Last week, Disney announced that they purchased LucasArts from George Lucas for just over four billion dollars. They intend to make a new trilogy of films that will start to come out in 2015. To be perfectly honest, I think it's a great move. No one* will ever be able to take away what George Lucas did with the original trilogy or even the highlights of the decidedly uneven second trilogy (first trilogy? Stupid chronology).
Disney has deep pockets and has proven its metal in recent years with big budget action/genre pictures. The Pirates of the Caribbean series is a worldwide sensation and the worst you can say about the latest one is "popcorn fluff." At least it's attractive popcorn fluff with good acting.
Furthermore, Disney, as a rule, is not an all CGI company. They still incorporate a lot of practical effects in their work. For them, CGI is digital enhancement, as it should be. Sci-fi in particular needs as much believable physical presence as possible to be accepted by the audience. If it looks fake, they won't fall for the story.
Let's go a step further. The Avengers was still made by Marvel even though Disney owns the company. Same with The Muppets Studio taking the lead on The Muppets. Just because Disney owns the production company does not mean that Disney is going to make the company change how they work. There's a huge rift between a Disney animated feature and a Pixar animated feature.
If I had to hazard a guess, I'm pretty sure the main indication of Disney involvement in a new Star Wars feature will be their blue and white castle logo at the start of the film. Everything else will clearly be LucasArts.
The big difference to consider is George Lucas' involvement. He's not going to direct and Disney plans on using an original story. That means anything you heard about the post-original trilogy chronology and story arc is probably wrong. Other than the rules, species, and locations of the universe, we have no idea what is going to happen.
I do enjoy this music video welcoming Princess Leia into the cavalcade of Disney Princesses. I would like to point out, though, that Disney company has yet to retcon a series created before they owned a company to move someone to Disney Princess status.
And the logical next step: Disney has had Star Wars-themed mouse ears and merchandise for decades. It's sold in the lobby of the Star Tours ride. I can't confirm at this point if they still sell stuffed Ewoks, though I can confirm that I wanted to take the animatronic Ewok that was briefly incorporated into the end of the ride home when I was much younger. So fluffy.
Thoughts on the LucasArts takeover? Share them below.
*Except for George Lucas himself. Put down the editing bay and leave the puppets alone.