‘Star Wars’ At Disney: What Mickey Can Learn From Marvel

For better or worse, Disney and “Star Wars” have come together. The House of Mouse’s acquisition of Lucasfilm means three new “Star Wars” films are on the way and who knows what else in the years to come.

Here’s something we do know right now: Disney knows how to buy.

Just three years ago, Disney made headlines when they purchased Marvel Entertainment. Raised eyebrows and incredulous snark at the time preceded a deal that yielded the third highest-grossing movie of all time. And it’s not just about good business: “Marvel’s The Avengers” is widely viewed as one of the most exciting and well-told superhero movies in the history of the genre.

With that success story in mind, what lessons can Disney apply from their Marvel deal to their “Star Wars” acquisition? Here are the three big ones:

Get Creators Involved
Kevin Feige, Joe Quesada, Brian Michael Bendis … even if they’re not household names, these are guys who already worked at Marvel, people who already had long histories with the characters as both professionals and fans. Having Marvel die-hards involved with Marvel movies was, and continues to be, a key component to the success of these films. Disney would be wise to lean on Uncle George when necessary, yes, but they need to consider other leaders in the “Star Wars” universe, too: Dave Filoni of “Clone Wars” fame, “Robot Chicken” creators Seth Green and Matt Senreich, the Dark Horse team behind the “Star Wars” comics… just to name a few.

Hire Exciting New Talent
When we say “new,” we don’t mean “unheard of.” Joss Whedon was not an unknown quantity to Marvel fans; he wrote the celebrated “Astonishing X-Men” and penned an arc on “Runaways,” as two examples. But with only “Serenity” under his belt as a feature film director, Whedon was an exciting but nail-biting choice to direct “Avengers” — a choice that ultimately paid off. Hire someone of similar risk-reward value and you won’t just have our curiosity, Disney — you’ll have our attention.

Stay The Hell Out Of The Way
More than anything, Disney, trust the brand you bought. Marvel’s movies worked because Marvel people made them. “Star Wars” movies will work because “Star Wars” people made them. You own the restaurant, Disney, so spend the money and do the PR legwork. But stay away from the kitchen. Let the chefs cook. That’s what worked with Marvel, and that’s what will work here.

What lessons from their Marvel deal should Disney keep in mind with “Star Wars”? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter!