Star Wars no Brand Wars…

Let me preface this post by saying I am a HUGE fan of Star Wars….

As you are no doubt aware Disney has purchased Lucasfilm, the company behind the Star Wars films, from George Lucas for $4.05bn, that is one big price tag but will it be a good buy for all concerned, especially the fans (i.e. me) I wonder. Disney wasted no time incorporating the big brand into its plans, they released this video of Darth Vader enjoying a trip to Disneyland, I’m not sure seeing the dark lord riding a Dumbo ride is exactly in keeping with his character traits but it  has already had more than 3.3 million views on YouTube.

I guess this is an early indication of the potential return on investment for Disney, after all how much might it have cost them to partner up with LucasFilm and to make this before the purchase, and when was the last time a proportional video for Disneyland (or any of their parks) got such great viewing figures in such a short period of time? The clip of Goofy’s visit to Disneyland posted in April this year has only had 530,000 views.

Even before the Star Wars was added to the portfolio, Disney reported $42 billion in revenue for its last fiscal year (a rise of 3%) while its profits went up 18% to almost $5.7 billion, will be interesting to see what Star Wars adds to the bottom line come this time next year.

Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger has the addition of Lucasfilm “will further fuel Disney’s creative engine across our company to create additional value for our shareholders”.  And how will this creative manifest itself, well for starters Star Wars merchandise will soon be in Disney stores and online, well that is creativity from a retail perspective maybe, but other than providing more figurines and toys, how does the fan benefit from all this? Well the proof is in the pudding so to speak, and with this in mind new movies will be coming to a screen near you in the not too distant future.  Michael Arndt, who wrote Toy Story 3 and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and won and Oscar for his work on Little Miss Sunshine, has been pegged to work on the script for the next film in 2013. I only hope he does not turn Star Wars into too ‘family friendly a comedy’, it is after all serious stuff to us diehard fans.

I can see how the Disney brand benefits from this deal, but I am yet to be convinced about the benefit to the Star Wars brand or the original fans, but then I guess it’s not really about us, it is about talking to a new audience and ensuring the brands longevity, something George Lucas did very well.

May the force be with them…

This post was originally written for Jigsaw Research, click here check out more interesting posts


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