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The top ten things Disney can do to return Star Wars and Indiana Jones to their former glory

October 30, 2012 | Written By: Brad Sturdivant

News just broke that George Lucas has sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4 billion and I figured we shouldn’t waste any time giving Disney some advice on what to do to fix Lucasfilm.  The single problem with the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises was that George Lucas was too close to them and couldn’t see clearly.  When you find yourself in that situation, you start making bad decisions, which about sums up what George Lucas has done to his prized franchises over the past decade or two.  So let’s get started with a list of things Disney can do to bring back the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises to their former glory.

Keep in mind that technically, Paramount still owns the rights to future Indiana Jones films, so the extent of Disney’s say-so with that property is still in question.  I’m assuming for the purpose of this article that they’ll have some creative input and will probably co-finance future films with Paramount.

10. Restore and release the original trilogy on Blu-ray – I’m not in the camp that really feels this is necessary, but this is how Disney gets off on the right foot and gets the fanboys on their side.  By doing this, they not only make a lot of quick cash, but fans will trust that they have their best interests in mind.

9. Don’t let George Lucas tinker with the films – This is kind of related to the first one, but again, Lucas is the biggest problem with Star Wars and now that Disney owns the rights, they need to keep him away from the films.

Shia LeBeouf, Harrison Ford, and Ray Winstone

8. Plan the continuation of Indiana Jones – Shia LaBeouf is not the answer, but they need to think quickly about how to set up a new Indiana Jones (Chris Pine, anyone?).  Harrison Ford isn’t getting any younger and now that they’ve made the investment, they need to set it up for the future.

7. Read the Star Wars novels – Only the most obsessed fans have read all of the post RETURN OF THE JEDI novels, but within the pages of the 50 or so novels are some really great ideas to continue the franchise.  Personally, I think the original post Jedi trilogy is the best (The Thrawn trilogy), but the cast is too old to make that work.  They’re probably going to have to skip to Han and Leia’s kids being full grown, establishing a new generation of characters.  That’s fine, as long as they adhere to #3.

Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker

6. Avoid the “Luke going to the Dark Side” storyline – It didn’t work in the books and it won’t work in movies.  Don’t ruin the Luke character for the entire world by making clones of him.  Only those of us that read the books should suffer through that storyline.  And while we’re at it, let’s avoid clones completely.

5. Find a new director and creative team for Indiana Jones – This is pretty similar to #1, but this is key.  I don’t think Steven Spielberg is the answer any more and the franchise needs a director and creative team that understands the best Indy films are the ones based in a pseudo-reality.  We need another Raiders, not another Crystal Skull.

Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford

4. Make another Indiana Jones film, and fast – I wrote a top ten list entitled “Top ten franchises that should die” and on there I included Indiana Jones.  I did that because I knew there was no way the franchise would make it with George Lucas retaining 100% control.  Well, now he’s a consultant and the only decision he should be consulting on is what the crew eats for lunch.  Make another Indiana Jones film quickly while Harrison Ford is still able and before he has to shoot the Star Wars films…

3. Bring back the original Star Wars cast – This is what should have happened in the late 90′s, when the prequel trilogy was being developed.  People wanted to find out what happened to Luke, Leia, Han and Chewy and they wanted to catch up with the world they were familiar with, not be introduced to a new one.  They don’t necessarily have to be the main stars, but they need to be featured in some capacity.  Harrison Ford has dodged the question as to whether or not he’d return, but $20 million would change his mind.  And we know Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher would do it for a free lunch.

2. Find a director and creative team that cares and knows the material –Disney has proven they’re brave when it comes to hiring directors (Joss Whedon, anyone?) and that’s the key part to making this next trilogy successful.  You can have any actor you want in the lead roles, but if the director doesn’t understand the history or the characters, it won’t matter.

Mark Hamill in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

 1. Pace yourself – The tendency when taking over a huge franchise is to try and do everything at once.  Indiana Jones and Star Wars need a lot of TLC and although it’s possible to make the movies quickly over the next few years, it will require hiring a ton of people to manage them.  If they treat it like they have the Marvel properties, they should be fine.  Putting a lot of time and effort into one great movie will pay off more than slapping together several mediocre films.

Parting shot: This news makes me excited about Star Wars again, which I haven’t been since before THE PHANTOM MENACE came out.  Disney has a TON of work ahead of them to right the Star Wars and Indiana Jones ships, but it is possible.  Disney has a great opportunity here and I’m excited to see where they take it.


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13 Responses to “The top ten things Disney can do to return Star Wars and Indiana Jones to their former glory”

  1. Sherlock Mandango says:

    “Leiah and Chewy”? Anyhoo, I couldn’t be happier. “Star Wars” should have been taken away from Lucas years ago.

  2. Kristy Sturdivant says:

    I agree, it will be exciting to see what Disney can do with Star Wars without George Lucas.

  3. Alex says:

    I’d rather they start over with the story and not use any of the existing novels. But you’re right, Disney has a great chance to something with this franchise

  4. Mandy Says says:

    Mark Hamill would have to lose some weight and it would be weird seeing an elderly Luke, Leia and Han on the big screen.

  5. Frank says:

    They should do films of the KOTOR games.

  6. Matthew B. Graybeal says:

    This is one of the biggest shakeups in movie-making history. Disney is and has become one the largest monopolies in entertainment. They did do Marvel Justice, The Thor film was kind of weak on something, I don’t know what went missing but it was a good Segway into the Avengers. The effects in Thor however, stupendous. The Bi-Frost Bridge, for whatever reason was my favorite part of the film.

    Now the same year we got the Captain America film, which after watching I loved the guy they have playing “Cap.” He was so sincere and played a 1940′s mindset to a T.

    Does it seem like Cap is under-powered compared to The other Heroes. I mean Black Widow, and The forgettable Archer have no superpowers, how the hell can they even compare to a Mythic being, Tony Stark is fairly useless without his ultra-tech as well.

    So we have Hulk, Thor, and Iron-Man, as the Mythic level Powers, Cap as a Mid-way power more a soldier than super, and then these mortals with just a neat talent, who in a fight versus the other 3, lose and die apples to apples.

  7. Luke says:

    I dont care about the films really, I am hoping Disney is more attentive in bringing back video games. We could use sequels to X-Wing, Tie Fighter, Battle Front, Rebel Strike/Rogue Squadron

  8. Yeah No says:

    dont bring back the old people. that would just be corny, google these actors and you will agree.

  9. Cosmic Dancer says:

    The Avengers was a success at the box-office, but a disaster in terms of movie-making. Childish to the extreme. The thought of Joss Whedon directing a Star Wars movie frightens me with ideas of extra Ewoks and a two-hour segment of Luke and Han Solo fighting each other before they finally come to their senses to fight some alien army which has been summoned through some blue cube. Ok, I like Serenity though.

    The two most crucial things are that the original versions are released on blu-ray, and that the new films are made for people aged above 10 with intellects above 90, unlike the Avengers. Darn I hated this movie.

  10. EngineerScotty says:

    One question: You praise the _Heir to the Empire_ trilogy (and making movies of that would be awesome), but then you complain about “Skywalker clones”–but, a Skywalker clone is one of the key elements of _The Last Command_.

    Some of the extended universe is profoundly dumb, but we gotta get Grand Admiral Thrawn onscreen.

    • Clones are a part of the Star Wars world, but I thought things got out of hand when the Luke clones went to the dark side. I could see them cloning the Emperor and making that work, but overall I prefer they stay away from cloning characters we know.

  11. Julie says:

    Nice write up. I agree with your points. Here’s hoping for some good things to come out of this!

  12. Angel says:

    I believe a TV series for Knights of The Old Republic will be great anyhow I’m scared for the new stories they may show.