Who has made the most money?
It's been a huge year in film. Leo finally won an Oscar. Hunger Games came to an end and a story from a long, long time ago came back onto the screen. Star Wars directed this time around by J J Abrams has been acclaimed as the perfect response to the previous three films which have become the ugly sisters of the family. Star Wars is now owned by Disney having been bought off of the creator George Lucas for well over a billion dollars. So how can a story really be worth that much? and what exactly did they buy?
Firstly I think it's interesting to note that Star Wars was one of the first films to look at add on's when it came to a film. After all they had created a story world that was so complete that it's not like Burger King could have a joint in the centre of Tattooine. They instead looked at merchandising Star Wars which meant everything from toy figures through to t-shirts. The money from these sales was huge and in many ways was the reason Disney has paid George so much. There is another reason behind the high price and it's the thing I want to look at a bit more within this blog.
Star Wars was not just one story it was a world. People wanted more and within a year the plan had gone from one film to a written draft of 'Empire Strikes Back' with a plan for a total of a 12 film saga. As time has gone on (while the 12 films have not yet been completed), there has been a huge amount of story that has been created and interweaved into the main story arc. Comic Books, Novels, games and even more recently animated TV series such as 'The Clone Wars' have all gained new audiences at different ages looking for different aspects of story. This diversity of offer and media type has allowed a huge market to be pulled into the Star Wars world.
This multi platform approach to the story has made the Star Wars franchise the largest in history and seems to be the blueprint for many new epic type story canon. We only have to look at MARVEL and DC for their developing approach to film and TV and how they are integrating the original comic book lore into their cinema experience's. It seems obvious and easy for story telling franchises/brands to do this kind of thing but when we dig deeper even the most successful companies from other sectors are doing the same. Google is fundamentally about data but look what it can do with it. It helps us find things, it drives cars for us and it beats grand masters at GO. The future of a brand and company in this context is almost about interest and passion. We are restless people and need change and vitality and this type of movement and development allows us to keep things fresh.