Yesterday, George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4.05 billion. This is astonishing. Disney’s acquisition of Pixar was gaspworthy, but logical, even predictable. Disney’s acquisition of Marvel was a surprise, but clever and additive to the Mouse’s demographic reach. But this is on an entirely different level. Not only because Star Wars is the greatest film ever made, but also because it represents one of the most compelling examples of The American Dream. George Lucas started by telling a story, but ended up creating and personally owning one of the dominant pillars of the world’s entertainment industry. But this article isn’t about the deal itself. Setting aside the global childhood antitrust question, it doesn’t really affect me as to who owns what. Besides, you already read those “may the mouse be with you” articles yesterday. Instead, this article is about the footnote at the end of the story. The tantalizing tidbit that represents a supernova in the world of science fiction. This article is about Episode 7.
Two days ago, a Redditor going by the name Lycerius posted the result of his playing the same game of Civilization II for almost ten years. In his words, “There are 3 remaining super nations in the year 3991 A.D, each competing for the scant resources left on the planet after dozens of nuclear wars have rendered vast swaths of the world uninhabitable wastelands.” His description is powerful, ominous, and hilarious, which seems a perfect microcosm of Reddit itself. The first thing that popped into my head was the post artfully spliced together the key themes of my two favorite novels, 1984 and Foundation. 1984 for the three super nations locked in an eternal struggle, told from the point of view of a communist totalitarian state, and Foundation for the process of running a model of human behavior into the future. The next thing that hit me was that the social graph may very well be the key to bringing order to the galaxy.
Today, Facebook went public. All well and good. But yesterday, Deadline New York reported that Blade Runner co-writer Hampton Fancher is in talks to join Blade Runner director Ridley Scott in developing a sequel to the groundbreaking film. This is admittedly a very tenuous statement, but it bodes well for the direction of the new film. All we know beyond that, is that it will be a sequel to the events in the first film, but won’t focus on Deckard, Harrison Ford’s character. This is a different approach from Scott’s Prometheus, which is a prequel to Alien set in the same universe, but not directly tied to the events of that film. We’ve already talked in perhaps a little too much exacting detail about the risk of Prometheus being a rehash of Alien, and the apparent adoption of exogenesis as a plot device. This time, we’ll go a bit off the deep end on Blade Runner.
This isn’t a full article. It’s not even my idea. It’s a co-worker’s idea. Plus it’s about taxes. Do you really want me to take another whack at rewriting the tax code? Probably not. But holy crap. This is good. The IRS should buy one copy of TurboTax, load in our taxes, run a preliminary tax filing, and then let us log in online and tweak as we see fit.
The second Prometheus trailer came out on Sunday March 18, and it fills in a bit more of the story than the rapid cuts of the first, more atmospheric trailer. In my original article about that first trailer, I was mostly concerned that with his new film, director Ridley Scott would simply rehash Alien, the film it aims to tell the back story of. However, in this new trailer, we see a glimpse of something new, something that isn’t a simple monster movie plot. At the heart of this movie is the astrobiological theory of exogenesis.