This could mean a new foundation, but Lucas is already the chairman of Edutopia, a organization that fosters innovation in schools, part of The George Lucas Educational Foundation. He’s used the Foundation to make donations to various philanthropic causes in the past, including a record-breaking $175 million to USC in 2006. In 2010, Lucas was among the first to sign the Giving Pledge, vowing to give away at least half his wealth to charitable causes.
Stop compiling those exhaustive lists of your favorite Star Wars books: A Lucasfilm source tells EOnline’s Leslie Gornstein that Episode 7 will be “an original story.” Gornstein goes on to say that “Episode 7 will literally be nothing you’ve ever seen or read before from the Star Wars universe.” Not surprised. Not surprised in the least…
I’m not going to be the first person to say this, and I certainly won’t be the last: Don’t expect the sequel trilogy to follow the existing Expanded Universe. We know that George Lucas has done story treatments for these films that he’s handing over to Kathleen Kennedy and Disney’s LFL, and Lucas’s take on the EU has been, for most of its existence, that they’re an alternate universe. He has been a distant and uncaring god, at least as far as post-Return of the Jedi is concerned. He has used things from the EU occasionally, but I wouldn’t expect straight adaptations of any of the existing books or comics – at least not as actual episodes.
Now that the dust is settled a little from yesterday’s bombshell, we can all take a deep breath and… Continue to freak out about how there are going to be more Star Wars movies. Um.
A good place to start would be Slashfilm’s roundup of yesterday’s conference call with Russ Fischer. It addresses and expands (and yes, in some cases, speculates) on some of those lingering questions you may have on Indiana Jones, Episode VII, Industrial Light & Magic and more.
One take I found rather interesting – if a bit paranoid – is from The Daily Intel’s Kevin Roose. He speculates that the deal is a financial dud and that Disney is getting Lucasfilm “for a steal.” I doubt this is the last we’ll hear on the financial side of this – and it’s clearly written from the perspective of a Star Wars cynic – but it’s something to keep in mind, at least. In another corner of New York Magazine, Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan and Margaret Lyons have 7 questions about Episode VII.
Of course, there’s speculation on the new trilogy everywhere. ThinkProgress’ Alyssa Rosenberg weighs in on how Disney could make Episode VII awesome with 5 ideas plucked from the pages of the Expanded Universe, while Forbes’ Alex Knapp has three options and AMOG’s Keith Veronese has five. (IGN even pulled one up from their archives.) I’m sure we’re going to be seeing everyone and their vat-grown clone throw their favorite book/comic/Boba fetish into the hat for the foreseeable future. We talked a bit about this on Tosche Station last night, but you’ll just have to wait on that one!
What will happen to the Expanded Universe? Well, it’s too soon to tell, honestly, but a sequel trilogy could certainly mean upheaval in the galaxy far, far away – and the post-Return of the Jedi continuity that’s been in the works for the past several decades. My bare bones advice? It’s time to start hardening yourself to a more fluid concept of continuity and canon. (You might also want to check out IGN’s Joey Esposito’s great post on the 007 approach to continuity.) But it is far, far too soon to speculate about what new Star Wars movies will bring to the party when we don’t know anything about them aside from their basic existence. (Yes, I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on all that later, but one thing at a time!)
One place we can speculate on is who’s going to handling that future in publishing. We’ve seen no indication that Disney is going to shake up the way Lucasfilm works, so we can assume that Lucasbooks will remain the guiding hand. But what of the licensees themselves? They all have contracts, so things will stay as they are for now. But once those contracts are up?
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.