It’s been a full week since Disney shocked the world with the epic announcement that they had acquired Lucasfilm in its entirety, bolstering the buzz with additional reveal that Star Wars Episode 7 would be hitting theaters in 2015 alongside The Avengers 2.
So while we examine rumors of directors and reports of interested returning stars, the buzz still mostly surrounds the industry and fanbase’s reactions to the news, along with predictions for how the series will face almost insurmountable expectations going forward.
Let’s examine then the reactions from industry celebs, including a few people who’ve been directly involved with the franchise in one way or another.
After Disney’s official announcement regarding their latest major purchase, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm George Lucas said the following in interviews about the story and the future of the Star Wars franchise:
“I get asked all the time, ‘What happens after Return of the Jedi?’ and there really is no answer for that. The movies were the story of Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker, and when Luke saves the galaxy and redeems his father, that’s where that story ends….[Possible futures have] been covered in the books and video games and comic books, which are things I think are incredibly creative but that I don’t really have anything to do with other than being the person who built the sandbox they’re playing in.”
Now for the reactions…
J.J. Abrams, director of Star Trek and the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness, producer of hit TV shows including Alias, Lost, Revolution and Fringe, said the following to EW:
“Part of me? Thrilled. Part of me? Terrified. Most of me? Thrillified.”
Damon Lindelof, screenwriter for Prometheus and another one of the minds behind Lost, said the following to EW:
“All I can say is my heart literally started racing when I heard.”
And on Twitter he joked:
“My twitter feed: 38% : “You should write the new Star Wars!” 47% : “Don’t fucking touch the new Star Wars!” 15% : Undecided.
Chewbacca’s great-great grandson is named Drewbacca and he must overcome his allergies to lasers and meat.
Yoda’s Ghost gets annoyed by Obi-Wan’s Ghost (too much whining) and they fight with Ghostsabers. #IdeasForEpisodeVII”
Jon Favreau, director of Iron Man & Iron Man 2 and voice of Pre Vizsla in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, in chatting with EW:
“The idea of another trilogy that further shrouds the Force in mystery as its secrets are lost to time – that’s extremely compelling. I want so bad for it to be good. Can you imagine?”
With this Twitter Avatar having been an Iron Man-themed R2-D2 unit, it’s almost like Favs saw it coming.
George Nolfi, writer/director of The Adjustment Bureau and writer of The Bourne Ultimatum, said the following to EW:
“I can’t imagine a larger event-film for our generation than a sequel to Return of the Jedi… Star Wars literally defined ‘the magic of movies’ to me as a child. No other film had more impact on my subconscious desire to become a filmmaker.”
Shawn Levy, director of Real Steel and the Night at the Museum films, to EW:
“The Star Wars franchise is nothing short of a generational touchstone… I literally can’t think of any comparable cultural phenom that has so pervasively shaped and galvanized viewers to the extent that Star Wars has. It’s embedded in my — and our — cultural DNA in a unique way and these are enduring strands.”
Robert Rodriguez, director of Sin City, Machete and the Spy Kids franchises, to EW:
“What an amazing world and legacy George Lucas has created — and it needs to continue in capable hands,” the Texas-based filmmaker said. “I do think Disney is the best studio for the job and the fact that they brought in Kathleen Kennedy? I can’t imagine a better scenario. And 2015 can’t get here fast enough.”
“Exciting to hear that Disney just bought Lucasfilm. This could mean the Star Wars/ Black Hole crossover flick I’ve always dreamed of…
I’m actually pleased about Disney buying Star Wars. Eps 7-9 by 3 new directors is an exciting prospect. I read as a kid 9 were planned.
Imagine Episodes 7-9 written by Lindelof & Darabont, directed by 3 of best directors today. Star Wars would reclaim throne overnight.
To Star Wars worriers: These will be as good as the writers & directors and Disney have done right by us with Marvel & Pixar. Relax :)
The last word on my Star Wars optimism: Imagine the next three movies directed by JJ Abrams, Duncan Jones & Brad Bird. THEN complain :)”
A day later on Twitter:
“24 hours on & I’m still excited about Ep 7. You THINK you’re done, but you’re not. You’re NEVER done with Star Wars.”
Ewan McGregor, young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, shares his interest on Twitter:
“Disney have bought Lucasfilm and are planning on releasing Star Wars ep 7 in 2015!! Congrats George and best of luck with whatever is next.
Wonder if they will need any Obi-Wan Hologram action??! #ep7 #donthecloakagain #thesearenotthedroidsyourlookingfor #movealongmovalong”
Timothy Zahn, famed and best-selling author of 9 Extended Universe Star Wars novels, creator of Admiral Thrawn character and the planet name Coruscant, said to EW:
“The original idea as I understood it— and Lucas changes his mind off and on, so it may not be what he’s thinking right now – but it was going to be three generations. You’d have the original trilogy, then go back to Luke’s father and find out what happened to him [in the prequels], and if there was another 7th, 8th, or 9th film, it would be Luke’s children. The Thrawn Trilogy really would have fit into the gap.”
“It could be an entirely new storyline, but if he picks and chooses bits and pieces from the expanded universe, we’d all be thrilled to death.”
Bob Orci, producer and writer for Transformers 1 & 2, Abrams’ Star Trek films, and the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2, jokes on Twitter:
“Great Here comes another Trek ripoff ;)”
He immediately went on to talk about more pressing matters for himself, involving a Locke & Key film trilogy he and Alex Kurtzman are developing.
“So excited for the new Star Wars films! First up, three Jar Jar movies, taking us through 2019, and then the Dash Rendar trilogy! Whoo hoo!”
Dash Rendar was the protagonist of the Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire game and has numerous appearances in the Extended Universe.
“If you have concerns about this Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm you are crazy. This means movies AND a theme park. Relax and enjoy. In 3D.
About to freeze myself in Carbonite. Wake me up on May 21, 2015. Thanks. Night. #starwars”
Seth McFarlane, creator of Family Guys, voice actor extraordinaire, and host of the next Academy Awards, tweeted the following:
“Looking forward to seeing what exciting new Star Wars adventures will be cooked up by the dream factory that brought us Mars Needs Moms!”
Hugh Sterbakov, who works on Seth Green’s Robot Chicken and wrote Robot Chicken: Star Wars and Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III tweeted the following (later re-tweeted by Seth Green):
“Don’t forget: The world clearly, undeniably wants more Star Wars. Powers have aligned to deliver. Recognize that before you spout cynicism.”
Wil Wheaton, internet geek celeb and Wesley Crusher from Star Trek fame, tweeted the following:
“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.”
Kevin Smith, creator of Clerks, comic book writer, geek celeb and self-proclaimed lover of the trilogy that matters, on his Facebook page:
“I’m all for it.
Can’t wait to see all the new movies they’re gonna make. The 7 year old Kev who saw STAR WARS during its initial release in 1977 is finally gonna get all 9 STAR WARS movies he was promised back then. I’ll be first in line to pay for whatever they do.
The Disney purchase of Lucasfilm is the fulfillment of a wish the Mouse made upon a star a few years back: the wish for little boys.
Sounds dirty but it’s just business: the Disney Princess market gave the Mouse all the little girls they could sell an Ariel costume to but Disney couldn’t interest boys in their wonderful world beyond the single digit years. Few boys are clamoring to play with a Peter Pan action figure and hooking the audience while their young is an important component of long term brand loyalty. So rather than develop their own boys brand in-house, they started buying “boy” stuff. It started with Marvel and it now continues with the world of STAR WARS.
And so long as Disney’s allowed to continue the franchise and make new flicks, they’ll make that $4 billion back in less than a decade. They’ve got eons worth on non-movie material to work from, too: all the books, the games, the comics, etc.
But the most important development to come out of the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm?
We might finally get an official Special Edition BluRay release of the STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL!!!”
Recall: Smith brought in Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher for guest appearances in 2001’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
Peter Mayhew, the actor in the Chewbacca costume, tweeted the following the day of the announcement:
“I’ve always liked that Mouse, and I’m looking forward to all the exciting possibilities this brings to the Star Wars Universe.
So Disney Princess Leia? Goodbye slave bikini, hello tasteful one piece….
About to start filming on Disney’s “Chewbacca and the Beast – A love story with no conditioner.”
Pssst. Stay calm and imagine the good things, like how about an entire Star Wars theme park at Disney designed by ILM….
About eleventy million of you have asked me about Chewie and episode VII. The answer is I don’t know. But feel free to start a movement….”
Samuel L. Jackson was caught in a parking lot by TMZ who asked about his thoughts. He simply said:
“He got cheated!”
When reminded of the $4 billion purchase amount, he said that’s not a lot to some people.
As for the star fans want back for the next Star Wars trilogy, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) said the following to EW:
“Oh my gosh, what a shock that was! I had no idea that George was going to sell to Disney until I read it online like everybody else. He did tell us last summer about wanting to go on and do [Episodes] VII, VIII, and IX, and that [newly appointed Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy would be doing them… Yeah, last August, he asked Carrie and I to have lunch with him and we did. I thought he was going to talk about either his retirement or the Star Wars TV series that I’ve heard about… So when he said, ‘We decided we’re going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,’ I was just gobsmacked. ‘What? Are you nuts?!’ [Laughs]”
He also tweeted the following to curious fans:
“Congratulations to George for today’s mega-deal! Can’t comment on Ep 7 before I have all the facts which are short supply right now-Patience.”
Leader of the Jedi council and master to Luke Skywalker, Yoda himself shared the following unhappiness on Twitter:
“A part of the family belonging to Disney I now am. Expect me to mingle with Mickey and Minnie I hope they do not. Hrrrrm.
Releasing a seventh ‘Star Wars’ film in 2015 Disney will do. Sad to hear about this I am. Anticipate cameos from Donald Duck and Goofy I do.
Imagine me standing next to Mickey Mouse now you must. Hurts inside your body I am sure it does. Feel the same I do. Hrrrrm.
Traveling next week from Dagobah to Disneyland in the state of California I am. Protesting there I will do. Join me I hope you all will.”
Now that we’ve all had a week for the big news to settle in, albeit a week full of rumors, jokes, parodies and speculation, what are your thoughts on Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and the future of the Star Wars franchise?
And should Disney continue this expansion by acquiring Hasbro?
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.