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Disney Acquires Lucasfilm; Promises Star Wars VII in 2015; Lucas Passes “To a New Generation of Filmmakers”

Look, I was expecting to be reeling from a hurricane this morning. I wasn’t expecting to hit the end of my work day with the news that Disney now controls all of its own properties, those of Marvel comics, and those of Lucasfilm. But it’s true. As confirmed by Reuters and several legitimate business sources, Disney has acquired Lucasfilm, and with Lucasfilm the Star Wars franchise. They’re also promising Star Wars Episode 7 by 2015, the same year as The Avengers 2 and Warner Bros. putative Justice League.

Here’s some of the incredible (and I mean that in the old sense, as seemingly the opposite of credible) quotes. From George Lucas:

For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next… 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.

On future films:

Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Warsfeature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

And the natural caveat:

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions. The agreement has been approved by the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm.

Aside from simple franchise and intellectual property rights, this means that Disney has also acquired Industrial Light and Magic, original parent company of Pixar, which is a strange, strange circle of events indeed. For now, it’s too early to say what affect this will have on Disney or Lucasfilm, aside from the fact that money is undoubtedly changing hands. Disney Princess Leia, a Brad Bird directed Star Wars, and Episode VII, a trade negotiation between Jack Sparrow and the Dutch East India company are just a few of the ideas folks are throwing out on twitter.

You can read the entire press release right here.

(art by James Silvani.)

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  • Anonymous

    … I … the … whaaaa…. not sure… o_O

    The Mayans were right

  • Anonymous

    The total payment for the transfer…well, it’s more than YOU could imagine.

  • Rachael

    Why do I suddenly have the Imperial March going ’round and ’round in my head…?

  • Inky

    I like the idea of someone other than Lucas directing the new films. The series could use some fresh blood and new ideas. But I REALLY don’t like that it looks like Disney is going to milk the franchise as much as it can while it runs it into the ground…hnnngh I don’t know how to feel about this at all.

  • Anonymous

    Apart from a knee-jerk, “Oh no, not another one,” a new Star Wars film interspersed with musical interludes (of the non-cantina variety) may be awesome. A whole new world, anyone? Anyone?

    I am optimistic. I think it will be harder for anyone to create a Star Wars film I like less than Episode 3.

  • Ducks in a Row

    I am glad it is passing to a new generation, but please don’t make the stormtroopers metrosexual in skinny jeans!

  • Anonymous

    I’d actually be somewhat okay with this news except…..Star Wars Episode 7!?!?! Ummm…..WHAT?!?! DO NOT WANT.

  • Supermorff

    Surely George’s greatest pleasure has been to see Star Wars passing from one generation to the previous one, not the next one?

  • Vintango

    Wait… isn’t “milking it to the point of absurdity” already what Star Wars is famous for? I mean, you can buy action figures of characters that appeared for a half second during deleted scenes. It’s a merchandising juggernaut with a zillion spin-offs and tie-ins…I’m not sure Disney could make it any worse (although I’m sure they’ll do their best).

  • James Fletcher

    This is like the third or fourth time I’ve read this headline, and I still don’t know what to think of it.

  • Shelley Barnard

    Oh, good!!! Considering what a bang-up job Disney did on “John Carter,” I’m sure they’ll make a stellar contribution to the Star Wars line. …. Oh, wait a minute…..

  • Brian Adkins

    I find this to be intriguing news.

  • Gern

    Yeah, they really blew it with The Avengers…and The Muppets…and all those Pixar movies…

  • Jesse Bailey

    Give it to some of the Pixar people, and the little kid in me will get excited. The cynical bastard in me will *still* be bastardly cynical, but the kid will rejoice if the right people get involved. Maybe hire Genedy Tartakovsky as *at least* a consultant!

  • OdinsEye

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this……
    But seriously this is awesome, who doesn’t want more Star Wars? Especially with Disney has done recently?

  • Anonymous

    Actually, as I get my thoughts together, and read some of these comments, I’m remembering that The Avengers and The Muppets were both made on Disney’s watch. Those movies were both first rate examples of creative freedom and respect for the source materiel and the fans. Maybe this could actually be awesome? I’m feeling more optimistic.

  • venturesister

    I didn’t think I could like Star Wars less. I really have no interest in seeing any more Star Wars films. The parks will probably get a new Star Wars land. I’m going to guess layoffs will follow, as with any acquisition. Lucas could have just retired and transferred the company to Kennedy, without her having to answer to male supervisors at Disney, who may or may not find a way to replace her completely.

  • Engler Pascal

    I would be kind of hyped if that would mean a movie adaptation of the Thrawn trilogy. But i fear, that like a series about the Rogue Squadron (whether live action or animated) this sadly will remain wishful thinking.

  • Jerilyn Nighy

    Horrible news for Dark Horse Comics. They’ll probably lose the Star Wars line once the contracts run out. Disney is wrecking Marvel with Marvel Now!, stupidly didn’t renew The Avengers, EMH, and have allowed many of the BOOM! Studios titles to wither on the vine. It hurts the smaller publishers when they lose the option to licensed properties. Remember, SLG used to have licenses to several Disney properties, which they did a bang up job with, only to lose them.


    Hey people who no longer like Star Wars that posted in this thread: You’ve been replaced. That’s right. Your opinions and feelings about Star Wars are not longer necessary because younger kids, who are not jackasses, and have a sense of whimsy LOVE STAR WARS. THEY ARE MAD FOR STAR WARS! These are new days for SW and your joining them, is no longer required. Also, Kathleen Kennedy is going to produce three movies that will make BILLIONS of Dollars. Trust me, the one guy she answers to Alan Horn, is going to let her run with it.

  • TKS

    I don’t think Disney has anything to do with Marvel Now!.

  • TKS

    For the most part, it seems that Disney gives the companies it owns a fair amount of freedom (as long as it doesn’t have the “Disney” name on it.) You don’t see them trying to “Disney-ify” ESPN.

    All in all, I suspect this will allow Lucasfilm more freedom to pursue it’s interests, much like it did for Marvel.

  • Rigoberto R Escobar

    Pray they have the writers behind Pixar or Marvel Studios do the scripts

  • Rigoberto R Escobar

    I liked John Carter and what Gern said

  • Rigoberto R Escobar

    This may explain why they are killing off so many of the books that I loved like Star Wars:Legacy, It’s a conspiracy!

  • Anonymous

    Disney has handled Pixar and Marvel well, with Cars 2 being the only creation I didn’t enjoy. With that said, I am disappointed that we are still continuing with the same story. Star Wars is vast and huge, can’t we move on to another story?

    Take me to the underbelly of Coruscant and follow an antihero or show me Naboo political maneuvering with the kind of people that politics attracts. Just do something where a whole galaxy isn’t involved. I like the Star Wars universe much more than I do the films. The story isn’t what I most remember about my first viewing of the films, it is the scene in the cantina with the wonderful music and mingling of aliens.

  • Jerilyn Nighy

    Lucasfilm has gone easy on fan filmmakers and cosplayers. Will the litigious Disney do the same?

  • Anonymous

    Oh my god can they use story lines from the extended universe of certain novels? I would kill to see some of those books made into movies.

  • Lady Viridis

    While I don’t think we necessarily *need* another Star Wars film, I’m pretty sure that it would be hard to make anything worse than the prequel trilogy. Unless they continue Lucas’s decision to film the entire thing in front of a green screen. :/ Disney, you have ridiculously deep pockets. BUILD SOME DAMN SETS. There’s a reason Episode III looks awful now while LotR still looks amazing.

  • Alenkloshh

    Oh god. Oh god. I want to be optimistic but….

  • Magic Xylophone

    I’m picturing a rebel blockade runner falling under the shadow of a vast Imperial Star Destroyer.

  • metazai

    I don’t know . . . I can IMAGINE an AWFUL LOT . . . .

  • Anonymous

    Ditto, big time.

  • Anonymous

    You prefer Episode 3 to Episode 1?!

  • Anonymous

    There have been highly successful Star Wars book series for years, with collectively a lot of new character and story lines that have had a couple decades at least to mature and be refined. There’d be nor shortage of inspiration for stories that readers had responded to that would also likely be of interest to movie goers (who largely aren’t familiar with the books). I still occasionally read a Star Wars book to catch up on the status of characters or consequences of significant events I’d read about 20 years ago.

  • Captain ZADL

    I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it again.

  • Andy_K

    what. the. fuck.
    is Lucasfilm doing bad enough to sell out in such a way that not even Star Wars/Indiana Jones memorabilia can save it? or is that George Lucas just giving an excuse to retire?
    besides, if you ask me, SW doesn’t need a new film. not with the whole Expanded Universe showing what happened to everyone after the big party in Endor (Leia became a friggin’ Jedi at some point, for Chrissakes!), introducing some new characters (like Leia and Han’s kids), setting up new villains (one of said kids becomes a Sith down the road)… aside from both Clone Wars cartoon series (of which I don’t know which of them is the official, though I lean towards the CG one, which had a movie tie-in and all).
    anyway, the only way someone could make a new SW movie would be either adapting a story arc from the comics, but there’s just too much material there to make one conceivably decent film. besides, Return of the Jedi already provided enough closure for the saga as it was.