If you haven’t heard the news today, that’s not surprising. After all, a lot of folks were concentrating on the stork. But Disney pulled off a coup.
Today, George Lucas sold Lucasfilm, lock, stock and proverbial shuttlecraft, to Disney. The House of Mouse will operate it as an independent subsidiary, a similar arrangement to what it does with Pixar and Marvel. Kathleen Kennedy, the long time producer of Lucas and Spielburg films, is going to be the head of the Lucasfilm division.
Lucas and Kennedy discuss the reasons for this move in a YouTube video they posted today:
As I’ve been developing the world of Triangle for my novels, I can understand. I’m working on a single planet, with a cast of dozens, and it at times appears complicated. I’m having to really consider how I’m going to maintain ways to track and maintain the continuity for these characters consistently throughout – especially since I’m now considering an origin story as well. Lucas’ vision encompassed a cast of thousand, hundreds of worlds and a timeline that covered eons. No wonder he’s exhausted.
Another similar move would be like that years ago by the cartoonist Lynn Patterson, who drew the comic strip “For Better or Worse.” Over the years, she’d chosen to age her characters, and grew her cast of characters. I was a huge fan, and admit to being terribly disappointed when she decided to walk away from the timeline. What she chose to do instead, a reboot that kept the original core family static at an early time in the strip, converted it to a three panel, joke-a-day strip that no longer dealt with “issues. Probably easier to write, but less appealing to me as a reader.
The question, I guess, is when you’ve reached that level of success, how much longer do you continue feeding the beast that is your fan base, clamoring for newer content? As a struggling author, I’m working to build such a base. I hope someday to be facing a Hobson-like choice such as this.