An advertisement for a trip to Yellowstone National Park

With “Frankenstorm” Sandy finally dissipating and glimpses of sunshine returning to the East Coast, the most frightening thing remaining are the campaign commercials, each one an attempt to decapitate an opposing candidate through tactics ranging from folksy humor to attempts at earnestness to outright lies and distortions. It’s not easy to live in a swing state these days.

What’s so scary is that campaign strategists think the populace is gullible enough to buy even the most obvious lies, and in many cases they’re right.

One of several “Deathstar-Mickey” mashups posted shortly after the announcment.

But today’s Hallowe’en, when fun and fright are supposed to mix, and the most obvious example of that is Disney’s announcement that it plans to buy Lucasfilms for $4 billion and change. After earlier acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel Comics, and the Muppets, Disney will now add the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franshises to its mega-stable of entertainment possibilities. 

Hard core fans of Star Wars seemed most alarmed by the move: both Facebook and Twitter lit up shortly after the announcment. Force-o-philes who loved the low tech charm of the original three episodes (numbered 4-6) widely panned the three “prequel” episodes (numbered 1-3) that followed, even though the technical quality and special effects were much enhanced. I suspect the introduction of the ridiculous Jar Jar Binks alone contributed to much of that.

George Lucas announced ten years ago that he wouldn’t do any more Star Wars films, so the biggest news to come from the announcement is that Disney plans to release an episode 7 in 2015, with additional movies following every two to three years. Will the Death Star be resurrected yet again?

Jar Jar BinksGoofy — in line for a new part?Jedi purists express outrage at the notion of future episodes, but I suspect that won’t stop them from ponying up whatever tickets cost in 2015 to see the movies. In the meantime, we can speculate about what will happen in the next episode: will Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher reprise their roles as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia, but 40 years down the space-time continuum?

That’s something I’d like to see … just as long as Disney doesn’t recruit Goofy to reprise the role of Jar Jar Binks’ grandchild.



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