Yes, you read that headline right. Disney has acquired Lucasfilm in a deal estimated at just over $4 billion, meaning that the rights to the Star Wars films are now in their possession. Not only did the deal happen today, but Disney has already announced plans for Star Wars: Episode 7 to hit theaters in 2015, and episodes 8 and 9 to follow. Let me repeat that, just in case you missed it: A new Star Wars trilogy begins in less than 3 years!
George Lucas planned his epic space saga as a 9-part series, but after the sixth film, 2005’s Revenge Of The Sith, the future of the series looked uncertain. It was called even further into question earlier this year when Lucas announced his intention to no longer continue his blockbuster film-making, but those comments certainly didn’t sound like he would selling his studio and franchise.
But sold the franchise he has, meaning Disney now owns what are arguably the three greatest and most lucrative creative bodies in Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasfilm.
Check out the official statements on the sale (via Screen Rant) below:
“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “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.”
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. 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. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”
The fact that George Lucas is willing to pass Star Wars to someone else is astonishing, considering how controlling he has been over the franchise historically, but the fact that he is willing to opens endless possibilities. Of course, the next three films are huge, but think about a TV show or a Star Wars theme park. Yes, a theme park. I don’t know that there would be a better haven for sci-fi fans aside from the actual Death Star.
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