Disney buys Lucasfilm, plans sequel trilogy to start in 2015

Yes, it’s official and it is 100% for real: Disney has acquired Lucasfilm. (Here it is on StarWars.com.) We’ll know more details in a few minutes but some of the points from the press release and conference call:

  • George Lucas to be “creative consultant” on franchise; Kathleen Kennedy will continue to lead company under Disney.
  • Offer is for 4.05 billion dollars – half in cash, half in Disney stock.
  • Star Wars: Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015 with more films in the future – “every 2 to 3 years.” New movies are in “early stage development.”
  • Parks, games and television ARE on the menu. Disney “really likes” the franchise’s potential on TV. Speculation: Live action series on ABC? Star Wars folks on Once Upon A Time? Eek!
  • Lucasfilm’s value is almost all on the Star Wars franchise. Shocking!
  • Indiana Jones has “encumbrances” due to Paramount, so I wouldn’t expect to hear anything solid quickly.

Here’s a video where George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy talk about the future of the movies:

  Per the release employees will be remaining at their currently locations, so hopefully this is all great news for our friends at Lucasfilm. On the official blog, Pablo Hidalgo writes a bit about the winds of change; Steve Sansweet has weighed in as well, and J.W. Rinzler looks at the ‘history’ of Episodes VII-IX.

42 thoughts on “Disney buys Lucasfilm, plans sequel trilogy to start in 2015

  1. Aaron

    I haven’t had many moments in my life when I was simply, literally speechless. This is one. What is going on again?

  2. eliz

    I know! It’s simple, Disney is buying Lucasfilm & per the call, including ILM & Skywalker Sound.

    Waiting to hear more details on the call now- but it does make sense on multiple levels. I just hope they do more with it than they did with Muppets.

  3. Josh

    What. The. Hell.

    Episode VII. In three years.

    Of everything Star Wars related I thought I would see today, this was not one of them.

  4. Josh

    Also, doesn’t this mean that they’re going to have to start production like, now? So, they must know what it’s going to be about.

    Mark? Harrison? Carrie? Empire, Sith, Vong? Lucas-directed, or someone new? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

  5. Annalee

    Yup, this is a news-bomb.

    I’ve got all kinds of Thoughts jumbled up. Mostly glad it looks like folks will be keeping their jobs.

    I am cautiously optimistic that cool things will happen, but I’m sympathetic to folks who are really scared that Disney’s going to wreck their favorite thing about Star Wars, whatever their favorite thing happens to be.

    My favorite thing about Star Wars is the women in it. So I hope Disney treats them right.

  6. Aaron

    We’ll probably hear about a lot of Star Wars related fatalities in the coming hours. Just imagine somebody told you that while you were driving your car over a bridge.
    Honestly, LFL, you can’t pull that stuff on us. Some of us are old (like beyond 30) and have heart conditions (ever since the prequels).
    Still, thanks for my current emotional state. It’s nice to feel like flying on a cloud of total WTF-ness every once in a while.

  7. SirRogue

    WHAT THE WHAT.

    Agreed, Aaron. I likewise was stricken dumb in my seat by this news. I finally had to double check my calendar to confirm it was not April 1.

    And three years until what presumably will be the start of a new trilogy? That’s not as much time as it sounds. This tells me that either Disney doesn’t really know what they are getting into (seems unlikely) or that someone has already had some kind of plan for this in the works for some time.
    Dare we hope that without Lucas and his yes men in charge, we can finally get some decent movies? Hopefully with it out of George’s hands, we can count on the trademark Disney QC to make sure these new films go through a competent writers’ room to punch up the scripts and make them worthy of the brand.

    And as Josh noted, what time period are we talking? Can we expect cameos from Mark and Carrie? Harrison has made it abundantly clear that he’s done. How far out will this story be set.

    And taking that another step, what happens to the EU? “The future” has always been the safest place for novelists and game designers to play and maintain the EU canon, because we were always told there would never bee any films after RotJ. Disney is generally more interested in immediate monetization than exploring deep continuity. Are we about to get another canonball splash, the way The Clone Wars destroyed the prequel EU?

    BRAIN CAN HANDLE ALL THE POSSIBILITIES!!!

  8. Beth

    I heard about this via radio on the way home. Had to check Club Jade to make sure it was not some universe size joke. As with many changes to the SW franchise, I am witholding judgement. Hoping for the best here…………

  9. Rich

    Immense.

    The only business-related news that would shock me more would be if Apple were to announce they were buying Microsoft…

  10. Fred Herman

    I’m pessimistic, though willing to be pleasantly surprised. Say what you want about the prequels’ quality, but Episodes I-VI inclusive are, for all their spectacle, intensely personal films on Lucas’ part. From here on out, it’s likely to be storytelling by committee.

  11. sean

    The more Star Wars the better! I’m so excited! I want Spielberg to direct one! Heck, I want to be in one/be on the crew of one! SO CRAZY HAPPY!!!!!!!

    For everyone skeptical of the Disney ownership, remember: they also own Marvel, and Marvel is still definitely Marvel.

    Anyone got director they want?

  12. Arild

    I posted a shortlist for wanted directors on twitter: Whedon, Arronofsky, Bloomkamp, Jackson, Nolan

  13. Stephanie

    I am trying my best to be optimistic here, though I’m pretty shocked. The prequels and certain EU arcs have already taken Star Wars in a narrative direction that I don’t like, but I’ve managed to stay happily, enthusiastically devoted to all of the OT, parts of the EU, and even parts of the PT that I really like. I don’t suspect Disney can spring anything on me that the EU hasn’t already.

    The thing that really bugs me about this is how Disney just announced “More Star Wars movies! In three years!” No plan for plot, cast, narrative, direction, number of films, what this does to the EU. No details included at all. That feels like a slight fans. The way they just sprung that on us, it feels like Disney already has a profound lack of understanding, or at least a lack of respect for us. I’d be much happier to learn this news if I had some more details. I’ve never related to the fans who have felt that they’ve been given the run-around with Star Wars, but now I’m starting to relate.

    I simply hope Disney understands that Star Wars isn’t like Marvel or James Bond or another franchise that has been constantly and consistently “re-booted” over time. It has a very strict narrative continuity that has been (relatively) well controlled, even as it’s quality veered. I hope Disney maintains that legacy with respect.

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  15. Dom

    I haven’t been this shocked by a news story since September 11, 2001. I have so many questions, so much to say.

    Back in 2005, I silently mourned the fact that I would never appear as an alien in a Star Wars movie. Now, there’s a new hope.

  16. Catharine

    I used to think Disney wanted me to die young with all the stuff on their ridiculous channel, but now I know for sure.
    Fingers crossed that they were bluffing about the movie.

  17. Eliz

    Keep in mind that fans were not the true audience for this announcement, it was for the money people, stockholders, investors.

    They will share more fanish details once the money people are settled. And this way they get more exposure.

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  22. Nancy K

    SW has always meant something deeply personal to me and none of this takes that away.

    As a friend of mine pointed out elsewhere, “Marvel and Pixar show that Disney owned studios can produce really amazing stuff without any obvious signs of Disney interference.” Which makes me optimistic.

    But at the same time…I’m not sure how comfortable I am with SW (presumably) becoming an even bigger, more immortal juggernaut than it was before.

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