Will 2012 be remembered as the year Lucasfilm went to the dark side?
We'll know in a few years, when the first Disney-produced "Star Wars" movie is released. Yes, the Hollywood giant agreed to pay more than $4 billion for George Lucas' media empire. The news touched a nerve with Star Wars nerds everywhere, who immediately feared for the future of the storied series, with visions of Mickey Mouse-shaped Death Stars and saccharine, family-friendly story lines. We'll find out whether our fears of a Disney-fied galaxy far, far away are founded in 2015, when Disney plans to push out the seventh "Star Wars" film, with Episodes 8 and 9 to follow.
But the acquisition isn't just about the Star Wars story. It also means the pre-eminent visual effects and sound effects studios (Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound) and the pre-eminent animation studio (Pixar) will live under one roof. If managed well, Disney has the potential to put out some groundbreaking, and even other-worldly, movies.
For more on this story, see Daniel Terdiman's story on the Disney-Lucasfilm acquisition.