Disney has every intention of getting its money’s worth from its $4 billion deal to take over the Star Wars franchise.
Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger revealed plans to not only create three new Star Wars sequels but spin-off features based on existing franchise characters.
The Disney head said that Lawrence Kasdan is working on one script for the films and Simon Kinberg is working on another. They will focus on characters from the “Star Wars” universe, but Iger did not offer any additional details.
Director J.J. Abrams is already on board to direct the first of the three planned sequels.
Today’s news conjures both euphoria (Yoda: The Movie) and fear (Jar Jar in Space) in the saga’s rabid fan base. It also reminds us Disney will likely milk its deal for every merchandising penny it can.
The studio’s marketing effort for The Avengers, last year’s blockbuster superhero film, transformed this reporter’s home. My children now write on Avengers notepads, sleep with Avengers comforters and write Avengers Valentine’s Day note cards. One can only imagine how the House that Mickey Built will use its merchandising might to bring all things Star Wars into our homes.
The bigger question remains the brand impact of a whole wave of new Star Wars films. Yes, franchise creator George Lucas was never shy about marketing his space saga, but he used considerable restraint regarding the films in the series. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace came out roughly 16 years after Return of the Jedi hit theaters.
A new Star Wars film was an event under his watchful eye.
Disney’s ambitious franchise plans, while certainly understandable, could change that.