As many people are still swallowing the news about George Lucas selling LucasFilms to Disney, there have been people from both sides of the argument. Some say Lucas was this independent artist that sold out, but to be honest he hasn’t been truly independent for a long while. Nevertheless, people are still focusing on the upcoming Star Wars movies that are expected to be released in three years.
Some new developments are making their way around the internet after the announcement of the sale on Tuesday. First off, no one was more surprised that Luke Skywalker himself about the sale. “Oh my gosh, what a shock that was!” Mark Hamill told EW. “I had no idea that George was going to sell to Disney until I read it online like everybody else… I missed his call yesterday, but I spoke to him maybe three weeks ago. But until we know more, it’s hard to make any comment other than congratulations to George.”
However, George’s long desertion that he had no plans on making any sequels seemed to be only a ruse to keep people quiet for a while. During the summer, Hamill explained that he and Carrie Fisher had met with Lucas during the summer about his plans to do a sequel.
“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] I can see both sides of it. Because in a way, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that’s the way it should be—and it’s great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories. But on the other hand, there’s this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material. It’s one of those things: people either just don’t care for it or are passionate about it. I guess that defines what cult movies are all about.”
As fanboys were suspecting that the next trilogy would pull on some material already released either in video games, graphical novels or books alone, it appears that the new trilogy will be ”original” material. According to The Wrap, author Dale Pollock told the site the overall vision for the saga. “It was originally a 12-part saga,” Pollock told TheWrap. “The three most exciting stories were 7, 8 and 9. They had propulsive action, really interesting new worlds, new characters. I remember thinking, ‘I want to see these 3 movies.’”
So Lucas may turn to a Luke Skywalker in his 30’s or 40’s, but it is unlikely that Hamill will reprise his role in the upcoming sequels. Being in his sixties, it is a bit disheartening but it makes some sense. Although that isn’t the most disheartening thing about it, those that were hoping for a new unaltered box set may have to wait a bit longer.
The Hollywood Reporter is the bearer of bad news in regards to the rights to the original Star Wars film. Even though Disney is turning out a new set of sequels, it seems that they won’t be able to re-release the original film as 20th Century Fox owns the rights to the original film. THR claims that Fox owns distribution rights to “A New Hope” in all media worldwide. However, all Star Wars films in either theatrical, nontheatrical and home video rights are retained by Fox until 2020, but “A New Hope” is the only film without an end date.
So it would seem that Disney and Fox will have to begin, if they already haven’t, some negotiations on allowing Disney to re-release the original film, after the 2020 deadline. Either that or they will have to make a hefty payout to release the boxset for the 2015 release of the sequel. In either case, the amount of money they will spend to retain rights will for sure make-up for it in sales alone. Although, Fox isn’t stupid, don’t be surprised to see a joint deal on the original film, which will most likely be the best they can do.