’s obvious that fans should stop complaining…and get ready for the franchise to be taken to a whole new level of awesomeness.

This isn’t the first time Disney has eaten up another popular corporation. In fact, household names like ESPN, Pixar, and Marvel have all been bought out and are currently owned by Disney.

Now let’s see…has Mickey Mouse ruined shows like Sports Center? Nope.

How about Pixar? Like Star Wars, Pixar was an economic powerhouse before Disney touched it. I hear Woody and Nemo are still doing pretty good, if not better, these days.

Finally Marvel. Did we all not watch in awe over the summer as the likes of Ironman, Captain America, and The Hulk shared the big screen at one time in The Avengers? And with more super hero flicks like Ironman 3 and The Avengers 2 on the way, it doesn’t look like that franchise will be slowing down anytime soon either.

So how is Disney able to maintain the images of the already successful franchises they buy? Through good marketing (a cool career in communications by the way)! Disney realizes that these companies didn’t make millions of dollars by accident. So why mess with the formula? Instead of “Disney-fing” what they buy, Disney uses its incredible resources to grow the brand even further.

Isn’t that what we, the fans, want for Star Wars? Like I said, Star Wars fans are always ready to gobble up new merchandise, and Disney will be able to feed us with more content than ever before. New movies, TV shows, books, and apparel all look to be in our near future. Everybody loved Harry Potter World, but wait till they see Star Wars World. (We’ll work on the name later.) In my opinion, this is a match made in heaven. Under Disney, I know my appetite for Star Wars will be satisfied for years to come.

That’s all I got for this time, guys. May the force be with you.








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David Barkholz