Film: Disney takes over LucasFilm, plans to rui—er, continue ‘Star Wars’ franchise

By Will Ashton | wa054010@ohiou.edu

Little by little, Disney seeks to find world domination.

After buying Marvel Studios for $4 billion in 2009, which paid off famously thanks to the massive success of The Avengers, it was announced today that the Mouse House has just bought LucasFilm in similar fashion for the same price, $4 billion. Current co-chair head of LucasFilm Kathleen Kennedy will now become president.

The biggest news, however, is that in addition to announcing the purchase of the studio, Disney will also be developing Star Wars: Episode VII for 2015, followed by Episodes VIII and IX.  The long-term plan is to have a new Star Wars film every two to three years.

Kennedy will be acting as executive producer on Episode VII.  While Lucas will remain a “creative consultant” on the film, this will be the first Star Wars movie that will be almost entirely out of Lucas’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 press release. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers.”

This news holds on the heels of the announcement earlier this year that Lucas will be moving away from LucasFilm and big-budget films to go back to his routes as an independent filmmaker.

LucasFilm also holds the Indiana Jones franchise, but Star Wars is Disney’s primary interest in the deal.  This deal will also likely push away a big money deal from 20th Century Fox, who have distributed and financed the Star Wars films since the beginning.  They may be still involved, much like Paramount remains some custody to Marvel films such as The Avengers.

In addition to new movies, Disney will also be pushing for Star Wars in other areas.  Those mentioned include games, parks, and television shows.  Star Wars: The Clone Wars already has a show on Cartoon Network, and rides featuring Star Wars have already been included into Disney World, so these changes are not as drastic.

“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,” Lucas said.

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