Monday, November 5, 2012

Disney, Star Wars, Philanthropy, SuperTeaching

As a kid, I collected Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi trading cards. I had action figures, and a subscription to Bantha Tracks, the official LucasFilm magazine at the time. I think Empire Strikes Back was the first movie I ever saw after a re-release of Bambi. I also had a personal connection to the last of the three movies because my name is Jed, so one of the nicknames that has stuck with me for life is Jedi.

Years later I was privileged to watch prequel Episodes 1, 2, 3 and look forward to doing so again in 3D.

I knew all about Episodes 7, 8, and 9 because they were the plan all along, but rumor had it George Lucas had squeezed 7, 8, and 9 into the ending of Return of the Jedi, so they might never come out.

Star Wars and Indiana Jones were my favorite galaxies growing up. My uncles watched Star Trek, but I considered it a cheap rip off of the real thing. Star Wars was my Harry Potter, my Hunger Games.

You can imagine my surprise and delight when Disney announced its purchase of LucasFilm for $4 billion last week. Not only does Star Wars have a new owner, but there WILL be an Episode 7 in 2015, with Episodes 8 and 9 not long after.

Was it a smart purchase? Is this a franchise still worth $4 billion after 37 years? Absolutely, and if anyone can make the most of it, it is Disney.

We should have seen the signs already the year Star Wars came out. "Princess" Leia? Then in 1997 we met Queen Amidala. I wonder how Natalie Portman and Carrie Fisher feel about being Disney Princesses?

Meanwhile, George Lucas is moving on to a whole new world of philanthropy. George plans to invest heavily in education through his non-profit

If I could suggest a technology for him to work with and expand on, it would be Super Teaching.

I've experienced the benefits of this new technology myself in the adult, entrepreneurial education forum called CEO Space International. SuperTeaching is a post-space age educational technology that should be in classrooms everywhere. (Get well soon, NASA!)

One of my plans for the next week is to introduce the two organizations. Watch for a call and written contact from Berny Dohrmann, Edutopia!

Last week's deal will go down in history as not only significant to Disney and those who love Star Wars, but to the future of millions of kids, yours and mine. Maybe this week's introduction will add even more to Lucas' legacy? May the Force be with us!

1 comment:

  1. As another fan of the Star Wars franchise, I still have mixed emotions about the buy. On one hand, I am filled with joy because the films get to live on! I distinctly remember as my sister, father, and I sat in the theater waiting to see Revenge of the Sith we all had the sinking feeling of "this will be the last brand new Star Wars film..." though the franchise has hardly died down since that release. On the other, I am worried that Disney is going to... well, do exactly what Disney does, and attempt to take away from the original feel of the films. I don't want a family friendly, overly funny, happy-go-lucky Star Wars!

    In the end, only time with tell how they will approach the films. And Spielberg's refusal to direct any also has me worried, because who else could possibly help the Lucas vision live on if not for his own best friend? I know I will be in the seats for 7, 8, and 9, no matter how they end up turning out, so I can see it through completely, but I still have my apprehensions.