It's sorta amazing how so many people had their imaginations sparked by the news that a multi-billion dollar mega-conglomerate bought a multi-billion dollar mega-corporation for the express purpose of selling toys and churning out bedsheets, but that's what happened when news hit that Bob Iger and George Lucas had closed a deal to transfer the whole of Lucasfilm over to the Walt Disney Company for 4.05 billion dollars.
Yay, Rich people!
(Lucas is donating most, if not all of that 4.05, to educational programs, including his own, which is really cool. So seriously, in this case - yay, rich people)
The majority of the conversation online can be grouped into three basic headings:
1) Oh God, Disney's going to make Star Wars bland, toothless product.
2) Oh God! Disney's going to save Star Wars from being the bland, toothless product it currently is!
3) WHO THE HELL IS MAKING EPISODE 7 OMG JOSS WHEDON PLS!!
Well, a theory floated over at Aint it Cool News seems mighty interesting, once you subtract the mountains of fan speculation weighing it down, and that theory suggests we've known since May who is directing Star Wars 7. After the jump, I'm gonna try to cut away the wank (it doesn't really matter why they codenamed it 1952), and get to why this theory is fun to kick around.
So, here's the timeline that makes this thing plausible.
May, 2011: Bob Iger and George Lucas begin discussing the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney.
June, 2011: Damon Lindelof hired by Disney (for a 7 figure deal) to write a huge sci-fi epic for the studio. The project is named 1952, and nothing else is known about it.
August, 2011: Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are told by George Lucas that the sequel trilogy is coming.
May, 2012: Brad Bird is hired to direct the Lindelof 1952 project, and brings on Jeff Jensen, author of Eisner Award-winning graphic novel Green River Killer to further develop the script, which is intended to become a huge tentpole film, with all the merchandising, toy selling and sequel opportunities such a prospect provides.
June, 2012: Kathleen Kennedy is named co-chair of Lucasfilm, a move that surprised quite a few people in Hollywood as they didn't know why she'd vacate her position as a prime Hollywood mover/shaker to join a studio that was essentially, shapeless and aimless. Later that month, Lucasfilm employees are told that Episodes 7, 8, and 9 are being made.
October, 2012: Disney and Lucasfilm close the deal, and immediately announce Star Wars, Episode VII for release in 2015, with Lucas as a "creative consultant" and Kennedy as the President of Lucasfilm. Kennedy specifically notes that they've been talking to "a couple of writers" and they know where they want to go for the seventh movie.
I don't know if this is the case, or if it's completely coincidental that Disney hires Lindelof to craft a huge sci-fi epic with huge merchandising potential just one month after Iger starts talking to Lucas about buying Star Wars. But it's fun to think about, yes?
UPDATE: Well, it was fun to think about. Plausible != probable (any Mythbusters fan will tell you that), and 45 minutes of Google-fu never beats a guy picking up a phone and calling a source. According to Ethan Anderton of FirstShowing.net - They're two separate projects that have nothing to do with each other.
Of course, should you wish to hang onto the above theory, I'm sure you can bring up examples like Simon Says becoming Die Hard With a Vengeance or somesuch.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!