A long, long time ago, hopefully soon to be bought...
Disney is still in the buying mood it appears...
In a conference call with investors for the Walt Disney Company the other day, Bob Iger mentioned that the Mouse was looking at the opportunity to buy other characters. Now, I know that people will complain about a lack of creativity, but the Maestro himself purchased the rights to several characters he didn't own(101 Dalmatians, Winnie the Pooh, ect.). Many of those characters today are thought of as being as Disney as Mickey Mouse. But I'll take this opportunity to stand up on my soapbox once again:
Star Wars/Indiana Jones/Lucasfilm.
These characters have been inside Disney Parks for two decades and most guests, particularly young boys, identify them as Disney characters to begin with. To inform them that they aren't owned by Disney would be a surprise to most if not all. If Iger is true to this statement then it's time to purchase them from Lucas and make it happen. I can only cross my fingers that this is what has been happening in back channels. I dream of Iger having meetings with George Lucas up in Marin County, discussing a transaction similar to the Marvel deal over a nice lunch at Skywalker Ranch.
If there is any company that Lucas could/would/should leave his characters in the hands of, it's the Walt Disney Company. It represents a strong collection of characters that Iger can utilize across all sectors of the company. From merchandise, television, film, theme parks, the brands represent an opportunity for the company to expand earnings and generate content with a very recognizable list of characters.
If George doesn't want to continue the films beyond Episode VI then you could have adventures like "Knights of the Old Republic," or that "Boba Fett" film that Joe Johnston wants to make. How about a Star Wars animated film from Pixar or Walt Disney Animated Studios under the guidance of John Lasseter? Or even a possible reboot/reinterpretation of the films the way J.J. Abrams did with "Star Trek."
Television offers opportunities as well, with the Clone Wars series being such a success on the Cartoon Network, shows made for Disney XD would be a given. And lets not forget to mention my long dream of an "Indiana Jones" animated series from Paul Dini. How about an animated series focusing on "The Adventures of Han & Chewie?" And if ABC can have a network show coming that stars the Hulk, could you not see one staring Republic Commandos?
Then there is the possibility of expanding the Lucasfilm brand in the parks. Could you see an entire section in the Hollywood Studios dedicated to Star Wars? Or even better: A Fifth Gate that is nothing but that? The opportunities are endless and as big as the universe the Bearded One created. So, I think Bob Iger should take the advise of one of Star Wars wisest characters:
Do, or do not, there is no try...
Hat Tip to The Disney Blog.