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Disney to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion

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Disney to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion
By Ben Fritz

Walt Disney Co. has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in a surprise deal that gives the media giant control of the "Star Wars" franchise.

Along with the purchase, Disney announced that it plans to release a seventh live-action "Star Wars" movie in 2015.

The agreement continues Chief Executive Bob Iger's strategy of growing Disney through huge acquisitions that give the Burbank company control of key pieces of intellectual property. In 2009, Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, a deal that resulted in this year's hit "The Avengers." In 2006, Disney acquired "Toy Story" and "Cars" maker Pixar Animation Studios for $7.4 billion.

"This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including 'Star Wars,' one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney's unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value," Iger said in a statement.

In addition to "Star Wars," Disney's purchase of San Francisco-based Lucasfilm will give it ownership of special-effects company Industrial Light & Magic, sound company Skywalker Sound and video game publisher LucasArts.

In June, "Star Wars" director and Lucasfilm owner George Lucas announced his plans to retire, and named producer Kathleen Kennedy as chief executive of Lucasfilm, which he wholly owns. Once the Disney acquisition is complete, Kennedy will become president of Disney's Lucasfilm unit and report to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.

For fans, the most stunning part of Tuesday's announcement is likely Disney's intention to make more "Star Wars" movies. Following the one targeted for release in 2015, the company said "more feature films [are] expected to continue the 'Star Wars' saga and grow the franchise well into the future."

In addition to new movies, Disney will look to use the "Star Wars" franchise throughout its businesses, including theme parks, consumer products, television and digital platforms.

"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," George Lucas said in a statement. "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."

Disney is funding approximately half of the purchase price with cash and the rest by issuing 40 million shares of stock. Regulatory authories must still approve the acquisition before it can close.


VIDEO: George Lucas Discusses The New Era Of STAR WARS; "I Get To Be A Fan Now"

As you should know by now, Disney have bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion, and have announced that the first in a trilogy of new Star Wars films will be released in 2015. In the following videos, George Lucas, Bob Iger and Kathleen Kennedy map out the future of the franchise for us.


Star Wars Episode 7-9

Recollection, speculation, and optimism now fuel the future of a galaxy far, far away!
tasman71 - 10/31/2012

Years ago, well, more like decades, I remember an interview George Lucas did on some talk show. As a young Star Wars fan, as I think this was after Empire Strikes Back just came out, when I heard him say this, I was stoked!

When asked about the future of this Star Wars thing Lucas had started and where it was going, GL replied{summarized from memory}, "It's a 9 part story about these two robots. Hopefully, I can make them all in my lifetime but, we will have to see how the next one does."

Once the internet arrived and people began posting videos, I began watching and waiting for that video to appear. Alas, it has not done so to this day.

As a ravenous and immersed Star Wars junkie, I received the Disney buying Lucasfilm with cautious uncertainty. Given what the Disney/Marvel alliance has done, I do have high hopes but, at the same time, those hopes are tempered by just how badly it can all get screwed up.

What we have in Star Wars is a massive universe with a continuity that GL has worked hard to ensure, even in the expanded universe. He and his inner circle dictate what may and may not be used in the novels. I know this as a good friend of mine has written several and told me he was advised what had to be removed when his first draft was submitted. He was told GL was keeping those particular topics on his own boards.

So, by that we can determine GL has a plan for 7, 8, and 9. What is that plan? Well, only he knows for sure but, I believe we can do some fairly certain deducing based on GLs track record.

From that long ago interview, it is fairly certain C3PO and R2D2 will be in the new movies. Based on the time gap between Prequel and Original, we can be certain that, if any Original characters appear, they will be older and may only appear briefly.

Taking those certainties into account, I pose what could very well be the beginning of Episode 7.

Set 30-40 years out of Return of the Jedi, our opening scene could be an aged Luke, Han, Leia, and Lando, reprised by the originals, boarding a still functioning Millenium Falcon for one final diplomatic mission. They board the Falcon, saying farewell to their remaining offspring, Jaina Solo and Ben Skywalker, along with a cadre of Jedi, Galactic Alliance personnel, and C3PO and R2D2.

Right as the Falcon begins the jump to lightspeed, it blows up.

Thus begins a new dark time as the Sith reappear as the culprits behind the deaths but, not the Sith under the rule of two, instead, the Sith as a focused army.

Episode 7 ends with the G.A. in disarray and full retreat and the Jedi Order severely hurt.

Episode 8 would cover the G.A. fighting a running war with the Sith fleet as Jaina, Ben, Lowbacca, Tenel Ka, and the droids seek a way for the 55 Jedi who remain to overcome the 125 Sith. It ends with them finding a lost world, where neither Jedi or Sith ever set foot but, the first Force users.

Episode 9 would find the Sith secure on Coruscant directing their fleet against the failing G.A. forces and all the Jedi joining Jaina and the others on the lost world. Once they are all their, the force spirits of legendary Jedi join force spirits of the first Force users to teach the current Jedi a new technique, Force Coordination. With this technique attuned within them, the Jedi head to Coruscant as the G.A. launches all it has at the Sith. It ends with climactic Jedi/Sith duels that ends the Sith and leaves 35 Jedi alive.

Throughout these episodes would be recollections of events that had gone before in the SWEU, such as the Vong, Jacen's fall, and Abeloth.

Thus, Episodes 10+ would have a firm footing to launch from.

Making new movies with recasts of the original characters, Luke, Han, Leia, etc., would be met with much fan disgruntlement, which is why Lucas set the trilogies far enough apart to avoid that trap. For, as much as he is not that great a script writer, Lucas is very much a visionary with incredible foresight.

So, if it goes down this way, here's the proof that I was right!

Then, I will do my happy dance! May the Force be with Star Wars, always!


--- Quote from: Gregzs on October 31, 2012, 11:03:45 PM ---

Star Wars Episode 7-9

Recollection, speculation, and optimism now fuel the future of a galaxy far, far away!

When asked about the future of this Star Wars thing Lucas had started and where it was going, GL replied{summarized from memory}, "It's a 9 part story about these two robots. Hopefully, I can make them all in my lifetime but, we will have to see how the next one does."

--- End quote ---

I remember him saying that as well. I also remember being disappointed when he later said he was gonna limit it to six films.  Glad to see this Disney moves brings the movies back to life! :D

I've been watching Clone Wars on youtube and it is surprisingly entertaining.


STAR WARS: Harrison Ford Wouldn't Mind Being Han Solo Once More

Everything is still a bit in the future...a little far far away. After Disney acquired LucasFilm Ltd. the pot of rumores has been boiling like crazy. Previously Mark Hamill decided to share his thoughts on starring once more as the adventurous Luke Skywalker, and even George Lucas himself confirmed that he had a basic idea of how Skywalker could be featured once more. It turns out Hamill isn't the only one interested in possibly reprising his original Star Wars role. EW is now reporting that Harrison Ford might be interested in returning as the charming, and rough pilot, Han Solo, as well. Apparently all three essential cast members (of the original trilogy) are open to the idea of bringing the iconic characters back to the big screen.

“Harrison is open to the idea of doing the movie and he’s upbeat about it, all three of them are,” said one highly placed source, referring to Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher, the trio that made a hyper-speed jump to global fame on May 25, 1977, the opening night for George Lucas’s original Star Wars film.


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