Today, in a surprising and landmark deal, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that the Walt Disney Company will acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. This purchase gives Disney the rights to the Star Wars canon, as well as all the operating business that are associated with the company, including Industrial Light and Magic and Skywalker Sound.
Disney has also announced that it will continue the story of Star Wars by releasing Star Wars Episode 7, with Episodes 8 and 9 to come, as well. Episode 7 will be released in 2015. Also, more films will be created in the future, with releases taking place roughly every 2-3 years. On the theme park front, executives mentioned that this could lead to theme park attractions, as well; however, only time will tell. It does appear that this may be more geared towards the global parks, like Hong Kong and Shanghai, for the time being.
According to Bob Iger, “This acquisition gives Disney infinite inspiration and opportunities to continue the Star Wars Saga.”
“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 give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”
This purchase will also allow Disney to have rights to the Indiana Jones franchise as well, however, the purchase of LucasFilm was based off of the Star Wars Franchise and it’s potential.
The Lucasfilm purchase follows Disney’s already successful purchases of both Pixar and Marvel in recent history.