Lucasfilm-Disney Merger Reconsidered

When I first heard Disney had acquired Lucasfilm I was like…

I felt like a million nerdly dreams had cried out in agony, and were silenced…

But then, I was like…

Hmmmm…..Y’no…..Maybe….

This might be…

After all, what has Lucas really done with it?

The only good thing Lucas himself actually did was Star Wars: A New Hope. (Which  is really only a step away from being a Tarentino movie if you understand where most of it really comes from.)

Everything else he did pretty much sucked.

The Empire Strikes back was almost 100% other people running Star Wars, and it’s the best of the bunch.

Lucas was behind Return of the Jedi, which is thoroughly mediocre.

The Prequel Trilogy is only noteworthy because it spawned The Clone Wars tv series, which is overall pretty good. (When Lucas hasn’t had input…)

So pretty much, he’s been a mediocre writer/director and a so-so manager who’s made a few lucky decisions.

Disney, on the other hand, is doing a pretty good job at handling both Pixar and Marvel, letting them do what they do best, and staying pretty hands-off. I both like and respect that, and it gives me some hope for what may come next with Star Wars.

They want to do a new movie series, and a new TV series. Which, if they get the right people, might be a fresh start and a new direction for the setting.

My only worry is that they’ll kill The Clone Wars, because it’s on a rival network to their own Disney XD channel. They killed Spectacular Spider-Man (which was also on a rival network) when they acquired Marvel so they could replace it with the horrid Ultimate Spider-Man on their own channel. I can see Clone Wars having a similar fate, although in Clone War’s case I hope they’ll let them actually end it properly instead of just stopping it.

Ahsoka needs to fly off into the galaxy with Lux, and give it a proper happy-ish ending.

So overall, I’m cautiously optimistic, and will wait and see.

Rob

Wow, that is just cool! Oldschool Stilt Walkers

Now I have to think of a Martial Art to go along with this! That would be awesome!

The practical workaround for this problem started with shepherds, but gradually spread to anyone, including postal carriers and law enforcers, who needed to move vast distances quickly. They wore stilts. And not small ones, either. Any stiltwalker perched about three and a half feet up, and some had stilts that were much higher. They carried a long cane that reached to the ground which they would lean on whenever they were still, or even sit on to rest. With practice they became agile – dancing, running, and even lowering themselves so close to the ground that they could pick flowers.

via An ancient mode of transportation that could work on other planets.

More detailed history can be found here.

Do American Comics still mean Superhero Comics?

My friend Don C. proposed an interesting theory to me last night when we were talking, he said that in his educated opinion (and he does know a lot about comics) the age of the Superhero Comic in North America was finished. That while there are still Superhero comics being sold, their future is as limited as their sales. (In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Marvel Comics were selling close to a million copies per title for their top tier, now they sell close to a million comics for their entire lineups!)

His thesis is that although it hasn’t become clear yet, Manga won. Not just in terms of sales, but in terms of being the comic form that captured the imaginations of the next generation of readers and creators. He sees superhero comics are largely running on inertia and nostalgia, and thinks that while they won’t disappear, that superhero comics will be a smaller and smaller piece of the North American comics landscape.

Now, this doesn’t mean all comics will become Manga, or even manga-wannabes (although the market does have a fair amount of both), but it does mean that a generation that sees comics as an open art form that can tell many different kinds of stories is now rising up. I myself agreed with this thesis when I thought about the current webcomics market. Those are the next generation of comic creators, and they’re producing slice of life, comedy, romance, drama, fantasy, sci-fi, and a whole lot of stuff that doesn’t fit into any one genre, but they’re not producing much in the way of superhero books.

Right now, part of the reason we’re seeing so much in the way of superhero movies is because the current generation (my generation) grew up in the great Bronze Age revival of Superheroes in the 70s and 80s. They’re the ones ruling the Hollywood roost, and they’re drawing from their formative reading years in what they’re producing. The upcoming generation grew up on Harry Potter and Manga, so what will they produce when they rule in the roost in 10 to 15? And will Superheroes still hold a place in that world?

While I love superheroes, I have to admit that for a long time I think they’ve been the thing holding back Comics as an art form in North America. Only superhero books seemed to sell, so that’s mostly what got produced, and people came to associate comics with superheros so tightly that I think it was hard to differentiate the two. Given that superhero books are inherently 14 year old power fantasies, it’s been hard for comics to break out of the ghetto society has placed them in. It will only be when we break the comic=superhero link that the art form of Comic Books will truly flourish and they will become an accepted medium in society as a whole.

As Don suggested, that may have already happened. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Rob