Lucasfilm

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.

Nitpicky Star Wars Nerds

The Star Wars Blurays are out. I’m not getting them. And not because Darth yells “Nooooooo” or because Greedo shoots first (or whatever). Simply, I’ve seen them enough times now. I’m done. No, not done in that smug, grown-up “Star Wars is for kids” kind of way, trust me I’m as juvenile as ever. I still love lightsabers, I giggle like a schoolgirl whenever someone says “titmouse”, and I listen to the Mega Man 2 soundtrack on repeat. I’m right down with you nerds. I’m just at a point where I’m thinking it’s perhaps time to throw my love on something else.

The amount of energy spent by the Star Wars fan community discussing the Bluray edits is astounding. One fan (or several, I wasn’t paying attention) is taking it upon himself to restore the “non special edition” of Star Wars in HD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDMDfUB4Mco

Note how R2s hologram is actually white in the original version, vs. slightly bluish in the “enhanced” version. I totally cancelled my Bluray preorder when I saw this. George Lucas, you ruined my childhood!

That would be me if not for the fact that I discovered other sci-fi television. Turns out, if you have 400 hours to spare, instead of restoring the original version of Star Wars to HD, you could watch every episode of Star Trek ever made! Think about that for a moment.

Don’t get me wrong, Star Wars was good. Especially Empire. That whole Cloud City thing was way better than what they did in Star Trek. Here’s Cloud City:

Cloud_City

And this is Stratos from “The Cloud Minders”:

Kirk_and_Spock_view_Stratos_from_surface

Still, once you’ve seen Cloud City, you’ve seen Cloud City (that is to say, once you’ve seen Cloud City in all three four versions, you’ve seen Cloud City — but don’t worry if you haven’t, they’re pretty much the same save for a tibanna gas refinery). And say what you will about Star Trek, but that Kirk got down with the ladies, even green ones. And not one of them were his sister!

You could also get into Buck Rogers (just pretend season 2 never happened). Listen to them crunchy grooves:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmxXIS2ot8w

But wait, there’s more. Here’s Erin Grey as Col. Wilma Deering:

erin_gray

… and let’s not forget Pamela Hensley as the evil Princess Ardala. Always trying to score with Buck. Silly girl, didn’t she know Buck preferred good girls? And damsels in distress? And Amazon Women? Occasionally bad girls. But not Ardala! Except of course when he was brainwashed, but that’s another story:

ardala

That may not be a metal bikini, but it sure deserves being restored in HD more than the original Star Wars does.

Next time you get an irresistable urge to spend 400 hours on restoring Star Wars to the way it was meant to be, consider if maybe that time was better spent watching Star Trek or Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (season 1). You could also watch Space 1999. Or UFO. Or even the original Battlestar Galactica — heck, any Glen A. Larson show. You could even watch Patrick Duffy as The Man From Atlantis! Patrick Duffy! (It’s all in this pamphlet).

You must do what you feel is right, of course. But sometimes we must let go of our pride and do what is requested of us. It all starts with a choice. A choice to spend your credits not on more Star Wars. Instead, roll up your blinds and let in the light! Then roll them down again and put on Buck Rogers. Season 1.