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Hypable

Surprise! Disney suddenly bought LucasFilm for $4 billion earlier today, adding Star Wars to the long list of properties flying under the Disney flagship. The release also announced a brand new Star Wars feature film in 2015.

LucasFilm, owned completely by CEO George Lucas, had full creative control over the Star Wars franchise before today, and in celebration of their new purchase, Disney has announced that Star Wars Episode 7 will be targeting a 2015 release date, with plans to release additional Star Wars films every two to three years into the foreseeable future.

The exact sticker price for Star Wars, and other LucasArts intelligent property was $4.05 billion, half in cash, and the rest in 40 million shares of stock.

George Lucas will remain on the film as a creative consultant, Kathleen Kennedy, Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will be promoted to President of LucasFilm, though she will still be answering to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.

During the conference call, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that along with the acquisition they received a “pretty extensive treatment for what would be the next three [Star Wars] films.” Iger added they were pleased with the treatment and the films were in “early stages.” Iger also noted that Disney now has the rights to the Indiana Jones franchise, although Paramount will still retain a portion of the property.

The full press release was released by Disney earlier today.

Lucas was quoted to say that he believes that Star Wars belongs to a new generation of filmmakers.

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. 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. 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 gives Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

In the video below, George Lucas sits down with Kathleen Kennedy to discuss the reasoning behind his decision to sell Lucasfilm. He goes on to say that he’s very happy to hand over his company to Disney, knowing that it’s in “safe hands” and looks forward to seeing what they will do with the different franchises that he’s developed over the last few decades.

All that’s left now is speculation. Talk of a Force Unleashed film adaptation has been circulating for quite some time, but does the loose title of Star Wars VII dash those hopes? Will the film take place after Return of the Jedi as a continuing storyline, or will we be treated to something from the expanded universe?

Disney knows how to character brand, so we’re probably going to see the return of a few favorites. C3PO and R2D2 are shoe-ins for bit parts, but we might be able to expect a crowd-roaring semi-translucent cameo from Yoda as well.

How can Star Wars continue the saga?

There’s plenty of material in the existing Star Wars universe on which to base new stories, so will the new film be an adaptation of a story already told in the books? Will it be a fresh reboot? Will it be a completely original story?

Older fans might remember a quick snippet of an interview with Lucas from 1983 in which he discussed what he would do with Star Wars 7 if he were in control. Since he’s no longer in control, these plans might be a moot point, but it’s still a very interesting idea especially given how long it’s been since Return of the Jedi.

In ICONS: Intimate Portraits in a chapter titled The Dark Side of George Lucas, interviewer Denise Worrell asked Lucas about his sequel plans, to which he revealed an idea, set 37 years in future, that revisits sixty-year-old Jedi Luke Skywalker as he restructures the Jedi Council after the events of the original trilogy.

According to Worrell, Lucas said that Mark Hamill would get “the first crack” at the role, and the series of films would discuss ” the Jedi knighthood, justice, confrontation, and mentorship.”

At this point, it seems more likely that the films will follow a brand new adventure with a mostly brand new cast of characters, but it’s worth noting that most of the original Star Wars cast members are still alive and kicking.

A little perspective: The six Star Wars films over a span of 35 years have made $4.4 billion. It might be safe to expect Disney to run this machine until the wheels fall off in order to get a healthy return on their investment.

This isn’t the first piece of news from the George Lucas/Mickey Mouse relationship. Check out our full detailing of their romantic journey.

Additional reporting by Jeremy Baril and Joshua Nealey

What do you think? Excited for a new Star Wars?

  • http://twitter.com/hannahfofanna24 Hannah Ridgewell

    That is all we get!!!!

    • http://twitter.com/julegamache Jule Gamache

      The news just broke in the last 20 minutes. They haven’t had time to write the story yet!

  • http://twitter.com/SofMarie93 Sofia Thomas

    There’s a new Star Wars coming out?

  • Autumn

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

  • Matthew

    Oh hell yeah!!!!! Yes!!!!! :D <3

  • http://twitter.com/mxd mason

    Here’s the worst fucking idea I’ve heard all day.

    • K8_8K

      Only today? At least it isn’t “ever.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Noelle-Braaten/1368928376 Noelle Braaten

    remember how upset people were when disney bought marvel… didn’t hear any complaining when the avengers came out.. just sayin’

  • http://www.facebook.com/topherob Chris O’brien

    Darth bane path of destruction please

    • http://www.facebook.com/daren.essig Daren Essig

      or any of the old republic the books are so much better than the rebel years

  • http://twitter.com/Rantuch Nick Rantuccio

    The question now is: will Episode 7 take place in the Expanded Universe, or be a different form of direct continuation of episode 6?

    • Guest

      I think the only chance that there is for a decent movie would having it take place in the Expanded Universe. I do not think a direct continuation of episode 6 would work. There was already a lot of dislike towards the prequels and not to mention they would need completely different actors. I guess we can only wait and find out.

      • Kate

        Oh yeah, most likely Extended Universe…not with Luke/Leia/Han but probably their kids to maintain some kind of emotional connection to the Skywalker family, which episodes 1-6 focused on.
        I love me some Jaina & Jacen Solo, but I’m still not happy about more movies. I hate episode 1 and don’t care much for episode 2, but overall the six movies did have a cohesive arc with Anakin’s character. I really think the EU should just stay in the books.

  • Adr1s

    Marvel, Lucasfilm. Should we welcome our Disney Overlords?
    I love Disney and I love Star wars, but I think this is a terrible idea.

    • Kate

      Disney already owns a lot of things you probably don’t think about. :) They’ve been our overlords for years.

  • http://twitter.com/SofMarie93 Sofia Thomas

    I guess its time to finally watch the original trilogy.

  • http://twitter.com/sahina91 Sahina91

    are Disney going to buy everything??? imagine they made a move towards WB but i doubt that will ever happen.

    • http://www.facebook.com/george.lesperance.33 George Lesperance

      Roger Rabbit, Nuf said

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.john.sass Michael Sass

    Please tell me this is some sort of early Halloween prank.

  • charlton

    I think it will be a good thing,I’ve seen some movies and at the end thought “Damn,..Disney was involved?”

  • Bryan

    Wait, so this means Marvel and Star Wars have the same parent company? More importantly, Joss Whedon can now direct a Star Wars movie?!?!?!

    • Glaciusx

      oh my god YES PLEASE.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nikolausaldrich Nick Aldrich

      Joss will be directing Avengers 2, which comes out in 2015 as well. It’s safe to say he wont be involved with Star Wars. Personally, I think that’s good. Joss is great but his style doesn’t seem like it’d mesh with Star Wars very well. I’m hoping for Brad Bird!

  • antonia31

    Star Wars weekend at MGM is going to get SO AWESOME.

  • matthewhpg

    Okay, so let’s add up the tally:

    Disney- Toy Story (adorable), Avengers (mind-blowingly awesome), the Lion King (oh-my-God-don’t-even-look-when-his-dad-dies-brilliant), every good movie I loved as a kid and now.

    George Lucas- the Original Trilogy (awesome), Revenge of the Sith (epic), Attack of the Clones (meh…), the Phantom Menace (sucked, they wouldn’t have just used the Thrawn Trilogy?), the Clone Wars (let’s not talk about it), the Holiday Special (The worst thing ever in the history of ever).

    I don’t know…it could work.

  • Amanda

    Oh…my…God, a new Star Wars movie!

  • http://www.facebook.com/daren.essig Daren Essig

    the dark side works mysterious ways

  • oblyviate

    Wow – both excited and worried. But if they could adapt the X-wing books (the only ones I really re-read) that would be amazing. So much scope in there.

  • Jen

    WHAT IS GOING ON. THE WORLD HAS FINALLY GONE MAD.

  • K8_8K

    I generally enjoy Disney and Star Wars, but I’m reserving judgment. Sometimes two rights can make a wrong. Hopefully it becomes another right.

  • Ev42

    I would love for Disney to prove us all wrong and make these movies KICKASS, I really would… I just don’t dare hope for it.

  • Becca

    Noooooooooo!
    Oh sweet jesus this will be awful.

  • http://twitter.com/bowski477 Jill

    Remeber that time Lucas said there wouldn’t be a sequel to Return of the Jedi? Guess not…

  • DJ Duncan

    I can hear the angry fan boys screaming right now

  • LadyxDeadpool

    Every one lost their minds when Disney bought Marvel. But look how successful all the Marvel movies have been since. If there’s any company that cares about sticking to canon and doing justice to previous storylines, its Disney. They already have Star Wars Weekends and the Star Tours rides. They now this franchise and they know the fans.

    • LadyxDeadpool

      *Know.

  • tg

    I love Star Wars but….After the Phantom Menace I think we all thought that was enough…

  • http://twitter.com/akacj7 Caroline J.

    im assuming why everyone is complaining is because they think somehow disney will ruin star wars. like it’s too childish and campy and goody goody. george lucas’ prequel trilogy was GOD AWFUL. when he says he’s ready to pass it on to the next generation all i can say is FINALLY. disney knows its sh**. it wont ruin anything george lucas didn’t already ruin in the last 13 years. i am quite looking forward to this. it’ll be a valuable revamp to the series, and a financial boon to disney who are probably trying to find ways to compete with harry potter theme park.

  • http://www.facebook.com/isak.kohaly Isak Kohaly

    For a microsecond I SERIOUSLY thought “Oh ok, april’s fool” and then realized it’s halloween.

  • d3erudite

    As someone who was captivated by Star Wars and Disney as a child, I’m VERY excited to see where this goes.

  • ForFrodo

    I’m curious to see what the new movies are going to based on. Gearing towards the younger generations will most likely be their main goal. So I predict that the new movies are going to be more like the prequels in terms of tone, and plot… Thus, I expect total crap

  • RussellTurner

    My friend Luke Banda posted this on facebook and I have to agree with him.

    A couple of thoughts about Disney buying Lucasfilm and releasing a sequel trilogy:

    First of all, the reason the prequel trilogy sucked so bad is because George Lucas had COMPLETE CREATIVE CONTROL. Creative control is something Lucas did not have for the original trilogy, he had directors, editors, and producers streamlining his vision. Now that Disney owns the franchise, Lucas is no longer the top dog. He is now a “creative consultant”, which means he is going to have absolutely NO SAY in the direction of the new trilogy. That is a good thing.

    Second of all, there are plenty of more stories to be told in the Star Wars universe. There are plenty of stories already being told, just take a glance at the amazing comics being published, the amazing books being written, the amazing video games being released, and the amazing TV show, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, that is currently on air. All of these tales are being told by people other than George Lucas.

    Finally, and most importantly, let’s look at a two of the other assets that Disney bought. In 2006, Disney bought Pixar. Pixar then went on to create Ratatouille, WALL-E, and Up, arguably three of the company’s strongest films. In 2009, Disney bought Marvel Entertainment. Not only did this move basically save half of the comic book industry from bankruptcy, it gave us The Avengers film, arguably the single best superhero movie of all time. Why wouldn’t we expect Disney to do the same good things with Lucasfilm?

    Don’t worry guys, Disney’s got this.

  • Kavitha

    I’m nervous…

  • stargazer

    And the coffin of my Star Wars childhood which was built when the prequels came out has now had its final nail imbedded in the cold, unforgiving wood. The soil awaits.

    • Matt

      Lighten the fuck up will yah!!! Being dramatic much?

  • Shadezero

    This signifies either the beginning of something totally awesome or the worst thing to happen to my childhood since Episode I.

  • stargazer

    Something happened to my original comment. I guess that’s okay, since it was very melodramatic. After my initial “NOOOO!!!,” I’m a little excited and a little scared. I am not a fan of the prequels (Darth Maul was the only thing good in them–well, the only thing consistently good, and he died in the first movie), but I’m wondering if Disney will look to the large intertwining universe that has been created over the last thirty-so years to draw their movie ideas from.

    • stargazer

      Oh. I found my comment. Heheh.

  • http://twitter.com/chelsaat Chelsey Saatkamp

    If Brad Bird was the director that would be awesome. i’d totally watch it. Or Joss Whedon. Or better yet, Brad Bird as director with a Joss Whedon screenplay.

  • Jimmy Rose

    A lot of people will hate this because of some purist loyalty or because they just hate Disney. But let’s face it. Lucas had no business personally directing Episdoes 1, 2 and 3. He should have picked directors more capable than himself or at least ones who had more practice. The writing needed punching up. Disney will treat the franchise with care, and I think they’ll look for the best directors and writers. George Lucas stepping away (but remaining involved) is really the best thing for the franchise. Are there better partners than Disney, maybe. I think this is good. It makes sense to me.

  • NerdHerder313

    Do people not realize that Lucas has been planning to make it a 9 part saga since the beginning? Everyone just needs to not freak out.

  • michael

    i think if George stays on as the “Creative consultant” it might turn out as a watchable set of movies

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000513229131 Torbjørn Skjåk

    atleast dont replace the voice actors or fuck up anything in the star wars the clone wars animation!!! D::

  • http://twitter.com/xhpfanatic Grace Chen

    AW YEA, MORE STAR WARS BABY!

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