Disney has purchased Lucasfilm Studios, the brainchild of Star Wars director George Lucas, for a cool US$4.5-billion, according to reports. And what’s more, the film giant plans to release a new Star Wars film — Episode VII — by 2015, with Lucas himself as a “creative consultant.”
“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,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.
Disney will take full ownership of Lucasfilm, its portfolio of technologies and its franchises.
Lucas, who has expanded the Star Wars franchise — initially a run of three films in the late 1970s and early 80s that went on to become cinematic classics — to include a portfolio of television shows, video games and a trilogy of film sequels, expressed his belief that Star Wars should outlive its creator, and has put this task in Disney’s hands.
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” Lucas said in a statement. ”I’ve always believed thatStar 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.”