[Op-Ed] Calm Down! Disney’s Lucasfilm Purchase And ‘Star Wars’ Future Plans Will Save The Franchise

As fans are reeling over Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and the presumptive announcement of a 2013 Star Wars film, many are still concerned over the future of the franchise as several projects are dusted off for re-consideration.

One of the projects on Disney’s action-item list might be the long-rumored Star Wars live-action television series, which was supposed to sway away from the battle between the Jedi and the Sith and focus on the ground level: the smugglers, the bounty hunters, and the political intrigue. It was a stalled project at Lucasfilm, but the Disney acquisition has breathed new life in the TV show’s potential launch.

Deadline has confirmed a new Star Wars film trilogy, straight from Bob Iger’s mouth. MSN’s Hitlist is predicting a potential re-emergence of the live-action Star Wars TV show, and we’re inclined to agree with that prediction.

Disney bought Lucasfilm because it wants to milk the Star Wars universe for all it’s worth, and there are hundreds upon hundreds of “extended universe” stories to keep the franchise afloat in different forms of media for a thousand years.

But the biggest issue among fans is trust. Let’s face it: Disney is the Wal-Mart of entertainment. They consume everything in their path and churn out easy-to-digest, formulaic, audience-pleasers year after year.

But here’s the thing: Disney is good at it.

Disney attracts the best talent in the business and throws the biggest bags of money at their projects. Ask yourself, what was the last Disney flop? Critically and commercially?

Furthermore, if you’re worried about the “artistic integrity” of the Star Wars franchise, I’d ask you: What artistic integrity? The prequel trilogy was widely panned for George Lucas’s failure as a screenwriter. The creator himself has also routinely dismissed the extended Star Wars canon as interesting but not part of the plan. You get the sense that George Lucas only wants his movies to count while at the same time, he profits from the extended “pretender” franchise in light of the cold reality that only two, maybe three, of his six films should really count.

Maybe the Disney acquisition was Lucas’s moment of clarity. His cry for help.

I invite you to think of the possibilities. Consider tightly-scripted films helmed by the most accomplished directors and actors. Imagine a Star Wars live action TV series centering on Boba Fett’s rise to prominence or his adventures after Return of the Jedi, even, dare I say, his feud with a re-cast Han Solo. Imagine a third, good entry in the The Force Unleashed video game franchise. Imagine a film trilogy of the story that redeems the failed plot points of games with Sam Witwer in the pilot seat. Imagine Michael Fassbender as Kyle Katarn and Amber Heard as Mara Jade.

Think, fans of the Star Wars universe. Don’t just react. The franchise has its best days before, not behind it.