Moments after news broke Tuesday afternoon of the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm, Jack Rems presented a key element of what may in fact be the new "Star Wars" canon:
"Princess Leia is now a Disney princess," said Rems, owner of Escapist Comics and the Dark Carnival sci-fi/fantasy bookstore in Berkeley. His tone was not judgmental. Merely factual, resigned to the commercial ways of our present galaxy.
"It's kind of crazy, but we'll see what happens," he added. "If nothing else, I expect it will lead to even more marketing on both sides."
While Rems remained calm, millions of rebellious voices in the social media universe cried out in pain with enough comments to fill the Death Star. Some said the takeover is a disaster on the level of Hurricane Sandy, or at the very least a sure sign of the apocalypse. Others tweeted YouTube videos of Emperor Palpatine malevolently growling his famous line, "Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen. Hahaha!"
On fan sites, jokes were bandied about for a possible title for the upcoming "Episode 7" sequel, which is slated for release in 2015 under the Disney label. One offered: "The Mouse Strikes Back."
The move also inspired at least one last-minute Halloween costume.
"I might dress up for Halloween as a Jedi with Mouseketeer ears. That would really be scary," said Andy Eaton, 51, of Alameda, who, as we spoke, said he was clad in a vintage 1977 beige T-shirt with the silk-screened image of
Surprisingly, not all "Star Wars" fans have a bad feeling about all this.
"I'm really excited, actually. I'm more on the side of this being a 'New Hope' rather than a disturbance in The Force," said Alain Bloch, 31, a software engineer in San Francisco and co-founder of the Golden Gate Knights, which offers weekly classes in light saber training using LED Lucasian swords.
"People have been kind of wondering what the future of 'Star Wars' would be after Lucas passed the torch," he said. "Disney has taken over Pixar and Marvel and they've flourished under that umbrella. I mean, look at 'The Avengers' and 'Captain America' and stuff. So I see it as a positive move.
"Plus, Disney has committed to release a new film every two or three years," he said. "And with some fresh person in the director's seat -- maybe a lifelong fan like J.J. Abrams or someone -- that could really be awesome."
Bloch pointed out that Tomorrowland in Disneyland is already a virtual Star Wars Land, what with the Star Tours ride, the daily Jedi Training Academy where little kids battle Darth Vader, not to mention gift shops burgeoning with Yoda backpacks and custom lightsabers.
Josh Magnani, 35, of San Francisco, has been a "Star Wars" fan from his mother's womb -- having resided there while his parents viewed a test screening of the very first movie. Magnani now owns a coffee shop in San Francisco and has been discussing the Disney/Lucasfilm news with customers all afternoon.
"I'm torn," he said. "My first reaction was that it's a tragedy. But people of my generation who loved the original trilogy of our childhood kind of roundly hated the last three movies anyway -- and even worse, the changes (Lucas) made to the first three.
"Lucas failed miserably with those," he said. "So maybe Disney will right the ship."
The Millennium Falcon ship, no doubt.