November 9, 2012 7:01 pm

The (Disney) empire strikes back

The scene: a desert landscape. A youth is herding alpacas when he sees two figures, one tall and gold, one small and a bit like a dustbin...
illustration of Star Wars scene©Lucas Varela

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the Star Wars saga delighted audiences and made its creators rich. Then another three films were made, which didn’t delight as many people but made their creators even richer. For a long time that was that, apart from all the spin-off series, games and toys. But now, another empire even more powerful than the really evil empire that was defeated in film six, is looming large over the galaxy.

The scene: a desert landscape. A youth is herding alpacas when he sees two figures, one tall and gold, one small and a bit like a dustbin.

“C-3PO, R2-D2, what are you doing here?”

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Robert Shrimsley

“Master Luke Jr, you must come quickly. Our galaxy faces a terrible threat.”

“Oh no. I’m not getting dragged into any of that. Try my parents – that’s more their bag. I’ve got alpacas to get to market.”

“Your father Han is 70 and Princess Leia is a little too fond of the booze. It is your destiny, Luke. This franchise has been sold to Disney, who will surely recreate the evil Sith Lords.”

“Why would they want to do that?”

“For the seventh movie.”

“The seventh movie is a myth. The Sith are all dead; there are only a few Jedi left and we are all cousins.”

“No, Master Luke. The seventh movie is going to happen. Our spies tell us a senior script writer at Disney is working on ways to revive the Sith.”

“And how will he do that, my shiny friend?”

“I don’t know, but these guys are paid to be creative. The Disney empire may have found your Uncle Luke’s Jedi sperm bank, and will use it to breed Sith Lords. Many have fallen before them. ESPN, Marvel, Pixar – all have been swallowed up by the Disney empire.”

[Aghast] “Buzz Lightyear has fallen?”

“You are the only one who can stop them now. You and that monkey.”

“Chewbacca. No, he threw it in, joined the World Wrestling Federation circuit and he’s now the senior senator of Montana. So where do I find these Disneys?”

“They have a base out in the Burbank constellation on the Planet Hollywood.”

“I had a burger there once. It was very pricey.”

“Ha, you should try the food at Disneyland.”

“Who runs this Disney Corp?”

“Its spiritual leader is a large mouse but the real power lies with a man called Bob Iger.”

Later, at Walt Disney Corp HQ ...

“Tell Iger that Luke Skywalker Jr, Jedi Knight and Alpaca Farmer, is waiting to see him.”

[Bob Iger comes out to greet him] “Ah Luke, we’re all thrilled to have you aboard. This movie wouldn’t be the same without you, although I admit I was hoping for someone more in the Taylor Lautner mould. Take a look at this.” [He opens a door to reveal thousands of replicas of Luke Jr]

“What is this? You’ve cloned thousands of Luke Jrs. You hope to turn these against me?”

“Clones, shmones, Lukey; they’re action figures. The whole Star Wars 7 range, just waiting to be unleashed. And hey, while you’re here let me introduce you to your new sidekick.”

“He looks suspiciously like a large mouse.”

“But with some make-up, a few wrinkles and a bit of an accent he could pass for Yoda’s nephew.”

“I won’t let you restore the Sith.”

“We have to, Luke. Without them there’s no computer game. Who are you gonna fight – Ewoks? But don’t worry, you’ll vanquish them by film nine; or 10 if it is going well. Work with us, Luke. Let the force of our creative and marketing departments fill your mind. We need your input on the new plush toy range. Join me, Luke, and I’ll complete your training. Look at Avengers Assemble – we made those guys huge. And if you have someone in mind for your love interest ... ”

“I have always admired Scarlett Johansson ... No, you won’t get me that easily.”

“But Luke, I could be a father to you. I promise you riches, fame, power and maybe even your own ride at Epcot. You could really be a force in this town.”

robert.shrimsley@ft.com

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