Star Wars, Lucasfilm and me

lucasfilm logo
The Force is strong in this one

I’m still in a state of shock. Whilst checking Twitter as I was out the door this morning I saw a tweet about Disney, Star Wars and new films. It was an agonising hour before I could check the news in more detail.

What I read blew my mind.

The news that Disney is purchasing Lucasfilm came at me totally out of the blue. Following on from the House of Mouse’s purchase of Marvel, it seems that Mickey and the gang are scooping up my childhood. And it is good thing for so many reasons. Disney, in paying 4 billion dollars for Lucas’s empire, are not going to bugger up their investment. I’m expecting the same amount of fan love as they have given up with the recent Marvel films. New Star Wars that doesn’t suck and…new Indiana Jones as well.

I’ve spent the whole day holding back tears. Not because I’m looking forward to more Star Wars films, but because I’ve been thinking about Star Wars and what it means to me.

And Star Wars means a hell of a lot to me.

It’s difficult for me to resist the temptation to write some Harry Knowles-style ode to Star Wars. Very difficult indeed.

I remember a time before Star Wars, but being born in 1970 meant that I fell straight into George Lucas’s demographic. I had the comics, the figures, the ships. Later I’d get the videos, the graphic novels and the videos again (special editions this time).

Then the prequel trilogy came out. It wasn’t what I was expecting. But, unlike many, I realised that I wasn’t seven any more, I was in my late twenties. Where as the twenty-something baulked at the sight of Jar-Jar Binks, the seven year old me would have loved him. by Revenge of the Sith I was back on programme.

In time I’d have the DVDs, the Master Replicas Lightsabers, and the video games. It is a running joke in our house the I’ve got a direct debit straight into George Lucas’s bank account.

star wars cast shot
So what have Luke, Leia and Han been up to for the last thirty years?

So what does Star Wars mean to me? Star Wars was a series of films that my dad took me to see. Whilst I can’t really recall the first time that I saw Star Wars, I vividly remember seeing The Empire Strikes Back at the Odeon Cinema in Canterbury (now the Marlowe Theatre) and the yellow stickers that they gave away in the cinema. I remember getting the Empire novel before the film came out and spoiling the story for myself. I remeber watching Return of the Jedi, this time at the ABC Cinema and my dad buying the “Making of The Return of the Jedi” book.

Not only was I interested in the happenings a long time ago, in a galaxy, far, far away; i was also interested in how they did it. I was fascinated with blue screens, traveling mattes and motion control cameras. Years later I’d be using some of those same techniques, all be it with the luxury of digital technology, to make my own animations and special effects. Star Wars also gave be an interest in science and space exploration, which in turn gave me a questioning mind and a drive to find answers.

Most importantly Star Wars made us the geeks we are today.

It is also important to acknowledge that, whilst he may have made some mis-steps, we own all this to George Lucas. I just need to change the name on that direct debit to the Disney Corporation.

Anyway, here is the announcement from Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney and George Lucas.

And here is George, himself, explaining how this all came about.

Vic Out. May the Force be with You, always.