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It’s (not) a trap

| Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dear Mr. Noonan,

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

In your editorial on Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm (“‘Star Wars’ moves to the dark side,” Nov. 4,) you take a decidedly woe-is-me attitude about the move. Three years ago, Disney similarly bought out action hero industry giant, Marvel Entertainment. The result? This summer’s blockbuster film, “The Avengers,” which, in addition to grossing $1.5B (that’s “B” as in “billion”) also received top critical acclaim (a 92 percent positive rating on RottenTomatoes.)

Your argument is that Disney has a certain way of riding franchises into the ground. Well, Mr. Noonan, I have disconcerting news for you. This is hardly a Disney-specific symptom. This past summer, we saw Universal Studios release “The Bourne Legacy,” a fourth installment in a series that no longer features its titular character. Two short months ago, Sony Pictures released “Resident Evil: Retribution,” the fifth in that particular series. Production has already begun on the second “Wolverine” movie and the “X-Men: First Class” sequel over at 20th Century Fox, constituting the sixth and seventh X-Men movies in the past twelve years. Paramount Pictures? They’re going to release a fourth “Transformers” film.

This is the world we live in. We can choose to espouse your pessimistic attitude. We can choose to believe that these movie studios are “ruining” our childhoods.
Or, we can look at the flipside.

Think about Disney’s budget. Think about how many creative talents – writers, actors, directors, etc. – will flock to the chance to be a part of a Disney-helmed “Star Wars” film.

And here’s the final – and most important – point: This isn’t about you or me or anyone who grew up watching the original “Star Wars” trilogy. This is about the next generation. This is about all the kids growing up today. This is our chance to give them their own “Star Wars” trilogy full of characters and stories that they’ll one day hold close to their hearts. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it, too. I, for one, welcome our new mouse-eared overlords.
May the Force be with you.

Michael Palena 
Morrissey Manor
Nov. 6