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Lucasfilm bought by Disney for $4 billion dollars, Star Wars Episode VII coming in 2015
Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The Walt Disney Company has made an agreement to purchase Lucasfilm, the company created and built by Star Wars creator George Lucas, for $4.05 billion dollars. Furthermore, Disney is planning to create and release Star Wars Episode VII, the sequel to Return of the Jedi, for release in 2015.
This is big news. Furthermore, it seems to fly in the face of what Star Wars creator George Lucas has said throughout his filmmaking career: to keep Lucasfilm an independently run film business and to never make another Star Wars sequel.
So what changed Lucas' mind?
“It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers," said Lucas in a Disney released press announcement. "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.
As I said earlier, Lucas has always kept a tight leash on Star Wars. Through his expanded universe of books, video games and TV shows, Star Wars has lived on. The further adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and the other heroes of that galaxy far, far away have made Lucasfilm billions of dollars more over the two movie trilogies.
Disney hasn't said what storyline Star Wars Episode VII will have or if any of the classic Star Wars characters or actors (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher or the others) will appear in the new movie. After Return of the Jedi and the fall of Darth Vader and the Empire, who will be the new villain in the Star Wars universe? What new characters will be introduced? How will Luke have continued on the Jedi legacy? Did Han and Leia marry and have children? Will the new Star Wars movies draw their story material from the Star Wars book universe?
"Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, the 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.”
And there's more. After the release of Star Wars Episode VII, Disney wants to release "more feature films [that are] expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future."
This news follows after the hiring of prolific movie producer Kathleen Kennedy to run Lucasfilm. At the time I speculated that it could mean Lucas was planning on doing something big and on the lowdown, and I called it.