Just when I thought Disney couldn’t get any bigger after acquiring Marvel and launching The Avengers as a transmedia franchise, the entertainment giant proves me all wrong. Today, Disney announced that it will purchase Lucasfilm for approximately $4 billion, complete with its rights to the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises and Lucasfilm’s special effects arms. While this message left me – and according to my social media feeds, many others as well – completely stunned, the news probably shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise after all. If you take a closer look at the current entertainment landscape, you’ll find that there are simply no other large, rich companies out there right now that share the vision and insight into the future of entertainment than Disney and Lucasfilm. Whether you like the two or not, they have always been at the forefront when it came to designing wholesome experiences, and I am convinced that from now on, the two companies will continue to outshine other entertainment producers more than ever with their combined knowledge. Both know how to approach and engulf their audience with the content they love; they focus on all the right things – story, character, messages, themes - in their content; and to top it all off, both have been led by many brilliant businessmen as well.
So really, this match only waited to happen and I am tremendously excited to see what else the two companies can come up with besides Star Wars episodes VII to IX. Ideally, this will be a tipping point that will get all entertainment producers (particularly those in Hollywood) really and truly thinking about new approaches to entertainment; approaches that center around the concepts of transmedia and creating seamless, pervasive experiences. Disney and Lucasfilm have always been ahead of their times, and in combination they might just kick other studios and production companies out of the game in the long-run. The possibility remains, of course, that with this acquisition, Disney is slowly getting too large to handle itself; looking at Disney’s history, however, I am very positive that once again, Disney knows exactly what it is doing, and will master this acquisition and all management resulting from it in its usual, highly successful manner.
Sadly enough, however, Ivan Askwith already announced that Leia has already declined to join the Disney Princesses. Just give her some time, though, I’m sure she’ll come around.