Disney Purchases Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 Billion USD, Episode VII Set for 2015 Release
October 30, 2012 7:47 PM
Bob Iger and George Lucas
(Source: The Walt Disney Company)
Disney will make Episodes 7, 8 and 9 as well
"Star Wars" will be making its way back to the big screen now that The Walt Disney Company has acquired Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 billion USD.
Disney said it is buying Lucasfilm Ltd. with cash and stock, and the deal includes Lucasfilm's high-tech production companies (Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound) and the rights to the "Indiana Jones" franchise.
Even though George Lucas, the creator of
and founder of Lucasfilm Ltd., said he was done making new versions of his mega popular epic space opera, he's going to allow Disney to bring "Star Wars" back to life.
Disney is currently working on a new "Star Wars" trilogy, beginning with "Episode 7." The new episode is due out in 2015, and Episodes 8 and 9 will shortly follow. According to Disney, the new trilogy will follow Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo beyond "Return of the Jedi," which was the third film in the original trilogy (but is chronologically the sixth film in the franchise).
"For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see 'Star Wars' passed from one generation to the next," said Lucas. "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."
Kathleen Kennedy, the current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become the president of the unit. She will also be executive producer for the new trilogy.
Kennedy has been working with Lucas and a team of writers to discuss the storyline for "Episode 7." Kennedy said it's essential to have Lucas present as a key advisor during the making of the next trilogy, and she even referred to him as "her Yoda." Lucas has provided his story lines for the new trilogy.
"I always said I wasn't going to do any more and that's true, because I'm not going to do any more, but that doesn't mean I'm unwilling to turn it over to Kathy to do more," said Lucas.
Lucas has received quite a bit of criticism in the recent past due to his decisions involving "Star Wars." Despite creating the hugely popular original trilogy in the 1970s and 80s, he quickly became the bad guy when
the second trilogy
was released. Many fans disliked the new story line, which took place prior to the original trilogy. Fans also hated new characters, such as Jar Jar Binks.
To make matters worse, Lucas
changed some key details in the original trilogy
(such as the scene where Greedo takes the first shot at Han Solo in a bar) and released 3D versions of the movies earlier this year, marking Lucas as a "sell out."
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