Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I read the news today, oh droid . . .

My initial reaction to today’s announced sale of Lucasfilm to Disney was:

Apparently not content with buying Captain America, Disney now must also acquire Captain Needa!

Not to mention that I’ve grown rather fond of George Lucas’s seemingly annual refreshes to the original trilogy every time there’s a rerelease on disc or on the big screen. You know – Greedo shoots first, Ghost Anakin is now Hayden, Vader cries “No!” It keeps the movies evergreen, as if they never really ended. Does this mean that the movies will now and forever remain frozen in carbonite?

I’m sure numerous fantasy crossovers have already sprouted up in the Twitterverse; personally, I’ve so far heard:

“Darth Sidious to join the cast of Once Upon a Time.” This is shameful in every conceivable way, and would considerably cheapen the Sidious brand. It would also put to rest any ambition that Once Upon a Time might have had of actually becoming its own brand, rather than just a clumsy mish-mash of Disney tropes.

“Darth Vader in Kingdom Hearts.” This could work. But would it be Vader, the thoroughly evil scourge of the galaxy, or the redemptive Vader at the climax of Return of the Jedi?

“Darth Vader princess outfits.” I don’t really understand this one.

Next thing you know, Ariel and King Triton will be visiting Boss Nass in Otoh Gunga, Herbie the Love Bug will be resurrected as a pod racer (Ocho Quadinaros?), and the Tomorrowland Terrace eatery will start serving Jango Fettucine with “Boba” tea.

My best crack at a crossover would see a Jar Jar Binks “plush toy” join forces with Buzz Lightyear and Woody in a space opera Toy Story 4. (Ahmed Best to reprise his voice and motion capture role.) In fact, with Buzz and Woody playing the roles of Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, respectively, I could see Pixar making a passable “Toy Story as Phantom Menace” hybrid remake. Meesa cannot wait!!!

Reports of an impending Episode VII, followed by new movies every few years (even after a “sequel trilogy” of VII-VIII-IX is complete) smack alarmingly of crass commercialism. And the press release begins ominously by announcing that this acquisition is all part of a grand Disney “strategy.”

But then again, maybe this has been a long time coming. After all, Star Tours opened at Disneyland in 1987, and these two titans have been friends (never rivals) for a long time. Moreover, being inundated by the products of these two companies in childhood actually inculcated in me all my lifelong values. I learned about chivalry from The Sword in the Stone, justice from Robin Hood, humility from Cinderella, honesty (and terror, though that’s more a feeling than a value) from Pinocchio, whimsy from Alice in Wonderland, compassion from Beauty and the Beast, friendship from The Fox and the Hound, and most importantly, I learned how to make a man out of me from Mulan.

From Star Wars, I learned the difference between good and bad, and that you always have a choice between the two.

And if nothing else, perhaps at least one dream comes closer to reality: Disney's California Adventure theme park can finally convert its Soarin' Over California ride into Strafing Over Hoth: When AT-ATs Attack. Yes, you want that.

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