Disney announced today that it has acquired Lucasfilm in a $4.05 billion dollar deal. Also mentioned in the press release is the intent to release Star Wars Episode VII in 2015, with Episodes VIII and IX following. Here are a few important quotes from the press release.
“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.”
Based on that quote from George Lucas, we can expect to see a huge amount of new Star Wars material in the future. Of particular interest is the mention of theme parks. Disney parks already have the Star Tours ride, could this acquisition lead to entire Star Wars sections of parks?
From Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company:
In 2015, we’re planning to release Star Wars Episode 7 – the first feature film under the “Disney-Lucasfilm” brand. That will be followed by Episodes 8 and 9 – and our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years. We’re very happy that George Lucas will be creative consultant on our new Star Wars films and that Kathleen Kennedy, the current Co-Chair of Lucasfilm, will executive produce.
We already mentioned the announcement of Episodes 7 – 9, and here we see the beginnings of Lucas’ involvement in this new trilogy. In addition to this statement, StarWars.com has posted a video to YouTube of George Lucas discussing the future of Star Wars films. He says, “I have story treatments of 7, 8 and 9, and a bunch of other movies.” This could mean that the long term plans of a new Star Wars film every two to three years doesn’t just mean Episodes 7 – 9, but plans for films going on much further than that. Pablo Hidalgo of Lucasfilm has a post on the Star Wars Blog discussing when he heard the news of this new trilogy that is definitely worth a read.
This is very big news for Star Wars and there are currently a lot of unknowns. What does this mean for the Expanded Universe? Will Del Rey and Dark Horse Comics keep the licenses, or for example, could Marvel soon be producing Star Wars comics again? Will The Clone Wars continue on Cartoon Network or move over to a Disney network such as Disney XD? What about the live-action television show that has been in the works? Answers to these questions will likely arise in the coming weeks and months and EUCantina.net will work hard to keep everyone informed. It’s also important to remember, while there are many unknowns at the moment, there is a lot to be excited about. Lucas making sure that Star Wars will be able to continue into future generations can only be described as a good thing.