Tuesday's announcement of Disney's $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm caused major ripples of excitement -- as well as a few freakouts -- among Star Wars fans, especially the news that a planned seventh chapter in the sci-fi saga is expected to land in 2015.
Many would-be Jedis took to Twitter to express joy and doubts about what such a showbiz marriage might mean to one of Hollywood's longest-running and most profitable franchises, whose worldwide box office stands at $4.5 billion.
British actor Simon Pegg, who was Scotty in the 2009 big-screen revival of Star Trek, went for an inside joke at first: "No Simba, I am your father. Oh, wait, he was, wasn't he."
That insight will amuse those who know that James Earl Jones is the voice of Darth Vader as well as that of The Lion King's Mufasa.
Pegg then reassured his geek brethren: "For the record, I have no problem with Disney, I am a huge fan and I'm sure it's actually good news for Star Wars fans."
Seth MacFarlane, the upcoming Oscar ceremony host responsible for TV's The Family Guy, provided an opposing view with a reference to one of Disney's notorious recent flops: "Looking forward to seeing what exciting new Star Wars adventures will be cooked up by the dream factory that brought us Mars Needs Moms!"
The news also inspired more than a few to ponder which of the Star Wars characters should -- or shouldn't -- reappear in Episode VII. Paddy Power, Ireland's largest bookmaker, decided to place odds on who was most likely to make the cut.
Topping the list of those with the best chance of a comeback: a three-way tie among those lovable droids C-3PO and R2-D2 along with Yoda, even if he died at age 900 in 1983's Return of the Jedi. Ranking No. 4? Boba Fett, the bounty hunter who also met his maker in Jedi.
Among the leads, Luke Skywalker is given the best chance to swing a light saber once more, followed by Princess Leia and Han Solo.
Among the least likely to reappear: Fat Dancer, the plump Askajian performer from Jabba the Hutt's palace, and bad guy Admiral Piett of the Imperial Navy's Death Squadron.
Naturally, the loyal legions have their own thoughts about which characters deserve another chance.
Akron, Ohio, resident Mark Johnson, 34, of movie site Awardscircuit.com, is eager for Han Solo to fly again. "He was my favorite character, and I'd love to see how things turn out for him and Leia, and perhaps their children. It would be cool to see them as the next major characters -- a nice mix of Jedi and cocky (jerks), one would assume."
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