The VIEW from here

The Empire joins forces with the Magic Kingdom

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

I ’m a self-proclaimed “Star Wars” geek. I have been since I was 10 years old in 1977 when the first movie came out.

I remember standing in line at least 10 times that year at the Eastland Mall (now Courtland Center in Burton) to watch the best adventure movie set in a “galaxy far, far away” that I’d ever seen.

It was the birth of an empire one director, George Lucas, has lorded over for 35 years now. I happily forked over the money to go watch the other movies in the original trilogy. I begged my mom and dad for the toys in those early years and went on to drop more wads of cash in later years for the digitally enhanced rereleases, the DVDs and even those often dreadful prequels.

“Star Wars,” for me, was the transition from watching Disney movies to “grown-up” science fiction and action flicks that would come along in the years after 1977. Well, after the news last week Disney is buying the “Star Wars” franchise off Lucas for a reported $4.05 billion, I would have to agree with the evil Sith Lord Darth Vader “the circle is now complete.”

Disney owning “Star Wars” seems like a bad dream. As if Lucas hasn’t already done enough damage to the franchise with the Episodes 1-3 prequels and the non-stop repackaging of the old movies, the loads of toys and games and the endless books all devoted to his space saga, now the fate of the universe is in the hands of a mouse.

I’m trying to keep an open mind about the future of the franchise, but questions keep coming up about what this all means for the “Star Wars” I know and love.

Will “Star Wars” receive the Disney treatment when the company goes ahead with three new movies it announced the same day the news of the sale came out?

Are we going to see “Star Wars” and Disney characters intermingled? Mickey Mouse as Luke

Skywalker? How about Snow White and the Seven Jawas?

Or Beauty and the Wookie? Maybe Johnny Depp, who has made Disney lots of money in the “Pirates of the

Caribbean” movies, will be brought on as the son of

Harrison Ford’s character in “Star Wars” — Captain Jack Solo?

I shudder to think about what might become of this unholy union. But I try to keep in mind Disney can’t do much worse than having the Empire defeated in “Return of the Jedi” by furry little teddy bears.

Even worse, Disney can’t sink as low as to ruin the next films with the abomination Lucas brought to life in Episodes 1-3 known as Jar Jar Binks.

Need I say more?

Bearing the Jar Jar factor in mind, I will wait with the patience of a Jedi Knight for the release of the new “Star Wars” movies and I’ll reserve judgment until then.

In the meantime, I want to go dust off my original “Star Wars” VHS tapes, find a working VCR and remember “Star Wars” as it should be … a place where Han Solo shoots first and Yoda was a Muppet.

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