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Let's Enter The Star Wars Rumor Zone

I feel it is time to discuss the latest rumors regarding Disney, Lucasfilm and Star Wars currently making waves. Maybe you have heard of the rumors, maybe you have not. In a nutshell: rumors state that Disney is in such a dire financial state (meaning, they have little cash, not that they are actually bankrupt) that the upcoming 2024 Hulu deal will require Disney to sell off assets so they can actually afford the deal. Hulu is currently still owned by Disney and Comcast, with Comcast having a minority stake in the company, and there is an agreement between Disney and Comcast that Disney buys Comcast’s part of Hulu. And said deal is supposed to happen in 2024. Now the big problem is that Comcast and Disney fundamentally disagree on the value of Hulu, it will not surprise anyone that Comcast has very different ideas about the value of Hulu and that Disney wants to pay much less than Comcast is asking for. So the deal is in arbitration where a third party will try to settle the question of Hulu’s actual market worth. And this is where the rumors begin, because in order to finance the deal Disney may have to resort to some drastic measures…

If you do not care for rumors that are probably just wishful thinking you need not bother, this is not for you… everyone else, let’s have some fun in the Star Wars Rumor Zone and click through!

You are about the enter the Star Wars Rumor Zone!

So what exactly does the rumor say?

Disney will need to pay billions for Hulu. Only problem is: according to the reports Disney is running out of cash, i.e. their liquidity is pretty low and to finance the Hulu acquisition the rumors state that Iger is not just cutting budgets and laying off people, which includes the closure of the Star Wars hotel (a 2 billion sinkhole), a reduction of new content for Disney+ (also a massive money sinkhole) and even removal of shows to save on residuals, but that Disney is seriously looking into selling off one or several of its international theme parks (Shanghai or Paris) and – and this is where it affects us – maybe even Lucasfilm. Lucasfilm? Right, that’s what the rumors say. So let’s talk about it. Even if it’s almost certainly just yet another internet drama meant to generate clicks. But it can be fun to discuss a “what if” scenario, because the rumor goes even further and there is speculation about who the buyer of Lucasfilm may be….

The rumor originates from a person called Kamran Pasha, he is a professional Hollywood scriptwriter, but he is also associated with what is dubbed the “Fandom Menace”, he often appears in one of their videos, he is also a frequent guest on Overlord DVD’s YouTube channel. So this alone should make you a bit skeptical.

To Kamran Pasha’s credit, he IS indeed an actual scriptwriter with actual Hollywood connections – and he is on record saying that he personally vetted a “source” that feeds him insider info from the Disney HQ. Meaning, he met that person, he verified credentials and Pasha says the source is the real deal and someone who has indeed access to the info they claim to posess.

And according to that source Disney’s upcoming Hulu acquisition is creating huge issues for the company, because they don’t have the money right now. Which in turn means they are looking into selling assets so they can actually pay for Hulu.

And as mentioned Disney is, according to the source, not only looking into maybe selling one of the international theme parks (Shanghai or Paris come to mind), but that Iger is also looking into selling Lucasfilm. But it doesn’t stop here… the source says they feel the alleged buyer could be none other than George Lucas. Yes.

Now as crazy and highly unrealistic as that sounds, it is NOT without precedent. Back in 2001 Disney acquired the Power Rangers IP when they bought the Fox Family channel, actually the Power Rangers came as package deal with all of Saban Entertainment and Fox Family, with Haim Saban being the previous owner of Saban Entertainment, which also included things like Digimon, not just Power Rangers.

Disney then went on and completely ruined Power Rangers. They did not really know what to do with the franchise. And focus group testing they conducted convinced Disney that Power Rangers is “problematic”, because mothers don’t like all the violence in the series, or so their tests said… So it became somewhat of a black sheep and the franchise went into decline.

Things were so thoroughly mismanaged that Disney looked into selling off Power Rangers again in the late 2000s. A brand that used to be massively popular in the 1990s and generated billions of revenue every year, that is, before Disney drove the IP into the ground.

And Disney did eventually sell Power Rangers. And the buyer was none other than original owner Haim Saban, who paid a measly $43 million for the rights. Back in 2001 Disney had acquired Fox Family and the Saban Entertainment library for more than $5 billion, of which Saban received about $1.5 billion. So when he bought back Power Rangers for $43 million he made the deal of a lifetime.

Now Star Wars is nowhere near being as mismanaged as Power Rangers was under Disney, but it is also a far cry from what it used to be. The sequels and spin-off movies were ultimatly a failure, ending any and all lofty movie plans Disney once had and we haven’t had a new Star Wars movie in almost four years now, and the next movie could be released in 2025 at the earliest, if at all.

Merchandise sales have tanked (again, after The Mandalorian revitalilized sales for about two or three years) and the franchise is not performing as Disney would like it to perform. Add the upcoming Indiana Jones 5 movie and the very good possibility that this $300+ million movie will massively flop and you can see that Lucasfilm is not really the cash cow maybe Disney once hoped it would be.

According to the rumors Iger has tasked a legal team to look into the details how exactly a Lucasfilm sale could happen, i.e. how Galaxy’s Edge and the Star Wars rides would be handled.

So is George Lucas really looking into buying back Lucasfilm possibly only at a fraction of what he once was paid?

In my honest opinion I can’t see that happening, I also find it incredibly hard to believe that Disney would seriously consider selling Lucasfilm. Much of Disney+ relies on just two IPs: Marvel and Star Wars. Now it’s always possible that a new owner would agree on a licensing deal with Disney, meaning, new content would still be released on Disney+ and maybe Disney would distribute any new movies, but it would only earn them a fraction, but then again, they would no longer bear any of the risks either and Disney will feel the full brunt of a potential (and likely) Indiana Jones 5 box office flop, they also felt the Solo flop.

But of course it is fun to speculate what would happen if Disney really sold Lucasfilm and if the buyer was none other than George Lucas himself.

Would you like that? What do you think George would do with Star Wars? Would he make his sequels after all and declare Disney Star Wars legends material that is not canon anymore? I don’t see Lucas directing any movie ever again, he’s not getting any younger, but he could certainly provide the story, then someone else would write the screenplay based on the story and yet again someone else would direct. I also feel that those movies could feature de-aged/deepfaked versions of beloved characters.

Do you think it’s even remotely possible for Disney to sell Lucasfilm? Also think of the PR implications and the waves it would make. Not to belittle the Power Rangers franchise, but Star Wars is a different beast altogether and Disney has invested so much more money into Star Wars. But Disney is in serious money saving mode right now and the Hulu deal will be a challenge, especially if the value of Hulu is determined to be much higher than Disney would like it to be. And Disney still has to deal with the Fox acquisition, that deal was very expensive as well, so having to buy Hulu now may indeed force them to sell off some of their assets. But if that includes Lucasfilm… I don’t know. I am skeptical. Very much so. But it would be funny of course. And probably better for Star Wars. Lucasfilm in 2023 is a mess. Of course things could always change if Kathleen Kennedy eventually retires after all.

So let’s speculate away in the comments! And please, don’t take any of this too seriously! Chances are very high the rumor is just yet another pipe dream and Kathleen Kennedy will still announce movies and shows that never see the light of day at Star Wars Celebration in 2030. But what did Jyn Erso say… rebellions are built on hope.

 

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