Devil’s Advocate is a regular column assuming an alternate viewpoint on a topical subject of the week.
It was the news that Star Wars fans had spent 35 years waiting for: confirmation that the saga would continue and that Episode VII would be released.
But far from greeting the news with excitement, fans across the world took to Twitter to voice their concern. Because although Star Wars will continue, it will unfold under the spreading banner of the “Disney family”.
Fans feared that that some day we’d see Han Solo on screen in a Mickey Mouse T-shirt. They shuddered at the thought of Luke Skywalker travelling to Earth to save a humped-back whale. They wept at Jar Jar Binks fronting exercise videos “Gungan style”.
But we say – bring it on.
Who better to continue the story of the evil Galactic Empire than another sinister empire, the most successful media conglomerate in the history of corporate America?
They are, after all, master storytellers. Who better to entertain our children and grandchildren than the studio that brought us Education for Death: The Story of One of ‘Hitler’s Children’?
That Walt Disney produced an anti-Nazi film while being dogged by rumours of anti-Semitism just proves the kind of lateral thinking and business prowess that Star Wars needs to survive into the future.
For these are the foundations that the Disney Family, now including Pixar and Marvel, is built on.
Theme parks, merchandising and endless sequels have ensured that it is a family that will stop at nothing to get the most bang from your buck. Their decision to price DVD and Blu-ray discs far higher than the competition is yet another triumph of involving their audiences in their growth strategy.
So why complain that Disney has bought the Star Wars franchise? Yes, they’ll continue their hugs and kisses campaign to "focus on creating and monetizing the world's best branded content, innovative technology and global growth to drive long-term shareholder value", but they’ll give us what we really want: more opportunities to buy Star Wars merchandise.
Because, let’s face it, we have a strange nostalgic notion of Star Wars based vaguely on this disco version of the theme tune, released shortly after the first movie.
We remember enthusiastic teenagers dressed as their favourite characters, bouncing on a flashing dance floor as they celebrate the most exciting motion picture event of all time.
They ate candy, abstained from sex, and celebrated a universe where Americans were good, Brits were bad, and Han shoots first.
Whereas the truth is that Star Wars went downhill almost immediately with the release of 1978’s Star Wars Holiday Special, a one off show where Han and Chewbacca try to get home for a family party, with special guests Jefferson Starship.
Even to the most devoted fans it was a stinking pile of bantha poodoo deposited onto our laps.
And since then it’s just got worse. We’ve been forced to endure sequels, special editions, prequels, rereleased 3D versions, cartoon TV series and endless merchandising.
But now it’s over. Finally a company with “Family Values”, a “Family Company”, will continue the brand, to return us to that golden disco age of Star Wars.
They’ll offer us Episodes VII, VIII and IX, and then potentially more spin-offs, tie-ins and further holiday specials, all expanding a universe of infinite creativity: a bottomless wishing well that we can keep throwing money into in the hopes that our Star Wars memories will be restored.
And, at the end of the day, Disney will survive. Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm… the whole “Disney Family”, all having a big party, and splashing about in Scrooge McDuck’s gold-filled swimming pool.
- Scotland should be grateful having Donald Trump tell us what to do
- Let's shove Justin Bieber off the rails, so we can wallow in his demise
- Lance Armstrong should be congratulated for cheating, not punished
- Jimmy Savile scandal shows how ‘rosy’ the old days really were