A Plea from a Schmoe: Chill out, Star Wars fanboys!
There has been a lot of talk on this site and pretty much every other website in the world regarding the sale of LucasFilm to Disney. With the news that STAR WARS: EPISODE VII was coming in 2015, many of us were excited. When the news followed that Disney planned on making a lot more STAR WARS movies in the near future, some fans began to waffle. Those fans that proclaim themselves to be STAR WARS purists, the news of Disney taking over their franchise was the worst possible news. To those fans, I have one thing to say: chill the f*ck out!
Deadline ran a story today that Disney-owned ABC is airing an episode of EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION featuring STAR WARS characters helping to build a home for a deserving family. The episode, filmed a year ago (prior to the Disney merger), featured a LucasFilm approved group of re-enactors who perform good deeds while dressed as Darth Vader, stormtroopers, and more. The angry fanboy who wrote to Deadline had this to say: “This is disgusting and it’s exactly what people were afraid of with Disney buying Star Wars. They are ruining the franchise by using it for trivial bullshit. Please write about this. It’s outrageous and it’s totally wrong.”
First of all, this is not trivial bullshit. Sure, it is a television show that is out there to make money, but Hollywood is a business. Being pissed about this is on par with being pissed about ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS or the myriad of other Lucas-approved STAR WARS memorabilia. There is really no point in getting mad at this because it was going to happen with or without Disney being involved.
STAR WARS is one of the most lucrative franchises of all time because of the sheer marketability of the product. Realize that we have only had six STAR WARS movies total in the last 35 years and there are thousands of different products that bear the insignia or logo. I defy you to spend a day without some sort of STAR WARS reference invading your life. I mean, Droid phones have LucasFilm copyrights on them because of that single word.
I am extremely excited for Disney to take over and I have no fear whatsoever that they will sully the name of the franchise. Because that is what it is: a franchise. Franchises make money. If I have to suffer through an episode of EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION because it means more money for budget costs on a new trilogy of films, I am all for it. Oh wait, I don't have to watch EXTREME MAKEOVER! It has no bearing on my fandom in any way.
Even after the atrocity that was the STAR WARS Holiday Special, we have gotten tons of good tie-ins to the series as well as quite a few bad ones. But, in the end, does ancillary marketing like this really water down the STAR WARS: EPISODE VII and beyond? Not in the least. In fact, the future of STAR WARS has never been brighter.