October 30, 2012

Welcome To Lucasland

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm (for a reported $4.05B), along with its ownership of Marvel and of course its homegrown brands, brings family entertainment one step closer to near-hegemonic rule.  Although there are other assets involved, this is largely a purchase of the gigantic STAR WARS empire, a powerhouse in almost every field it’s ever touched, and Disney has already announced a third trilogy to begin release in 2015, although where the storyline will place chronologically in terms of the canon is still unclear.

Is this a good thing?  We won’t know until the Disney-branded product starts to churn out; one can fairly say that aside from technologically, George Lucas didn’t always provide the highest quality writing or directing to the existing films, so perhaps new A-level talent will invigorate the franchise.  With the price-tag Disney is paying, we can assume that Star Wars films will no longer be an occasional “event,” since the studio has a lot of billions to earn back.  Spin-offs of the franchise will also inhabit Disney’s broad TV holdings, and of course the theme parks.  Even more than it has been, Star Wars will now be, in all senses of the word, merchandise.

A side note:  for literally decades now, Lucas has been claiming that what he really longs to do is take a step away from his imperial throne and make smaller, more independent and risky ventures.  With the lion’s share of those Disney billions in his pocket, and now some time on his hands, among other things we’ll find out if he ever really meant it.


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About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."