An exciting new future featuring the continuation of the Star Wars movie saga was announced on October 30th, as the Walt Disney Company enters an agreement to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd from George Lucas. Backed by the global reach and brand stewardship strengths of Disney, the future of Star Wars is now under the direction of acclaimed film producer and studio executive Kathleen Kennedy, Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm. Kennedy and Disney plan a slate of new Star Wars feature films, beginning with the long-awaited Star Wars: Episode VII, targeted for release in 2015, followed by Episodes VIII and IX. Additional feature films are expected to continue the saga and grow the franchise well into the future.Twitter just exploded yesterday afternoon when that announcement was made. I thought it had to be a put-on when I saw the first blurb from Reuters, but it's the real thing.
Jonah Goldberg had what I suspect is a representative take at NRO, starting with fear (which, as we know, is the path to the Dark Side) and eventually rolling into guarded optimism. I tend to agree, and although as Jim Geraghty noted, we're talking about the same studio that recently gave the world the lovely flop known as John Carter, Disney usually knows what they're doing.
Better still, Disney employs Brad Bird, who would be hands-down the best choice to write and direct the now on-again Star Wars sequels, the long gestation of which George Lucas has finally re-admitted, after a couple of decades of denying that he'd ever had any such thing in mind.
After seeing his prior work in The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, I'd probably buy a ticket to watch Bird reading his grocery list. There's no serious question that Bird can write rings around Lucas, and his live-action debut in the last Mission: Impossible movie showed he's got the action movie chops as a director. Hopefully Lucasfilm's new Mouse overlords are smart enough to put him in charge of their new Empire.