Discussion The Disney - Lucasfilm Relationship & EpVII Decision Making

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by GeneralCeel, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. Uncle Owen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 1999
    star 4
    Not leaving things to a whim is probably why he choose to sell interest and involvement with the ST. He knew that once he passed, the rights would be sold off and who knows what may have become of the saga's future. By selling now, to Disney, he can assure SW will be in hands he trusts and still retain some influence for the next decade or so.
  2. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    I do think a large part of the deal involved being sure his companies have a strong financial backer with a long history after his death. But as for the rights being "sold off and who knows what may have become of the saga's future," Lucas was 100% owner of Lucasfilm so I'm not sure what the danger there would have been.
  3. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    Taste and quality are not a democracy. 57% approval postistive (not great reviews, just positive, ie anything around three stars) is hardly worth shouting about. That's a pretty good sign of a drubbing.
    TheMasterOfSoresu and yodasbum like this.
  4. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    ORIGINAL QUOTE: "FACT is that the PT is a disappointment for a majority"

    When the word "Majority" is used the numbers need to fit.
    JainaSoloYJK likes this.
  5. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    As long as we're mincing terms we should understand the different contexts of terms. When people talking culture and use "the majority" the usual implication isn't a "simple majority" but rather a strong majority, or supermajority, as in "most people." 62% isn't "most people." Ask most people their opinion on TPM and you will get mostly negative, or at best lukewarm reactions. And then again note that "disappointment" can still be quantified as a "positive" review on Rottentomatoes because of the way their metrics work. Rottentomatoes is actually about the worst place you can go to find an accurate assessment of a film's quality.
    TheMasterOfSoresu and yodasbum like this.
  6. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Disney clearly intends to leave Lucasfilm be for the mostpart as it does with Pixar & Marvel.

    But many in the media talk of what Disney will do with Star Wars or whether they are good for the franchise and what they should do with the movies, suggesting they think Disney has a lot of say in the matter.
    There have been some here with a very condescending attitude towards those who have that opinion, as if it was made obvious to everyone that Disney has no creative say in Lucasfilm and anyone who thinks otherwise is clearly a moron because they haven't studied the intricacies of how businesses work.

    I was of the impression Disney decided that after the new trilogy there would be more films, that Disney will bankroll production of said films (as again several articles seemed also to believe) and attempt to hire whoever Lucafilm wants to be part of the creative team making the movies (such as directors). I assumed that is what Disney did with ll the companies it owned, if it wanted more Thor movies or more Toy Story movies then it need only make that known to Marvel & Pixar and so it would be. How those movies are made might not be up to Disney, but as owner I find it strange they would not have the power to make decisions seeing as Disney Executives pay the salaries of the heads of all those companies and are their bosses.

    I can't see Disney deciding who directs the new Star Wars movies or who is in them, that will be down to Lucasfilm.
    Last edited by SithLordDarthRichie, Nov 3, 2012
  7. yodasbum Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2004
    star 2
    If you watch the documentary on The Phantom Menance DVD there is a scene after the first rough cut screening. George knows that he has a turkey on his hands. A great Phantom Menace would have broken the 1 billion barrier in 1999 and would have been closer to Titanics gross.
  8. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    "I find it strange they would not have the power to make decisions seeing as Disney Executives pay the salaries of the heads of all those companies and are their bosses."

    Disney executives are employees of shareholders. Disney is a company with rules and procedures. So is Lucasfilm. And their agreement, no doubt, has rules too.
  9. LawJedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2009
    star 4
    Really? REALLY? Oh, yodasbum, that old chestnut?
  10. mutantchair Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    We have to remember that if Disney gives Lucasfilm space to do their own thing, that will be a deliberate choice on the part of Disney executives — as they have previously decided to do with Pixar and Marvel. They still have the power to fire anyone at Lucasfilm and veto any decision. And if creative autonomy for Lucasfilm isn't going a direction they'd like (if Episode 7 is terrible, for example), you can bet they'll step in and shake things up.

    For now I think the most productive way to think of how Disney is going to play a role in the creative development in the franchise is not to see them as the big boss, but rather, one seat at the decision-making table. They'll be constantly offering input into how to best integrate the new movie, its distribution, and especially its marketing, and ancillary products into the Disney ecosystem. Kathleen Kennedy will be the one with the most power over the development of the franchise at this point, and she'll be incorporating some of Disney's suggestions and rejecting others. Working with the Disney executives is a negotiation process with some give and take, but unless Lucasfilm makes some major screw-ups, I think Disney will allow Kennedy and the rest of Lucasfilm a good amount of autonomy.
    SithLordDarthRichie likes this.
  11. yodasbum Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2004
    star 2
    Sorry LawJedi I didn't reply to you directly but meant to: You can't tell me that Lucas was happy. It is clear that Lucas didn't make every decision about art but many for business. Jar Jar was digital because it was cheaper. Do I mean turkey as in Ishtar no. Do I mean turkey in what it coulda/woulda/shoulda then hell yes. During the PT he has constantly mentioned how it would be less commercial. My belief is that Phantom should/could have been more successful at the boxoffice and critically. Most people were ready to embrace a great SW film. But it is not regarded as a great film or trilogy. The over saturation of the merchandise market, $1billion Pepsi deal and that every film studio parted like the red sea around its release date is testament to . No film in history has ever (will ever) been as anticipated as Phantom. They had it in their hands to totally dominate. He may have made the film he wanted and lets face he was never gonna win with everybody. But if he had made his film better it would have been even bigger.
    Last edited by yodasbum, Nov 3, 2012
  12. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    "I think Disney will allow"

    There is that word again....... I'm quite certain that there are protections and limitations worked right into the contracts that make this happen....
  13. lord_eidolon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2004
    star 3
    Indeed. Lucasfilm remains in creative control, with Lucas himself still helping out as a conceptual advisor. IMO there is nothing to worry about when it comes to the quality of the film, and even things like the opening crawl, wipes etc. Disney will not screw with any of those things, because they aren't stupid. And indeed, the small print in the agreement would have forbidden such radical changes to the formula.
  14. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Owners can change rules easily enough, just say to your employees they need to sign a new altered contract if they want to continue to work for the company. My employers do that all the time, because they know that most staff would rather accept rule-changes than have their contract terminated.


    English football/soccer is the best business example I can think of for how I understand the Diney-Lucasfilm relationship (apologies to those who know nothing of the sport):

    Chelsea FC & Manchester City FC are owned by billionaires who decide who manages the team, which players are bought and even contribute to the transfer fees the clubs pay out to acquire players. They have decided to be that involved in the running of their clubs, as owners they have that power & right.
    But the Glazer family which owns Manchester United FC have taken a different approach. They knew the club was well-run and successful when they took it over and rather than impose their will on how everything is done they held up their hands and stated they were not that knowledgeable of the sport and it was better to let the club run as it always had. They don't interfere in buying players or sack the manager every time the team doesn't do well. The Glazers have the power to behave like the owners of Chelsea or Man City, they have decided not to be.

    Seems to me that Disney is adopting the Glazer approach to running Lucasfilm, as it should.
  15. lord_eidolon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2004
    star 3
  16. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    "Owners can change rules easily enough, just say to your employees they need to sign a new altered contract if they want to continue to work for the company. My employers do that all the time, because they know that most staff would rather accept rule-changes than have their contract terminated."

    Except George Lucas isn't an employee of Disney. He's a major shareholder, and part of the negotiation that made the sale possible.. And Lucasfilm employees... I'm gonna guess the letterhead at the top of their checks do not change to say "Disney."
  17. LawJedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2009
    star 4
    Dude. You're taking a reaction to the first cut completely out of context. You know this. What director looks at the first cut and says "we've got Fried Gold on our hands, ladies and gentlemen! We're printing money!" Honestly, if he wasn't disappointed, he wasn't doing his job.
  18. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    All I actually remember him saying is something to tune of "I don't know.. we may have gone too far," in regards to the first cut being very hectic, jumping from one emotion to another in the space of moments. He then goes on to talk about their being ways of softening that.
  19. yodasbum Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2004
    star 2
    If any film in history had a better position to become the top grossing film of all time at the time of its release than The Phantom Menace then I don't know it. All top grossing films of all time have had a far better IMDB rating than Phantom. Avatar 8.0/Titanic 7.6/Jurrasic Park 8.0/ET 7.9/Star Wars 8.8/Jaws 8.2/The Godfather 9.2/Sound of Music 7.9/Gone with the Wind 8.2/The Birth of a Nation 7.0 (disputed gross and a silent film).

    This would suggest to me some correlation with the perceived quality of a film and the highest grosses.

    Phantom Menace 6.5 950milli/Attack of the Clones 6.8 650 million/Sith 7.7. 850million

    Contemporary reviews of Phantom 'A disappointment' Newsweek/Kenneth Turan 'a considerable let down'/Todd McCarthy Variety 'contains no nutrients for the heart and mind/Anthony Lane 'rotten with cynicism'.

    2012 reviews in both Empire and Total Film of Phantom Menace = 2/5 stars.

    Did Phantom Menace over perform/exactly on the button/under perform at the boxoffice?

    Is the Phantom Menace a poor/good/great film? and Is there a criteria to establish answer beyond personal opinion?

    I believe that evidence leads me to state that Phantom over performed at the boxoffice (because of the brand and demand) and could/should have been a greater critical success (just by editing rather than a different story/re-filming) and higher boxoffice hit.
    Last edited by yodasbum, Nov 3, 2012
  20. Crix-Madine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2000
    star 4
  21. EviL_eLF Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2003
    star 4
    Owners can change the rules... but if the sales contract has stipulations on how the property is handled, they are bound to those rules by law. I'm sure Lucas has several protections in the sales contract to keep the integrity of the franchise. He's not just going to give off his life's work willy-nilly here after having such tight reigns for so long.
  22. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    But Kennedy's paycheques would be supplied by her Disney bosses, so they must have some degree of control over her seeing as they pay her salary and could remove her from her job or alter the terms of her contract should they want to.

    What I think it really comes down to is, can the bigwigs at Disney simply phone up Lucasfilm and say to Kennedy "we want you to make a Boba Fett movie"?. I've seen nothing to suggest they can't do that, or that Lucasfilm would have any authority to refuse the order.
  23. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    I'm thinking many “companies within a company” are financially “partitioned” from one another to limit negative effects on all the companies when one struggles. Thats how one division of a company gets sold or dissolved while others remain.
  24. Sith93Apprentice Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 1
    Uhm, wait a minute, I just caught this...this is real?! Are you kidding me? Are they really doing an Episode 7? What about the TV series? Is this going to be the thread to buzz about that? Now I have to catch up on the details...
    LawJedi likes this.
  25. EviL_eLF Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2003
    star 4
    I think they absolutely could do that... but at the same time, they can't just turn Boba Fett into whomever they want. They will have restrictions on portrayals of existing characters would be my guess.

    They can't turn Boba Fett into a guy in the Star Wars universe working in a fast food drive through, having given up his bounty hunter ways for example...
    Last edited by EviL_eLF, Nov 3, 2012