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  1. #61

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    Re: What land/ride would you like to be WDW's potter swatter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Nor indeed a Disneyland. If the Disney Studios of the 1950s had the same lack of creative vision and abundant averseness to originality, innovation and risk-taking as today's Disney Corporation, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
    This is such an amusing conversation/argument to me because everyone seems to miss exactly the point made here.

    Disneyland was "inspired by" many Disney movies, there were even intentionally small ride-throughs of those stories. But when it came to the big guns, the attractions that would drive people into his park on a regular basis, Walt Disney made sure the attractions and adventures were wholly original. Fads come and go, tastes change.

    For everyone that says "Star Wars" stands the test of time so well, you seem to forget that between 1983 and 1999, there WAS no "Star Wars," and everyone (except, perhaps George Lucas's accountants) was just fine. "Star Wars" kind of died a natural death. We're not facing that same life cycle with film-based properties today as vividly because of our relentlessly marketing-driven society. Even twenty years ago, film studios were not as "sophisticated" (or obsessed) with focusing on "existing IP." They created new things regularly, and Disney was the best at that.

    And during those times, Disney didn't take every film it had made and create an attraction around it, though that's what fans probably wanted. That was the time, for Disney, when the Tower of Terror, the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, even (for better or worse) California Adventure opened. Disney, as it had since the 1930s, believed in creating NEW entertainment, not just rehashing old ones.

    Walt Disney was pretty smart when he said, "You can't top pigs with pigs," but now Disney -- and, increasingly, consumers -- want more of the same. They're like that Tellytubby who screams "Again, again, again!" And they get it.

    The biggest problem with this way of thinking is the same problem that so much of the business world faces: Because it works today doesn't mean it will work in 10 years. You say, "People will never get tired of 'Star Wars,'" which to my way of thinking is a little like a 9-year-old boy in 1992 saying he'll NEVER not love Power Rangers. If his parents are wise, they'll say, "Of course you won't," but still steer him to something new. If they're not, they'll load him up on Power Rangers, Power Rangers and more Power Rangers until one day he says, "I don't like Power Rangers anymore." Then they'll look at his Power Ranger-filled bedroom and at their declining pocketbook and think, "Gosh, what did we do wrong?"

    As a "brand-management" company, Disney is betting that people will never tire of Marvel, that they can't get too much "Star Wars," that Pixar will always be the most sought-after name in animation, that its "tentpoles" will always be popular.

    Guess what? They won't.

    And when you pour a billion dollars into creating more, more, more, more, more of it at your theme parks, you're left with rides like the original "Star Tours" in 2006 ... rides that cost a lot of money that are going to be very expensive to replace when people don't fancy them anymore.

    Universal didn't quite create the same problem with Harry Potter because once its popularity fades, it will just be another part of the park. They've done the smart thing by driving attendance and getting people to discover the REST of what they have to get them to come back.

    Disney's done the opposite: Based on the state of attractions and the insistence on removing parts of the old parks to make way for the shiny new stuff, they're focused primarily on what's hot and new at the expense of everything else. (For instance, look at Pirates of the Caribbean with its now-mostly-meaningless inclusion of Johnny Depp; in another 10 years, he'll feel older than Sigourney Weaver in "Alien" at Great Movie Ride, but to remove him will be too costly, so they'll have an anachronistic ride whose novelty has worn off.)

    I'm not suggesting Disney SHOULDN'T pursue "Star Wars" at the parks. What I'm saying is, they're doing so on the theme-park level AND on the corporate level at the expense of creating things that are totally new, uniquely Disney and, as such, impossible to replicate. No one ever has created attractions quite as compelling as Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Big Thunder, Space Mountain or Tower of Terror, to name a few. But "Star Wars" or Marvel would have been JUST as much "at home" at Universal or even Six Flags than it would at Disney.

    And Disney's placing a bet that has already been proven to be an unwise one. The long-tail "Star Wars" bet didn't pay off for Lucasfilm itself for more than 15 years, until Lucas revived it with "The Phantom Menace." They've bought some time with the next "Star Wars" movies, but ... what if they're not good? What if the public reacts with a collective yawn the way they just have to "Star Trek"? What if six films in six years proves to be too much of a good thing?

    Then Disney is left holding the bag with none of its own originally developed, new "IP" (as everyone likes to call it) -- no "Lion King" or "Beauty and the Beast," no Tower of Terror or Expedition Everest, just a bunch of rides and attractions that people feel are stale and anachronistic.

    It's a gamble. Based on past history, I, personally, don't much care for the odds.

  2. #62

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    Re: What land/ride would you like to be WDW's potter swatter

    I think star wars in a bit of a different category though then you suggest. i cant name another series with the fan following that star wars has and its followed by several generations now. regardless of how it got to this point, the franchise is at the elite level now and in a future where things are so uncertain and few movies stick around for the long haul, its nice to have a property you know will be backed heavily by a fan base no matter what. for evidence of that just look at the huge explosion of fans DHS gets on starwars weekends, imagine that every day of the year, there is obviously an audience for bringing these places to life. at the end of the day its tenfold of a better idea then Avatar. however following the direction that DHS wants to abide by with the studios theme, i think its much more likely we will see a Lucas land then a star wars land. star wars will be the primary part of said studio but this upgrade will be Massive including a retheme of 50s prime time to american grafiti, an indiana jones expansion and of course the star wars part. in a park about movies, there are no safe bets but star wars is about the safest one you could make.

    Now personally i don't believe that a "potter swatter" is a necessary thing or a plausible concept. Disney merely needs to get back on the ball and continue to update and create new experiences all over instead of stagnating. creating one massive project wont solve all of the 'world's' problems, creating a better more whole experience will as it keeps people on property longer exploring. if they couldadd lucasfilms and Muppet studios to DHS, Australia and north america (as well as maybe a dino land addition) to DAK, a couple new countries and a fixed future world to Epcot, and a tomorrowland redo to MK along with the additions they are making to DTD there would still be some work to be done, but that would be a much better overall structure to work with and would really be all the major additions they need.

  3. #63

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    Re: What land/ride would you like to be WDW's potter swatter

    Quote Originally Posted by goofy donald View Post
    Now personally i don't believe that a "potter swatter" is a necessary thing or a plausible concept. Disney merely needs to get back on the ball and continue to update and create new experiences all over instead of stagnating.
    Good point. Very good point. Disney is making "Planes," exactly the kind of movie John Lasseter said Disney shouldn't be making ... until he, himself, became a highly paid Disney executive.

    Regarding "Star Wars": A "Lucasland" would not be of interest to Disney, since Jay Rasulo went on the record to state quite clearly that Disney bought "Star Wars." It did not care about Indiana Jones or any other Lucasfilm properties. "Star Wars" was really all it cared about. And since Universal still controls the underlying rights to "American Graffiti," Warner Bros. still has control of "THX 1138" and Paramount and Spielberg share many of the rights to "Indiana Jones," I doubt that will happen. In fact, Fox has SOME say in this, because they control portions of the rights to the first "Star Wars" movie (1977) only, but if they get some money off of it, they're not going to object. But, boy, it will be something to see that copyright line whenever images from the original "Star Wars" appear: "(c) Disney/Lucasfilm, (c) Fox, Used with permission." Something along those lines.

    Regardless, there is a LOT of over-estimation of "Star Wars." It has done phenomenally well on a merchandising front. The Blu-ray of all six films proved to have disappointing sales. The "Clone Wars" TV series on Cartoon Network got, at its height, about 3 million people, and in the last two seasons was well below 2 million people a week. Going solely based on the actual numbers, "Star Wars" movies are massively successful ... but they alone don't justify a $4 billion spend. Crunch the numbers and you'll see that unless the movie is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY good (based on "Star Trek," that's a giant assumption), there's a definite ceiling on what "Star Wars" movies can gross. Marvel is actually a better bet than "Star Wars" when it comes to longevity and mass appeal. What Disney was really after were the merchandise licensing rights, and they got those. And if the movie is as relatively disappointing as "Star Trek Into Darkness" or "Super 8," appealing to a certain core audience and not many others, what happens then?

  4. #64

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    Re: What land/ride would you like to be WDW's potter swatter

    Quote Originally Posted by EC82 View Post
    Good point. Very good point. Disney is making "Planes," exactly the kind of movie John Lasseter said Disney shouldn't be making ... until he, himself, became a highly paid Disney executive.
    I cringe at the thought that this might be introduced to soarin as the rumour states in another thread. I know they say this technically isn't a pixar film, it really is deep down, the pixarification of the parks has to stop asap.

    Quote Originally Posted by EC82 View Post
    Regarding "Star Wars": A "Lucasland" would not be of interest to Disney, since Jay Rasulo went on the record to state quite clearly that Disney bought "Star Wars." It did not care about Indiana Jones or any other Lucasfilm properties. "Star Wars" was really all it cared about. And since Universal still controls the underlying rights to "American Graffiti," Warner Bros. still has control of "THX 1138" and Paramount and Spielberg share many of the rights to "Indiana Jones," I doubt that will happen. In fact, Fox has SOME say in this, because they control portions of the rights to the first "Star Wars" movie (1977) only, but if they get some money off of it, they're not going to object. But, boy, it will be something to see that copyright line whenever images from the original "Star Wars" appear: "(c) Disney/Lucasfilm, (c) Fox, Used with permission." Something along those lines.
    Lucas land is the only thing that makes sense in the direction DHS is going as a park. the major issue this park has had from day 1 is that there is no consistency. its just a jumbled mess of stuff that didn't fit in any of the other parks. the direction they are currently going in clearly illustrates that they are following a studios theming of the park, splitting the park's lands into individual studios and creating some sort of coherent theme and organization throughout the parks of entering the movies instead of going behind the scenes. It is my understanding that the purchase was lucas films properties upfront not just star wars. while other production companies obviously have some pieces of the properties lucas films has a sizeable stake, and thats now owned by disney. they already have indy's theme park rights so that is a non issue and American graffiti isnt that big of a deal at the end of the day (i agree it would be a little hard to wrestle that away from universal considering mel's drive in is a central part of their orlando park). a lucas films land just simply makes more sense then a random starwars land. that would just bring up the cohesiveness issue all over again and continue to damage the overall integrity of the park. this as a side note is the main reason im against a carsland in WDW.

    Quote Originally Posted by EC82 View Post
    Regardless, there is a LOT of over-estimation of "Star Wars." It has done phenomenally well on a merchandising front. The Blu-ray of all six films proved to have disappointing sales. The "Clone Wars" TV series on Cartoon Network got, at its height, about 3 million people, and in the last two seasons was well below 2 million people a week. Going solely based on the actual numbers, "Star Wars" movies are massively successful ... but they alone don't justify a $4 billion spend. Crunch the numbers and you'll see that unless the movie is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY good (based on "Star Trek," that's a giant assumption), there's a definite ceiling on what "Star Wars" movies can gross. Marvel is actually a better bet than "Star Wars" when it comes to longevity and mass appeal. What Disney was really after were the merchandise licensing rights, and they got those. And if the movie is as relatively disappointing as "Star Trek Into Darkness" or "Super 8," appealing to a certain core audience and not many others, what happens then?
    I'm just saying if your going to bet on a property, starwar's is the safest bet out there to go on. if you want to talk about overestimation look no further then Avatar which is double or more any of Starwar's possible falsehoods in the likeability department. the fact is starwars has an extremely large fanbase that can be attracted, unlike any other available movie franchise that fits in a disney theme park. you could try to shove marvel in or harry potter but those properties simply dont belong in disney world, they adopt more adult themes and sensibilities to them, star wars just has a different vibe all together. merchandise is key to the success of a land, thats what is going to generate the revenue to pay off the investment. say u sink 4 billion into the land, at least you know that is going to be paid off over time through all the merchandise sales and increased attendance. at this point it doesn't matter if the new two films are bombs, the franchise is so iconic you will always be able to sell the products and the fan base will attend. maybe its over estimate but its still present unlike any other available film series you could make into a land at disney world. who knows maybe there will be some happy side effects from this action, like dedicating the starwars merchandise to this new land so we cant buy yoda tshirts and darth vader candy dispensers at dinoland USA in the Animal Kingdom. SMH.

  5. #65

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    Re: What land/ride would you like to be WDW's potter swatter

    Quote Originally Posted by EC82 View Post
    This is such an amusing conversation/argument to me because everyone seems to miss exactly the point made here.

    Disneyland was "inspired by" many Disney movies, there were even intentionally small ride-throughs of those stories. But when it came to the big guns, the attractions that would drive people into his park on a regular basis, Walt Disney made sure the attractions and adventures were wholly original. Fads come and go, tastes change.

    For everyone that says "Star Wars" stands the test of time so well, you seem to forget that between 1983 and 1999, there WAS no "Star Wars," and everyone (except, perhaps George Lucas's accountants) was just fine. "Star Wars" kind of died a natural death. We're not facing that same life cycle with film-based properties today as vividly because of our relentlessly marketing-driven society. Even twenty years ago, film studios were not as "sophisticated" (or obsessed) with focusing on "existing IP." They created new things regularly, and Disney was the best at that.

    And during those times, Disney didn't take every film it had made and create an attraction around it, though that's what fans probably wanted. That was the time, for Disney, when the Tower of Terror, the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, even (for better or worse) California Adventure opened. Disney, as it had since the 1930s, believed in creating NEW entertainment, not just rehashing old ones.

    Walt Disney was pretty smart when he said, "You can't top pigs with pigs," but now Disney -- and, increasingly, consumers -- want more of the same. They're like that Tellytubby who screams "Again, again, again!" And they get it.

    The biggest problem with this way of thinking is the same problem that so much of the business world faces: Because it works today doesn't mean it will work in 10 years. You say, "People will never get tired of 'Star Wars,'" which to my way of thinking is a little like a 9-year-old boy in 1992 saying he'll NEVER not love Power Rangers. If his parents are wise, they'll say, "Of course you won't," but still steer him to something new. If they're not, they'll load him up on Power Rangers, Power Rangers and more Power Rangers until one day he says, "I don't like Power Rangers anymore." Then they'll look at his Power Ranger-filled bedroom and at their declining pocketbook and think, "Gosh, what did we do wrong?"

    As a "brand-management" company, Disney is betting that people will never tire of Marvel, that they can't get too much "Star Wars," that Pixar will always be the most sought-after name in animation, that its "tentpoles" will always be popular.

    Guess what? They won't.

    And when you pour a billion dollars into creating more, more, more, more, more of it at your theme parks, you're left with rides like the original "Star Tours" in 2006 ... rides that cost a lot of money that are going to be very expensive to replace when people don't fancy them anymore.

    Universal didn't quite create the same problem with Harry Potter because once its popularity fades, it will just be another part of the park. They've done the smart thing by driving attendance and getting people to discover the REST of what they have to get them to come back.

    Disney's done the opposite: Based on the state of attractions and the insistence on removing parts of the old parks to make way for the shiny new stuff, they're focused primarily on what's hot and new at the expense of everything else. (For instance, look at Pirates of the Caribbean with its now-mostly-meaningless inclusion of Johnny Depp; in another 10 years, he'll feel older than Sigourney Weaver in "Alien" at Great Movie Ride, but to remove him will be too costly, so they'll have an anachronistic ride whose novelty has worn off.)

    I'm not suggesting Disney SHOULDN'T pursue "Star Wars" at the parks. What I'm saying is, they're doing so on the theme-park level AND on the corporate level at the expense of creating things that are totally new, uniquely Disney and, as such, impossible to replicate. No one ever has created attractions quite as compelling as Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Big Thunder, Space Mountain or Tower of Terror, to name a few. But "Star Wars" or Marvel would have been JUST as much "at home" at Universal or even Six Flags than it would at Disney.

    And Disney's placing a bet that has already been proven to be an unwise one. The long-tail "Star Wars" bet didn't pay off for Lucasfilm itself for more than 15 years, until Lucas revived it with "The Phantom Menace." They've bought some time with the next "Star Wars" movies, but ... what if they're not good? What if the public reacts with a collective yawn the way they just have to "Star Trek"? What if six films in six years proves to be too much of a good thing?

    Then Disney is left holding the bag with none of its own originally developed, new "IP" (as everyone likes to call it) -- no "Lion King" or "Beauty and the Beast," no Tower of Terror or Expedition Everest, just a bunch of rides and attractions that people feel are stale and anachronistic.

    It's a gamble. Based on past history, I, personally, don't much care for the odds.
    Power Rangers came out in 93 it was a very important part of my childhood :B

    Kinda curious how movies are pretty uncreative these days but TV shows seem to be reaching out and trying more new and exciting things (or maybe its just nice to see the somewhat mainstream success of Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones).

    I'm a bit worried about all the Star Wars spamming myself since familiarity breeds contempt and all that. A movie a year is pretty risky for audience burnout but this is an era we haven't really been in before.

    I like your mention of the Pirates overlay, its kinda odd but I've noticed Pirates has become a ride that I go on less due to the changes. Not so much the Johnny Depp but moreso the repetitive dialogue that I used to complain about on here a few years ago lol. The marketing focus over proper experience is deffinitely an issue.


    Another easy example with resting too heavily on IP's is the simple fact that most sequels do better then the originals on their first day from the box office but usually lack the longevity of their precursors. Unless quality is also there it falls through. A non IP based ride might be trickier to market but could easily prove its value in the long term. Pirates seems to have done a decent job self promoting for years before the movie ever came out. If I'm not mistaken rides like Pirates and Mansion still appear pretty high up for guests as reasons for return visits.

    That said it is ALSO true that some modern IP's do make marketing schemes for people who have not been before more effective. It is still a shortcut however. Cross promoting is efficient and reduces risk but that does not mean it is the most effective strategy to take at all times. The disappointing thing here is Disney seems to have tipped away from the healthy mix.


    All these IP arguements that we're having are just silly. ANYTHING Disney creates will become an IP even if its origional and park exclusive its an IP and Disney can come up with inventive ways to sell and market it. I don't mind shirts about specific theme appropriate things anyways. It IS the Generic shirts that i hate. Seeing that they try to sell some shirts with Disney park logos shows a very odd disconnect with how the theme parks work. I believe one of the fans major concerns is the fact that Disney does not seem to be regarding the theme park division with the same level of autonomy and respect that they'd regard a platform like the Disney Channel with (I mean I think everything on the Disney channel is terrible too but I guess I can say they at least try for original terribleness o_O)


    Either way I guess we'll see this all play out. I don't believe Disney can rest as it is forever though. They're the biggest media company for now and they'll be safe for a good while. But it does feel like they're a bit creatively bankrupt with the constant need to buy established IP's rather than create new ones... Co-mingling brands in weird ways. I dunno it seems like even Eisner understood some brands are more effective when left as their own unique thing.
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  6. #66

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    Re: What land/ride would you like to be WDW's potter swatter

    Quote Originally Posted by Jspider View Post
    Another easy example with resting too heavily on IP's is the simple fact that most sequels do better then the originals on their first day from the box office but usually lack the longevity of their precursors. Unless quality is also there it falls through. A non IP based ride might be trickier to market but could easily prove its value in the long term. Pirates seems to have done a decent job self promoting for years before the movie ever came out. If I'm not mistaken rides like Pirates and Mansion still appear pretty high up for guests as reasons for return visits.
    The way the company works now, with its abundance of shareholders and the "beancounting" influence of corporate, a higher initial return on investment is preferred to a more modest initial reaction and steady longterm success. Sure Pirates and Haunted Mansion are great rides but they don't bring out sci-fi fanboys and Harry Potter geeks like an IP would...those are the guests that, while yes they may only give a huge initial success, is enough to keep the company happy nowadays, rather than a slower payoff.

  7. #67

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    Re: What land/ride would you like to be WDW's potter swatter

    Then the company is wrong. There is no other Harry Potter and there isn't going to be one for about another 30 years.

    Theme parks are also not movie theater box offices. If your attraction bombs you can't just shrug it off and hope that next year's blockbuster does better. You options are to either continually pay money to keep it in operation knowing that it is not performing well. Or spend even more money and time to tear it down before you can build some other blockbuster attraction in its place. In the multiple years it takes for the bad attraction to be torn down and the new hopefully better one to be built, that area is generating exactly zero dollars and may actually drive guests away because they either don't want to go to a theme park and see a huge construction site, or hold off on their vacations until the new ride is finished.

    These are very real structures and switching something out if it doesn't work takes a lot more time and money than just putting a different reel on the projector. You don't build the Empire State building thinking that if people don't show up we can just tear it down and build the Space Needle. If you run your theme park based around quarterly profits, it will fly off the rails very quickly. These things epitomize long term investments. A short lifespan for a theme park attraction is still measured in years. If you aren't thinking long term you are basically just throwing money away chasing trends that could be dead before the paint on your lovely new fake rock work is dry.
    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.

  8. #68

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    Re: What land/ride would you like to be WDW's potter swatter

    ^

    I have not been this scared of executive mentality since Eisner's "if it's good enough for Six Flags" days. I almost feel that their current "if you build it they will come" mentality is an easy excuse to decrease budget and creativity while at the same time trying to make it look like they're not. Sorry but they're not fooling anyone. Poor and lazy planning often comes back to bite TDO in the end.
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    Re: What land/ride would you like to be WDW's potter swatter

    Quote Originally Posted by toonaspie View Post
    I have not been this scared of executive mentality since Eisner's "if it's good enough for Six Flags" days.
    To be fair to Michael Eisner, I don't think he said that; I think it was Paul Pressler.

    Eisner made a lot of miscalculations from about 1995 (beginning with Michael Ovitz) through the end of his tenure at Disney. But ... he also was responsible for a renaissance period at Walt Disney Imagineering that led to things like: The Wonders of Life, Splash Mountain, Star Tours, Disney-MGM Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, the Tower of Terror, the Rock n Roller Coaster, Indiana Jones at Disneyland and many other attractions that showed off the BEST of what Imagineering could do and would today very much be seen as "Potter-swatters."

    I'd say Iger's tenure has been more damaging to the parks than Eisner's was, by far. Don't forget that under Eisner we also saw the growth of resorts and, for a while, the ability of Disney to compete with some of the best resorts in the WORLD for quality and impressiveness.

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    Re: What land/ride would you like to be WDW's potter swatter

    Quote Originally Posted by EC82 View Post
    To be fair to Michael Eisner, I don't think he said that; I think it was Paul Pressler.

    Eisner made a lot of miscalculations from about 1995 (beginning with Michael Ovitz) through the end of his tenure at Disney. But ... he also was responsible for a renaissance period at Walt Disney Imagineering that led to things like: The Wonders of Life, Splash Mountain, Star Tours, Disney-MGM Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, the Tower of Terror, the Rock n Roller Coaster, Indiana Jones at Disneyland and many other attractions that showed off the BEST of what Imagineering could do and would today very much be seen as "Potter-swatters."

    I'd say Iger's tenure has been more damaging to the parks than Eisner's was, by far. Don't forget that under Eisner we also saw the growth of resorts and, for a while, the ability of Disney to compete with some of the best resorts in the WORLD for quality and impressiveness.
    we also saw the beginning of the dissolving of the original future world under Eisner's reign as well. he was not exactly a saint but I agree people rip on him a little too harshly IMO.

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    Re: What land/ride would you like to be WDW's potter swatter

    Star Wars would be the logical choice for this approach if they truely wanted to swat potter. Star Wars has been consistently relevant since it's come out and not it's 35 years later and still popular. Even when there were no movies there was still books, comics, conventions, fan clubs, and of course merchandise. They could really create something special in DHS where they already do the weekends if they would just let their imaginations soar!

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