When I first heard that the Walt Disney Corporation purchased Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise, I was ready to Occupy Disney in protest, and I’m sure there are millions of fans who would have joined me. I was shocked. I sat stunned in my room, cuddling my Wicket doll and wishing it was all just a bad dream.
Episode VII? I didn’t want an Episode VII! Hell, I didn’t even want the prequel movies, but I guess George Lucas was going to shove them down my throat no matter what. To be fair, his marketing machine did go a great job of making me believe I only knew part of the story, and he did pocket a ticket purchase from me for all three of those below-average films.
It was then that I had my epiphany: if George Lucas wasn’t in charge of Lucasfilm anymore, then George Lucas couldn’t pollute the original Star Wars trilogy ever again. And that’s a huge plus, one that a Blu-ray collection absent of Star Wars reminds me of each and every day.
If you do a quick Google search about changes made to Star Wars, you’ll find that ol’ George has been altering the classics since their initial release to such a degree that the untouched versions haven’t been seen since their original theatrical run. Worse yet, Lucas seemed to adopt the “Special Edition” films (which also keep changing) as the official Star Wars originals. Hell, the man refused to release the theatrical versions of the film on Blu-ray.
I opted not to buy the Blu-ray releases, since the cluttered CGI nonsense that’s sprayed aimlessly all over my beloved Star Wars grates on my nerves. I want the original trilogy. If I can’t get the unaltered, pristine versions that were released starting in 1977, I’d at least like to see the theatrical versions that were re-released on VHS when I was a kid.
Where am I going with this? Well, if there’s one thing Disney seems good at, it’s archiving, maintaining, and making available their classic films. While Disney is just a machine motivated by profit, the company has, at the very least, realized there is a huge audience of consumers who like the timeless greats to stay exactly the way they are.
On that note, I guarantee you Disney will make the original Star Wars trilogy available, removing all the bells and whistles added in the Special Edition. Disney will keep and maintain the original trilogy for generations to come, which means Han Solo will once again shoot first in the mind of Star Wars historians across the galaxy.
If I’m wrong just ask yourself this – could they really do a worse job than George Lucas?
Sure, Disney could degrade the legacy of Star Wars by adapting it into some terrible cartoon series, or maybe they could make some new films that the hardcore fans will shun – but I think ol’ George did all of those things, too. The difference here is, assuming the originals are released, at least fans can love and enjoy those, ignoring any new sequels if they wish.
If there’s one thing we know about Disney, it’s that they love making crappy sequels, and they love merchandising the hell out of their intellectual properties. So, expect a lot of cheap Star Wars merchandise to arrive in stores soon, replacing the cheap Star Wars merchandise left behind by the Lucas era.
I can guarantee you that Star Wars will remain as tainted as it ever was under Lucas, only this time there’s a bit of hope for having the original trilogy released once again. Maybe we’ll get lucky and Disney will dig out the untouched originals Lucas has been hiding on us for decades. If not, at least I won’t have to show my future children the Special Editions – after all, I want them to like Star Wars.
At the end of the day I guess it doesn’t really matter to me who owns the franchise I love; I just want them to take good care of it.