May the Mouse be with You: Disney Buys LucasFilms

Disney just bought LucasFilms. Let that sink in a second. Disney, which already owns Marvel and, well, Disney, now also has total control over the Star Wars franchise. I, for one, could not be happier. Since Disney has taken the helm of the Marvel Films, we have seen nothing but highly successful, quality films. Plus, could they possibly do a crappier job than George Lucas? No. Now, let’s all go thank our lucky stars that the idiot boy-man, Georgey Lucas, can no longer visit retro-fitted, CGI, 3-D nightmares on us.

Oh, and don’t skimp out on the big announcement at the end of the press release. Don’t want to ruin it for you, but it may or may not have something to do with something Star Wars on the big screen.

“BURBANK, Calif. & SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.

“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and “evergreen” Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years. Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.

Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

Like Angry Birds? Like Star Wars? Maybe You Will Like Them Together.

Not since the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, have we seen a mash-up of such an extraordinary magnitude as this; that rights, ladies and gents, the Angry Birds have taken over the Star Wars universe, and now things will never be the same. As you can probably guess, the heroes of the Star Wars saga will be portrayed by our favorite avian hotheads, while the dark side will be porking it up. Dark Snout? Emperor Porkatine? The fun times could go on and on.

There will, of course, be a crap-ton of toys and other merchandising to go along with this strange mash-up.

You can go HERE to find out more about the game, or HERE to see some previews of the toys that, quite honestly, I would not mind getting my hands on. It is times like this I wish I had kids so I could buy them things and them monopolize them.

Celebrate Lord of the Rings Day!!!

It is Lord of the Rings day in my house; a day where all I do is sit around the house and watch all three LoTR movies back to back to back. This year, for the first time, I am watching the movies on Blu-ray on a high definition TV, so I am pretty excited about that. I just thought I would share my thoughts, meals, and bathroom breaks with the world as I celebrate . . . LORD OF THE RINGS DAY!

*Just refresh the page to see the latest snarky comments*

The Fellowship of the Ring

9:38AM- Galadriel’s voiceover has started. Let’s go, Fellowship!

9:40AM- The picture quality is amazing! I can see all of the creases and folds in the map of Middle Earth.

9:43AM- Green screen effects when Isildur puts on the ring are pretty bad. Why the heck would he put that ring on anyway? Seriously?

9:48 AM- Anyone else ever notice that the “pipe weed” that the Hobbits smoke seems to be a little stronger than tobacco? No wonder Hobbits eat so much; they are stoned all of the time!

9:57 AM- I think I am going to start calling people a “block-headed Greyskirtle from Harbuckle!” The look of confusion on their face will make it worth it.

10:08 AM- Has anyone else ever wanted to live in a Hobbit hole? They seem awfully comfy.

10:26 AM- “Your love of the halfling’s leaf has clearly slowed your mind.” See? Even Saurumon knows that the Hobbit weed is bad for you, and is he is crazy-evil!

10:37 AM- First Peter Jackson cameo: Drunk guy eating a carrot and belching on the streets of Bree.

10:41 AM- Enter Aragorn stage left. Let’s watch his beard grow as the movies progress, shall we?

10:50 AM- Weathertop: A great place to take the family camping . . . if you want to get attacked by Nazgul!

10:58 AM- Is sticking what you just chewed up in your mouth into Frodo’s wound really all that sterile, Aragorn? #gross

11:02 AM- What I have learned about Nazgul so far: 1) They are extremely flammable, and 2) They apparently can’t swim. Sooooo scary!

11:05 AM- Elrond: “Welcome to Rivendale, Mr. Anderson. I mean, Frodo!”

11:11 AM- Hey, Elrond. I have an idea. When Isildur refuses to toss the ring into Mount Doom, just kick him in the crotch and throw it in yourself. Duh.

11:24 AM- Elrond: “Where did all of these Hobbits come from? Didn’t we just have this place sprayed for Hobbits?”

11:26 AM- That is the end of disc 1 of the Fellowship of the Rings. Time for for a bathroom break and then: disc 2!

11: 30 AM- Scary, vampire-monster Bilbo face gets me every time! Agh! Stop it!

11:35 AM- That’s right, Boromir: just ruffle Frodo’s hair when you give him the ring back and no one will think you’re creepy. Creep.

11:46 AM- Watch out! Cthulhu is in the lake!

11:55 AM- “They have a cave troll.” First great fight scene of the trilogy. I love how the music cuts out during the fight to make it even more dramatic.

12:07 PM- “You shall not pass!” People who had not read the books must have been freaking out when Gandalf fell into the chasm.

12:15 PM- Time to take the doggies out for a potty break. Stomach is starting to get kind of grumbly too. What to eat for lunch? Elven bread?

12:29 PM- Scary-face Galadriel is not nearly as bad as monster-face Bilbo. “All shall love me and despair!”

12:45 PM- I think I am going to save my monies and put together a Fellowship-style Aragorn outfit for next year’s Dragon*Con! I already have the beard!

12:57 PM- Legolas stabbing an Uruk-hai in the eye with an arrow and then using that same arrow to kill another one = freaking awesome!

1:02 PM- Goodbye, Boromir! We hardly knew ye! Seriously though, hard not to get a little misty-eyed when he is calling Aragorm his Captain and his King. *sniff*

1:08 PM- “Let’s hunt some orc.” And on that note, the Fellowship ends and it is definitely time to eat some lunch. The Two Towers is up next!

The Two Towers

This is probably my favorite movie of the trilogy; something about the people of Rohan and the battle at Helm’s Deep really appeals to me.

1:37 PM- After a short break, and with some veggie-filled pitas in hand, it is time to get the ball rolling on The Two Towers.

1:43 PM- The beginning of the movie with Gandalf fighting the Balrog at Khazad-dum is brilliant. It is a great scene and it pulls the watcher back into the movies (presumably after they watched Fellowship the year before, not the hour before).

1:49 PM- Heeeeere’s Gollum! I remember how impressed I was with the CG for Gollum the first time I saw him; still just as impressive today as it was then.

1:56 PM- I have seen some people at Wal-Mart who look kind of like Uruk-hai.

2:06 PM- Aragorn Beard-check time: Looking beardier and manlier than ever. Still not Chuck Norris level yet.

2:15 PM- Why does Aragorn’s scream of agony sound so real? Because Viggo Mortensen broke his freaking toe when he kicked that helmet. Ouch!

2:25 PM- Hey Frodo; pretty sure he said NOT to follow the lights. Thus begins Frodo’s annoying habit of trying to get himself killed and either Gollum or Sam having to save him. #harrypottersyndrome

2:32 PM- SPOILER ALERT! Gandalf isn’t dead! OMG!

2:46 PM- Pippin drinking the water and getting taller than Merry always cracks me up! “You just said something tree-ish!”

2:57 PM- The guards really should have taken Gandalf’s staff away from him. #stupidmoves

3:09 PM- $250 seems like a pretty good price for an Aragorn outfit. No pants or duster, though. Hmmmmm.

3:19 PM- Gollum might have been okay if only he would have had a good psychiatrist on hand. #multiplepersonalities

3:26 PM- “War will make corpses of us all.” You are kind of a Debbie Downer, Faramir. And on that note, disc 1 of The Two Towers comes to an end. On to disc 2.

3:30 PM- I wonder if there is a recipe somewhere out there for Eowyn’s gross stew. What is in that stuff anyway?

3:34 PM- Holy Crap! A Middle Earth foodie blog! The internets has everything! Did not see a recipe for Eowyn’s stew, though. Probably a good thing.

3:41 PM- First Gandalf, now Aragorn; why does everyone in this movie keep falling off cliffs? #lookoutbelow

4:00 PM- Faramir: “Boromir was my brother.” Frodo: “Ah, snap!”

4:05 PM- Dr. Bishop from Fringe sure is kind of a jerk to his kids when he is ruling Gondor. #worstdadever

4:20 PM- Boromir was creepy, Faramir is kinda creepy and Denethor is uber-creepy. Must be a family trait.

4:29 PM- Battle for Helm’s Deep! Probably my favorite part of the entire trilogy. Woot!

4:31 PM- Ever wondered what tens of thousands of wet, sweaty Uruk-hai must smell like? Not good, I can tell ya that much. #dirtysockswrappedinburntbacon

4:37 PM- Look out everyone! It’s time for the Orc Olympics!

4:44 PM- Next up on our Olympics Coverage: Dwarf-tossing featuring Aragorn and Gimli! “Don’t tell the Elf.”

4:59 PM- The secret to taking out a Uruk-hai? Shine a flashlight in its eyes! It might help if you also have a horse to ride it down with, too.

5:07 PM- Uruk-hai #1: “Hey, where did this forest come from?” Uruk-hai #2: “I don’t know, but it looks safe to me. Hey, is that tree moving . . .*Gagh*!”

5:10 PM- The Hobbits are getting high on pipe weed again. I am starting to think they may have a problem.

5:15 PM- As the Hobbits follow Gollum into Mordor, that is the end of The Two Towers. Gonna take a break, get some sunshine, and finish things out with The Return of the King.

The Return of the King

6:12 PM- After a quick walk with the wife, it is time to start The Return of the King! Sandwich in one hand and beer in the other, let’s get this thing done!

6 :20 PM- Watching Smeagol transform into Gollum at the beginning is pretty disturbing. My Precious!

6:23 PM- The Hobbits are smoking leaf again. No surprise there. Might need to turn this into a drinking game for next year. Take a drink every time someone smokes. Take a drink every time someone says the name “Frodo,” “Sauron,” or “Gandalf.” Shotgun a beer every time some one puts on the One Ring. Could get dangerous.

6:27 PM- I wish it was Magneto and Darth Tyranus facing off at Isengard! The Darks Side of the Force versus the Master of Magnetism!

6:30 PM- Dang it, Pippin! Do NOT pick up that shiny, big marble! Agh! Why doesn’t anyone listen to me?

6:31 PM- Hail the Victorious Dead!

6:43 PM- Dammit, Pippin! I said NOT to pick that up!

6:57 PM – One day, I will build a Minas Tirith sandcastle, like this one.

7:05 PM- Gandalf is smoking; take a drink!

7:20 PM- The beacons to Rohan being lit; another one of my favorite scenes.

7:27 PM- Pippin said “Frodo.” Take a drink!

7:28 PM- Denethor said “Mordor.” Take a drink! Yea . . . probably not a good idea.

7:45 PM- Pippin singing “Edge of Night” always gives me chills.

8:00 PM- I really need to visit New Zealand some day. Seems like an awesome place.

8:16 PM- Kind of cracks me up that the army of Mina Tirith is flinging pieces of its own city at the attacking orcs from Mordor. Oops, I said Mordor. Take a drink!

8:21 PM- Mordor (take a drink) is bringing out the big wolf-shaped battering ram. That’s the end of disc 1; time for disc 2!

8:23 PM- Peter Jackson cameo #2: Pirate that gets killed by Legolas.

8:37 PM- Burning yourself and your son alive is not crazy at all, Denethor. Totally normal!

8:45 PM- I feel like the Knights of Caledonia would provide an excellent soundtrack for the final battle at Minas Tirith!

8:49 PM- The Riders of Rohan have arrived; time for my second favorite battle right behind Helm’s Deep!

8:55 PM- Rider of Rohan overheard at Battle of Minas Tirith: “They have elephants? What the hell?!?”

9:03 PM- “I am no man!” Take that, Witch King of Agmar! Straight up in yo face! Dang, but that was a huge morningstar, though!

9:05 PM- And Legolas takes down the whole freaking elephant by himself. Show-off.

9:10 PM- Battle over. Really, it was the stinking ghosts that got the job done. Not a deux ex machina at all. Nope! No,sir!

9:14 PM- What do ya know: Frodo has an outy! C’mon, give the guy back his shirt!

9:16 PM- This whole “Samwise the Super-Warrior” bit is just too forced to me. Those orcs would have handed his butt to him. Sorry, Sam, but its true.

9:22 PM- Honestly, this is the part of the movie that starts to drag a bit for me. Pretty sure things could have wrapped up a bit faster here. Every time I see Frodo and Sam between now and when they reach Mount Doom is just an irritant. By the way, Gimli was just smoking: Take a Drink!

9:25 PM- Aragorn Beard Update: Looking as Beardy as a Beard can get; quite Kingly, too! Good thing since Aragorn is going to be King and all.

9:26 PM- Eowyn and Faramir makin’ a love-connection! Cue the Marvin Gaye music!

9:30 PM- This whole part with Frodo and Sam in the orc army, trying to blend in, just makes no sense to me. I mean, I think the orcs would see and / or smell the difference and it is doing nothing to progress the story. This might be a scene that is just in the extended-edition, I honestly don’t remember. Either way, it is superfluous.

9:42 PM- Sam: “Blah, blah, blah.” Frodo: “Blah,blah,blah” Sam carrying Frodo to Mt. Doom! Yay! Go Sam!

9:45 PM- Gollum shows up to smack people on their collective heads with rocks, bite them, and generally make a nuisance of himself. Dang- pretty sure Sam has a concussion now.

9:46 PM- The eagles show up and at this point we all ask “Why didn’t Gandalf have the damn eagles just fly Frodo to Mt. Doom?” Because he is a jerk- a wizard jerk.

9:49 PM- Gollum just freaking bit Frodo’s finger off! He might have questionable hygiene, but no one can question his dedication!

9:50 PM- Gollum takes a lava bath (how refreshing), and the ring is destroyed! The Eye of Sauron looks pretty durn surprised, considering it is a disembodied eye and all, and everyone is happy!

9:54 PM- Now they are not happy because the geniuses just realized that Mt. Doom erupted and FRODO IS PROBABLY DEAD! Thanks, Frodo? We guess?

9:58 PM- The eagles just flew Sam and Frodo out under a rain of volcanic debris, but they could not have flown them in while dodging the flying ring-wraiths? I mean, come on!

10:00 PM- Final Aragorn Beard Update: Definitely a Beard for a King! This is a beard that Kenny Rogers would be proud to wear during his “Gambler” days. The singing by the new King somewhat detracts from the manliness of the beard, though.

10:03 PM- Aragorn is reunited with Arwen. Do we remember enough about her from the first two movies to care? Maybe not, but good on them anyway.

10: 06 PM- Aragorn to the Hobbits: “My friends, you bow to no one.” Gets me every darn time. Not afraid to say I teared up there.

10:10 PM- Overheard at the Green Dragon Inn: “Big Pumpkin? Big Deal! Don’t these hobbits know we saved the whole of Middle Earth?”

10:20 PM- Frodo and Bilbo (great names, guys, by the way) sail off with the Elves. Sam returns homes to his wife. Presumably, Merry and Pippin are back to committing acts of mild larceny and mischeif. That’s the Lord of the Rings trilogy, folks. God help me when all three upcoming The Hobbit movies are out on Blu-ray. Not sure I could survive an entire weekend, but you know I will try.

If you read this during or after the fact, please leave a comment below. This took a little more dedication than the normal article, and it would be great to see that people actually read it by leaving a comment!

Thanks! See you again next year . . . maybe?