The so-called “Disney of Japan” looks to be getting a chance to do something that will make fans very happy.
While that was a high cost even back then, it united two incredibly powerful companies and gave Disney full control of the Star Wars universe (not to mention Indiana Jones and Fraggle Rock).
Thanks to the acquisition, Disney went on to churn out everything from feature films to elaborate ‘Star Wars’-themed rides as its iconic theme parks. The film franchise is the second highest grossing in the world by box office revenue, beaten only by the Marvel Cinematic Universe — which Disney also owns, by the way.
Thinking about all this, one can’t help but imagine a cackling Emperor Palpatine, wringing his hands as he revels in all his power. You’d think between Lucasfilm and Marvel, Disney would call it a day. But now the company known for its dedication to wholesome entertainment has reached its hands out to a familiar property to cultivate yet another huge, dedicated fanbase, and it looks like its circle of power will soon grow even more.
What’s This Lucasarts Collaboration About?
On November 10 at 10 am EST, the Twitter account for Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli — which has often been called the “Walt Disney of Japan” — released a mysterious video with no text that only showed two images: The Lucasarts logo and then its own.
Studio Ghibli was founded in 1995 and has since become a beloved piece of Japan’s identity thanks to its charming hand-drawn animation style and moving themes. Of the 23 films its released, several are among the country’s highest-grossing box office hits of all time, and the official Studio Ghibli theme park just opened its doors on November 1.
Disney has had dealings with Ghibli in the past, striking up a deal back in 1996 that would allow it to distribute Ghibli films in the U.S. That move led to the release of “Spirited Away” in the states, which resulted in the film winning an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature that year.
But in 2011, Disney sold those rights to American film distributor GKIDS, and it seemed its dealings with Ghibli were done — until now.
Is an Animated Star Wars Coming?
The official Star Wars Twitter retweeted the video as well, more or less confirming that this is indeed a “Star Wars” project.
Fans are speculating that the collab could be a part of the “Star Wars Visions” project, which was released in 2021 and featured original stories set in the ‘Star Wars” universe from seven high-profile Japanese animation studios, including Kamikaze Douga, Geno Studio (Twin Engine), Studio Colorido (Twin Engine), TRIGGER, Kinema Citrus, Science Saru, and Production I.G.
No matter what the two studios have in mind, bringing Studio Ghibli into any Lucasfilm project will add up to big profits. Both “Star Wars” and Studio Ghibli have been around for more than 30 years, building two incredibly large and devoted fandoms that will not only flock to theaters to see this project, but would happily drop money on related merch as well (if the two companies choose to make it, that is).