As you probably know by now, Disney has absorbed another major entertainment company into its hive mind collective, gaining access to a plethora of new franchises, rights, and assets from 21stCentury Fox.
Is this a good thing? That’s up for debate, and the length of that article would warrant an entirely different entry to the Nerdbot stream here.
What it comes down to is whether you believe Disney can make good new entries to the franchises that we love from this merger. The most cynical would say that the merger will continue the monopolization of entertainment and movies will continue to feel the same, considering they are owned by the same company.
Even those with the bleakest outlook from the merger can rest in a little hope…a new hope, in fact.
For Star Wars fans, the new sequel series has been up for considerable debate on whether they add anything of value to the Star Wars franchise. Again, that’s an entirely different article right there. The point is there are plenty of nerds out there that feel that Disney has ruined what they love.
Enter the Disney/Fox merger.
When Disney acquired Lucasfilm, it would be easy to assume they had full rights of everything in a galaxy far far away. This was not the case. 21 Century Fox still owned the distribution rights to the first six films, hindering any fancy new box sets of what we all grew up with. More importantly, this also meant that Disney couldn’t find a way to release the original versions of those movies (the non-special editions, before CGI slugs were jammed down every viewer’s throat).
This merger will give Disney all the rights they need to release the original trilogy in all its original glory. And what perfect timing. Star Wars fans are almost as livid (not that I can agree) as they were when Jar Jar Binks hit the big screen. Releasing the original cut that fans have been asking for almost as long as Star Wars was made available on VHS would be the perfect way to sate some of that anger.
Seeing Han shoot first, avoiding the Jabba the Hut mess of a scene, and getting the original special effects for the Death Star attack in the first movie alone is enough to get me excited about something in this merger.
If Disney wants to find a way to honor the past as they continue to develop the future of Star Wars, this is the way to do it. I would give all the monies for the mega box set that had the original cuts, behind the scenes, and cast interviews from our favorite franchise of all time. If they chose to include it in their streaming service in development, I would subscribe just for the ability to watch the un-special editions.
Do it, Disney…do it now.