In an announcement that seems ripped from April Fools’ Day news, Lucasfilm has been sold to Disney for $4.05 billion. While George Lucas will remain part of his own company, the purchase gives Disney the rights to new installments of the iconic Star Wars franchise, with 2015 set for the beginning of a new trilogy.
CEO of Disney Robert A. Iger said in a statement, “In 2015, we’re planning to release Star Wars Episode 7 – the first feature film under the “Disney-Lucasfilm” brand. That will be followed by Episodes 8 and 9 – and our long-term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.”
A huge part of this deal also includes the rights to merchandise, video games, the long-planned TV series, and the technologies that Lucasfilm has pioneered such as Skywalker Sound. “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, in a statement. “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 Internet is sure to be squabbling over this news for a long time to come.