Disney has made some major waves over the past few days: there's been a huge amount of new Star Wars news, and it's obviously thrown fans into a fit — for understandable reasons. There was no sign of any new Star Wars films for over a decade, and now fans have three to look forward to — anyone would get excited.
However, there was a smaller story that seemed to slip by relatively unnoticed: Disney CEO Bob Iger quietly updated the company's policy concerning characters smoking on-screen. At first, it sounds like nothing — Disney characters haven't smoked in decades — but it starts to make more sense when the company's more recent acquisitions come into play.
Disney wasn't just updating its "No Smoking" rules for its own characters, but for all of its properties — including those from Marvel and Lucasfilm.
During the same press conference that announced the new Star Wars films, Iger confirmed (via The Wrap) that no Disney character — including those from Marvel and Lucasfilm — will ever light up on-screen again.
Iger stated, "We are extending our policy to prohibit smoking in movies across the board: Marvel, Lucas, Pixar and Disney films ... in terms of any new characters that are created for any of those films, under any of those labels, we will absolutely prohibit smoking in any of those films."
Moving forward, it's likely that movie-goers won't notice the lack of nicotine: it's just not something that people really latch onto when watching a movie. That being said, it does affect Marvel's properties, as roughly 43 percent of the comic publisher's films have featured smoking in some way, shape or form on-screen.
The only major exception to the rule is that if Disney were using a historical figure that would have been smoking, the company will remain historically accurate.
Iger said, "We've been doing a movie on Abraham Lincoln, he was a smoker and we would consider that acceptable."
With Star Wars, it's not a huge deal — the only real signs of smoking occurred during the cantina scene in Episode IV — but with Marvel, it'll likely have more of an impact. The question is: will the fans notice?
In all likelihood, probably not.