October 30, 2012
Disney Buys Lucasfilm, Plans New Star Wars Movies
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
A little bit ago, in a galaxy not so far away, news broke that Disney had purchased Lucasfilm Ltd and is planning to finish what George Lucas never started - the remaining Star Wars episodes.
The Walt Disney Company announced it would be purchasing Lucasfilm for about half of the $4.05 billion, plus 40 million stock shares.
"It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers," Lucas said in a statement. "I've always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime."
Disney will be taking control of all Lucasfilm's assets, including the Star Wars franchise and the Indiana Jones franchise.
The Mickey Mouse company also confirmed that Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound are included in the transaction.
Disney said it is planning to release the Star Wars Episode 7 movie sometime during 2015 and also confirmed that it plans to release a new feature Star Wars film every two to three years.
Star Wars has always been rumored to be built to go beyond the original Episodes, 4, 5 and 6. A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back producer Gary Kurtz proposed story elements for the 7, 8, and 9 episodes back in the 1970s.
For those of you worried about the direction Disney might take the upcoming Star Wars movies, Lucas will be serving as a creative consultant for the remaining Star Wars films, according to a Walt Disney statement.
"This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including 'Star Wars,' one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney's unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value," Disney chairman and chief executive officer Robert Iger said in a statement
Disney pointed out in its statement this transaction follows the successful acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, neither of which have yet to have Mickey or Goofy cameos.
Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm and will serve as executive producer of new Star Wars feature films.
Disney said more feature films would be expected past Episode 7 to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.