By now you may have heard that Disney bought Lucasfilm. Incidentally that means they get Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Howard the Duck. It also means they get Lucasarts, the game studio that brought us Monkey Island, X-Wing, Day of the Tentacle and all the other wonderful games from your youth. Oh, and they're making Star Wars Episode 7, due 2015.
Absorbing the initial brunt of the shock that Lucas would ever sell the darling cow he's been milking for all these years, this may not all be bad. Sure, Disney's track record for big franchises is spotty, recently with John Carter, but it may still be a good home for Lucasfilm. After all, the Star Wars movies went downhill by the middle of Episode 6 anyway, so by the time Episode 7 comes, no matter how bad it'll be, there's no telling if it would've been better off headed by George Lucas himself.
To me, what happens to Star Wars is not the thing I care about the most in todays news. I've always thought that what came out of Star Wars other than the movies, was more interesting. Perhaps you didn't enjoy Episode 1, but it's hard to fault the music. It's also possible you cringed your feet in Episode 2, but there's a good chance you played a Lucasarts Star Wars game and enjoyed it a fair bit. In fact, the stories in the expanded Star Wars universe have always fascinated me more than the movies themselves. How do you build a lightsaber again? Oh, and did I mention the wonderful Ralph McQuarrie and Doug Chiang art?
There's also Indiana Jones, probably my favorite thing to come out of Lucasfilm. Heck, I even enjoyed the fourth one, and I was certainly looking forward to 5. Unfortunately, that may not be in the cards anymore:
While the Indiana Jones franchise wasn't mentioned much, Disney did say that though it now owns the rights, there might not be any new films because of potential hurdles with Indiana Jones distributor Paramount.
Even worse news for Lucasarts fans:
Disney CEO Robert Iger briefly discussed Disney's plans for game development using the intellectual properties acquired in the acquisition, saying, "We're likely to focus more on social and mobile than we are on console. We'll look opportunistically at console, most likely in licensing rather than publishing, but we think that given the nature of these characters and how well known they are, and the storytelling, that they lend themselves quite nicely, as they've already demonstrated to the other platforms."
It's impossible to tell whether George Lucas, had he kept the family business, would've seen the light and restored Lucasarts to its former glory, in fact it's probably unlikely. But there were plans for Indy 5, which I would've very much loved to see. So if you're fans of either of those, it seems todays news wasn't a new hope.
There’s a mystical place in South America, one which a crystal skull holds special powers over. Pushed by Russian soldiers, Indiana Jones and his friends travel there to unveil the mystery surrounding it.
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is fairly predictable, as evident by conjecture I wrote prior to seeing the movie (which turned out to be mostly true1 ). Indy is 19 years older which makes it 1957 since Crusade was 1938. That means we won’t see Nazis, which makes the charicatured-villain-compass point towards red Russia. Indy’s been to the middle east, India, Tibet and Japan. What’s left to see? Mayan pyramids and Moai statues. It was one or the other. In fact, there’s a lot of other things you might deduce by simply looking at the poster.
You’d think predictability would detract? Nope. This is Indiana Jones, not an M. Night Shyamalan movie. It simply has everything an Indy should have. It starts with the classic2 Paramount logo fading into—well, something. It has the hat, the whip, the snakes. It has a bunch of in-crowd references that only the die-hards will notice and love (hint: it’s not the first time Harrison has said “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”). It delivers on the acting, the effects, the setting—even the story is alright considering 19 years have passed.
There are only three things to criticize about this movie. First of all, one gets a slight feeling that everyone is trying too hard. Secondly, at one point Indy says “nucular”—which is not a word. Finally: why three Star Wars prequels—why not three Indy sequels? One of these points detracted the 6th star from a perfect review. You pick.
None of that matters much, as I absolutely loved this movie, and I can’t wait to own it several times over, and I’ll be first in line for Indy 5.
The one series I’d wished Lucas had made six of instead of Star Wars is finally premiering its new installment this sunday thursday. Because it’s a formula movie, here’s conjecture as to what we can expect. Hopefully that means spoilers. Sunday we’ll know. Well, I won’t until later on. But some will.
- The Paramount logo will fade in and become—most likely—a mountain.
- We’ll meet men … top men.
- Because this is Indiana Jones in South America, expect to see huge CG Maya/Inca/Aztech ruins and lots and lots of yellow metal. That’s all there is to see in South America.
- Indy will encounter snakes. And hate them.
- Indy will be slapped on his face by at least one woman.
- Because this might be the last Indy, expect a meaningful ending. Probably involving a reunion either between starcrossed sweethearts or—like Star Wars—between father and son.
- The ground when seen from aircrafts, will look like a composite of pictures, planes and red lines tracing a map.
- Because this might not be the last Indy, expect someone to be positioned as the next holder of the proverbial reins, in this case, hat and whip.
- Bad guys’ heads will explode. Or melt.
- The music score will be better than that of any other recent movies.
Because comments hold potential for spoilers, you won’t be allowed to. Normally you would. Not today. Because this is Indy.