In news that took many people by surprise. George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars franchise and his own film studio Lucasfilm, will sell both to Disney for 4 billion dollars. In return George Will buy into Disney for some 2 billion and become a significant shareholder. This deal will also include the sale of the Star Wars merchandise business, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound.
According to George Lucas ‘It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers’. Others drew parallel with Disney’s previous acquisition of Marvel, also for the sum of 4 billion.
In reaction to the deal both George Lucas and Disney announced that a new Star Wars trilogy would start with Star Wars Episode 7 and be released in 2015. After that, sequels are planned for 2017 and 2019. George Lucas would stay on as creative designer for these movies while other directors get a chance to expand the franchise into new territory. The live-action TV-show that has been planned may also become a reality under Disney’s guidance.
Here is a small clip in which George Lucas explains his position…
Personally I think this deal is wonderful. Disney is quickly putting itself on the map with franchises such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Tron Legacy. I do hope the new focus will be more on the princess Leia in a metal bikini type of entertainment and not Jar Jar Binks. Or in other words, I hope the directed is more of a Han Solo shoots first person than a Greedo shoots first person.
Disney is not expected to use the Indiana Jones franchise as Paramount studios has a stake in that as well (Stake!, get it?).