In no particular order, a few thoughts on Disney buying Lucasfilm, mostly composed in my head on the way home from work:
- I started out thinking, “I’m OK with this.” This has since evolved into, “YES, I’m really, really freaking OK with this.”
- I remain amused that this sentence – “Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.” – is at the end of the sixth paragraph. Best. Buried Lede. EVER.
- Disney’s overseen mostly amazing work in its ownership of the Pixar, Marvel, and Muppets properties, which makes me think the Star Wars universe will be in good hands.
- Incredibly smart move on George Lucas’ part: If Disney messes up the Star Wars franchise, he has washed his hands of it. If Disney can pull an Avengers-esque success with Episode VII, then Lucas is the guy who turned over control of his empire in order to save it, and he regains Favor Among Nerds.
- No idea where Episode VII will take the story. Original Jedi leads are out of the question. The droids? Han & Leia’s kids? A direct sequel recast with new actors in the leads? (Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy? I like it a lot, but I don’t think it will ever be positioned as big-screen canon.)
- Star Wars Celebrations with actual movie build-up involved again? Sweet. I wonder if Disney ownership improves Orlando’s chances of landing future conventions.
- Star Wars movies scripted and directed by someone other than George Lucas? History proves this is not an ungood idea. (Please see: The Empire Strikes Back.)
- Yes, like every other dang geek on the planet, I thought, “JOSS! JOSSSSSS!”
- I took my daughter to opening night of Episode III, thinking it would be the last chance for us to see an original Star Wars big screen premiere. She was eight years old. When I told her about Disney buying LFL and announcing Episode VII in 2015, and that it meant we’d be able to do another opening night Star Wars, her reaction was, “That rocks so hardcore.” I have to love that.
Big surprise: I really like talking with people – especially first-generation fans – about their Star Wars memories, and about growing up loving the saga and then sharing it with a new generation of kids.
So in planning my GeekDad coverage of Star Wars Celebration VI back in August, I thought it would be fun to set up a series of short interviews with some notable geeks and Star Wars personalities, asking them about their favorite memories and toys and things like that.
Eight great people took some time during the four-day convention to hang out and answer the same five questions, and I had a blast conducting the interviews. (MAJOR thanks again to everyone who participated!) The series ran in August and September at GeekDad, and I thought it would be fun to round up all the links here, too.
- Gronk creator and Lucasfilm-licensed artist Katie Cook was the first person I asked what were later named the “Five Force-Full Questions.” Her interview is here, and it includes her “deep dark Star Wars secret.”
- I was psyched to meet everyone I interviewed, but I’ll confess that when Fanboys and Ready Player One writer Ernie Cline accepted the invitation, I had a bit of a nerdsquee moment. I’ve identified very strongly with his writing, since he grew up not far from my home in Ohio, and at around the same time. We actually spent about a half hour talking about tons of other geek stuff before we even got to his Five Force-Full Question answers, and then, generous and patient guy that he is, Ernie was kind enough to repeat his answers over the phone a couple days later due to a digital recording error on my part.
- Marc Thompson is a voice actor and a narrator of several Star Wars audio books, and he was actually attending Celebration with his kids, so he gets bonus geeky dad points for that. His interview is here.
- Kristen Rutherford is a fellow contributor to the GeekDad/GeekMom universe, head writer and creative producer of The Nerdist on BBC America, and host of Geek & Sundry‘s #parent hangouts. Also, she was kind enough to laugh off my goofspazzing response to a text about a bowling shirt – a message which was not, in fact, meant for me. So she’s cool that way. Plus she remembers exactly which card she’s missing from her Empire Strikes Back red-border set.
- Kristen invited me to one of the Nerdist crew’s Star Wars Transmission tapings and introduced me to several other neat geek types, including Chris Hardwick, who, it turns out, also has an affinity for the second wave of Kenner’s original Star Wars figures (the grouping which brought the action figure total to that magic number of 21). Read which one was his favorite here.
Finally, I did a trio of interviews with three actors from Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
- Matt Lanter, who plays Anakin Skywalker,
- And Dee Bradley Baker, another fellow first-generation fan and geeky dad who – seriously – was so into Star Wars as a kid that he landed a gig dressing up as a jawa at his local movie theater.
Man, was that a fun trip.
Yes, I’ve ignored Cornfield Meet for two solid months since returning from Star Wars Celebration VI. Lots of distractions – some big and important and stressful, others, not really, but you know how that goes.
Among the books I’ve read over the past couple months was Alan Eisenstock’s Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made.
I wrote a review of it for GeekDad which includes some excerpts, and also this:
Just like Stand By Me isn’t really about hiking to see a dead body, Raiders! is much more than just the story of some kids making a fan film. It’s about the best and worst of childhood and growing up and sharing a geeky obsession through the whole journey. It’s intense and enjoyable and heartbreaking and powerful.
So, yes, I really liked it. And writing that kind of set me up for a weekend of thinking about friends and long friendships. My daughter had a friend return home from her out-of-state school, just for a long weekend visit during her first midterm break. And one of the things they did, just hanging out, was watch Stand By Me, which Kelsey’s friend had never seen.
The next day, Jenn and I drove to Columbus for a get-together with some friends we see a few times a year. One of those friends I’ve known since my freshman year at Bowling Green State University – 23 years ago this fall.
It was a weekend of echoes and celebration and highway driving accompanied by sun and clouds and brilliant changing leaves on Ohio hillsides.