Disney Buys Lucasfilm, Announces New Star Wars Movie For 2015

Less than three years after buying Marvel for $4 billion, The Walt Disney Company has announced it will acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in cash and stock. With the news arrives word that a new Star Wars movie will be released in 2015.

Current Lucasfilm co-chair Kathleen Kennedy will become Lucasfilm president, reporting to Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, and serve as brand manager for the Star Wars franchise. In addition she will be executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, including Star Wars Episode 7 in 2015, “with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.”

During a conference call this afternoon with investors, Disney CEO Robert Iger indicated new installments will be released every two to three years after that. “We love the fact that this will take its place in our live-action strategy as a known and loved brand,” he said. “We really like Star Wars’ potential on TV, and Disney XD would be a great home for that.”

George Lucas, who announced his plans to retire in June, will serve as creative consultant on the franchise.

“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 statement. “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.”

Under the terms of the deal, Disney acquires full ownership of Lucasfilm, including its live-action film production, animation, visual effects and audio post-production.

Lucas founded Lucasfilm Ltd. in 1971 with the release of THX1138, followed four years later by by the creation of the pioneering special-effects company Industrial Light & Magic, Sprocket Systems (renamed Skywalker Sound in 1979) and Lucas Licensing. Those divisions were joined over the next three decades by Lucasfilm Games (later LucasArts), Lucas Online and Lucasfilm Animation.

UPDATE: Lucas and Kennedy talk about the sale to Disney and the future of Star Wars in the video below.

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Comments

  • http://twitter.com/sillymander sillymander

    It’s not April. It’s not even the first. What the heck?

  • http://twitter.com/WarCraftIV HED

    In the words of a poorly translated Darth Vader: “Do not want”

  • Saladin21

    Disney has done better with Star Wars than Lucas has since the late 90s.  This is very promising.

  • Andrew DiNanno

    I don’t believe it.

  • GLJeremy
  • sillygoose

    HED: would you rather more Episode 1-3 type movies?  I think this is a great idea after seeing what Disney did with Marvel

  • LazyBuffalo

    Very interesting.  Who knew Star Wars was worth just 50 million more then Marvel :).

  • http://twitter.com/JRSinason Joshua Sinason

     similar to how star trek gave us something different and interesting after Roddenberry wasn’t involved (DS9) I’d be interested in seeing a Star Wars without as much Lucas influence, not saying it would be better or worse but I’m interested.

  • http://twitter.com/JRSinason Joshua Sinason

     similar to how star trek gave us something different and interesting after Roddenberry wasn’t involved (DS9) I’d be interested in seeing a Star Wars without as much Lucas influence, not saying it would be better or worse but I’m interested.

  • http://twitter.com/JRSinason Joshua Sinason

     similar to how star trek gave us something different and interesting after Roddenberry wasn’t involved (DS9) I’d be interested in seeing a Star Wars without as much Lucas influence, not saying it would be better or worse but I’m interested.

  • http://twitter.com/JRSinason Joshua Sinason

     similar to how star trek gave us something different and interesting after Roddenberry wasn’t involved (DS9) I’d be interested in seeing a Star Wars without as much Lucas influence, not saying it would be better or worse but I’m interested.

  • http://twitter.com/JRSinason Joshua Sinason

     similar to how star trek gave us something different and interesting after Roddenberry wasn’t involved (DS9) I’d be interested in seeing a Star Wars without as much Lucas influence, not saying it would be better or worse but I’m interested.

  • http://twitter.com/JRSinason Joshua Sinason

     similar to how star trek gave us something different and interesting after Roddenberry wasn’t involved (DS9) I’d be interested in seeing a Star Wars without as much Lucas influence, not saying it would be better or worse but I’m interested.

  • http://twitter.com/JRSinason Joshua Sinason

     similar to how star trek gave us something different and interesting after Roddenberry wasn’t involved (DS9) I’d be interested in seeing a Star Wars without as much Lucas influence, not saying it would be better or worse but I’m interested.

  • http://twitter.com/WarCraftIV HED

    I’d rather no more movies.

  • http://twitter.com/WarCraftIV HED

    I’d rather no more movies.

  • http://twitter.com/WarCraftIV HED

    I’d rather no more movies.

  • http://twitter.com/WarCraftIV HED

    I’d rather no more movies.

  • http://twitter.com/WarCraftIV HED

    I’d rather no more movies.

  • http://twitter.com/WarCraftIV HED

    I’d rather no more movies.

  • http://twitter.com/WarCraftIV HED

    I’d rather no more movies.

  • Tyler

    Good. Star Wars needs all the help it can get. 

  • Tyler

    Good. Star Wars needs all the help it can get. 

  • Tyler

    Good. Star Wars needs all the help it can get. 

  • Tyler

    Good. Star Wars needs all the help it can get. 

  • Tyler

    Good. Star Wars needs all the help it can get. 

  • Mechano

    Crap… the star wars comics are huge part of dark horse… I wonder how big of a blow this will end up being to them.

  • Jagrel12

    Um, you mean 500 million?

  • Jagrel12

    No, you’re right.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VCDJBCLLIO5OLCDXE7HNXDOPLE Gene B

    Disney can redo the movies to get some cross-branding:
    Episode 1 – Get rid of Jar-jar and replace him with Goofy.  
    Episode 6 – The face under Darth’s mask is really Walt Disney himself.
    R2 and C3P0 can be replaced by Wall-e and EVA.
    Princess Leia can be Princess

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506686230 Michael Wojciak

    No mention of how long before the Avengers battle Darth Vader on the big screen. I’m predicting 2019.

  • Travis

    Holy Shit!  I am excited!

  • Demoncat4

    guess this means now the star wars movies besides the sequels like ones from the star wars novels can become a reality though wonder  if they will be able to get any of the old cast like from the ot or the prequels back to do a new film including harrison ford who turned down 40 million to be han again . plus wonder if this means the star wars tv show will be closer to reality now

  • Demoncat4

    guess this means now the star wars movies besides the sequels like ones from the star wars novels can become a reality though wonder  if they will be able to get any of the old cast like from the ot or the prequels back to do a new film including harrison ford who turned down 40 million to be han again . plus wonder if this means the star wars tv show will be closer to reality now

  • Demoncat4

    guess this means now the star wars movies besides the sequels like ones from the star wars novels can become a reality though wonder  if they will be able to get any of the old cast like from the ot or the prequels back to do a new film including harrison ford who turned down 40 million to be han again . plus wonder if this means the star wars tv show will be closer to reality now

  • Demoncat4

    guess this means now the star wars movies besides the sequels like ones from the star wars novels can become a reality though wonder  if they will be able to get any of the old cast like from the ot or the prequels back to do a new film including harrison ford who turned down 40 million to be han again . plus wonder if this means the star wars tv show will be closer to reality now

  • Demoncat4

    guess this means now the star wars movies besides the sequels like ones from the star wars novels can become a reality though wonder  if they will be able to get any of the old cast like from the ot or the prequels back to do a new film including harrison ford who turned down 40 million to be han again . plus wonder if this means the star wars tv show will be closer to reality now

  • Demoncat4

    guess this means now the star wars movies besides the sequels like ones from the star wars novels can become a reality though wonder  if they will be able to get any of the old cast like from the ot or the prequels back to do a new film including harrison ford who turned down 40 million to be han again . plus wonder if this means the star wars tv show will be closer to reality now

  • Demoncat4

    guess this means now the star wars movies besides the sequels like ones from the star wars novels can become a reality though wonder  if they will be able to get any of the old cast like from the ot or the prequels back to do a new film including harrison ford who turned down 40 million to be han again . plus wonder if this means the star wars tv show will be closer to reality now

  • Demoncat4

    guess this means now the star wars movies besides the sequels like ones from the star wars novels can become a reality though wonder  if they will be able to get any of the old cast like from the ot or the prequels back to do a new film including harrison ford who turned down 40 million to be han again . plus wonder if this means the star wars tv show will be closer to reality now

  • Lewis4510

    With this deal Disney has just become the media equivalent of the Death Star. And the powers that be at Warners, Fox, Universal, etc. just took a collective dump in their pants.

  • Lewis4510

    With this deal Disney has just become the media equivalent of the Death Star. And the powers that be at Warners, Fox, Universal, etc. just took a collective dump in their pants.

  • Lewis4510

    With this deal Disney has just become the media equivalent of the Death Star. And the powers that be at Warners, Fox, Universal, etc. just took a collective dump in their pants.

  • Lewis4510

    With this deal Disney has just become the media equivalent of the Death Star. And the powers that be at Warners, Fox, Universal, etc. just took a collective dump in their pants.

  • Lewis4510

    With this deal Disney has just become the media equivalent of the Death Star. And the powers that be at Warners, Fox, Universal, etc. just took a collective dump in their pants.

  • Lewis4510

    With this deal Disney has just become the media equivalent of the Death Star. And the powers that be at Warners, Fox, Universal, etc. just took a collective dump in their pants.

  • Lewis4510

    With this deal Disney has just become the media equivalent of the Death Star. And the powers that be at Warners, Fox, Universal, etc. just took a collective dump in their pants.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WXFFNEBSNE3DG3NKTFFQDGRK7U Dandan

     I would be happy with a new Star Wars movie as long as it’s not a reboot and Lucas stays as far away from it as possible.

  • Con

    I think this could be terrific.  Imagine Joss Weadon’s take on Star Wars.  I mean other than Firefly.  Or Brad Bird.  

  • Terri

    Star Wars getting out of the hold of Lucas is a GOOD thing.

  • Chuckamock

    I don’t see this as a positive at all.  Disney has an alarming lack of respect for ‘source’ material when it comes to films.  And you can imagine that they will want any new SW film to be as kid friendly as possible.    Animated sequels full of musical sequences? 

    THis does not look good.

  • MrFreezeRhino

    Marvel/Star Wars crossover needs to happen eventually. 

  • JJ

    Let Disney finish killing what george started with Ep 1 and crystal skull. I hope Disney got it for free cause after George killed his own franchises, thats about all its worth.

  • JJ

     Han shot first!!!

  • Ryan Snider

    Avengers VS Star Wars!

  • Godlike13

    Hmm, why not. Maybe it’ll be good. 

  • Big H

    They probably lease or possibly even own the comic book rights. Much like Fox has some of Marvels movie properties tied up.

  • Zor-El of Argo

    Yes! The thought of Captain America and the Howling Commandos ripping through a squad of (Imperial)Stormtroopers does put a smile on my face.

  • rasalghul

    Yeah, they’ll probably cram in some goofy little teddy bear figures who dance around in some sort of moon festival, or introduce a big clumsy goofy character who talks funny.

    Moron.

  • Melanie

    Lucasfilm has been more than Star Wars for years. ILM and Skywalker Sound have been a part of some of the most memorable movies since the late 70′s. Ghostbusters, Back to The Future, Star Trek, The Mummy, and even Harry Potter were made possible by them. As a movie lover, I sure hope Disney just leaves them alone and reaps the rewards of the talent they acquired.

  • piggy

    Willow will return!

  • Mark

    Holy shit!! Consider me excited

  • Adam Walker

    the very words I thought of reading this…

  • Raziel Leonhart

    I dont want to live on this planet anymore

  • Vanerek

    Sources?

  • http://twitter.com/ticklefist Scott Edgar

    Nah just 50.

  • Alex

    …and that’s the end of that.

  • Quolnok

    Any chance disney will re-release the limited edition original edition bluray original trilogy?

  • Guydc3

     Sans Lucas’ crap edits? I hope so. I want to own the real original trilogy on blu-ray. Not the one with Hayden inserted and other changes that linked them to that Ep. 1-3 travesty.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BX2GKX2ISO2OATVKAW6CYXM47U Pee Bee

    Lucas ran the company as a ‘benign dictator’ and was innovative, progressive and really interesting, despite the blahness of the first 3 films. Disney’s past CEO Michael Eisner famously said “If Mickey Mouse could vote, he’d probably be a Republican”. I sure hope Disney’s philosophy has changed because they’re infamous for conservative, regressive work policies.

  • Zneas99

    Must be nice to to have $4.05 billion in cash laying around the house :)

  • http://squidoo.com/retroblogs Atomic Kommie Comics

     DS 9 was “Star Trek” in name only.
    Roddenberry’s number one mandate going all the way back to the was to not allow Trek to become an ongoing space war series due to the logistical problems a resouce-draining galactic war would create if done in a realistic fashion.
    DS 9 was an ongoing space war series without the logistical problems a resouce-draining galactic war would create since the matter wasn’t handled realistically within the Trek universe.
    The TNG episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise” showed a far more realistic portrayal of the result of ongoing galactic war than the entire run of DS 9.

  • http://propellercomic.com/ Ricardo Mo

    I wonder if this ties into Lucas’ belief that the world will end this year. Guess he has until December 21st to blow that money!

  • http://twitter.com/Fuzionautics Fuzionautics

    I wanna know more about Star Wars: Detours as all I’ve seen is the trailer that appeared online. I don’t care if its on Disney XD but I had just assumed it would be on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

  • rasalghul

    Apple has about $180B cash on hand.  Disney is worth $57B.

  • Mag5hr3d

    Disney still owns the Muppets, right?  Pigs in Space will have new meaning, or even adventures, now.

  • Chris Humphrey

    There are always those resistant to change. There’s going to be three dozen comments going  ”WAAAAAAH THEYZ GONNA RUIN IT!!!!!”  Frankly, that happened the moment Clone Wars went past its useful life of 3 seasons. It’ time to look forward to new characters along with Threepio and Artoo for Ep 7—time to move on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.schmitt#!/ David R. Schmitt

    Disney, like Cthulhu will consume us all.

  • Irotibayan

    As a kid who grew up with the Star Wars franchise, I’m compelled to wonder what the next Star Wars films will be like without George Lucas at the helm. Sure, he’s still the creative consultant, but it will be another’s vision of that universe that we will see produced. We’re gonna miss you, George. There’s nothing like the original.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Greg-Sanders/690069501 Greg Sanders

    This is a beautiful venture! Star Wars belongs in the cinema, and with Disney’s marketing and brand power, it will continue to flourish for years to come! George Lucas has always been an inspiration to me as a filmmaker, and I am so gratified that he has allowed Star Wars to continue without him. This gives all us eager filmmakers who grew up with the OT some lingering hope that one day, just maybe, our names will be connected to a Star Wars feature.

  • Cerebro

    I think my brain just exploded trying to process all of this…

    First Marvel.  Now Lucasfilm.  I may as well just sell the rest of my childhood to Disney.

  • sandwich eater

     Man, Disney is seriously buying up everything that I love. Talk about a monopoly.

    On the bright side hopefully this means that we’ll have endless Marvel/Star Wars crossovers.

  • Liam

    I wonder how much longer Dark Horse will be allowed to make Star Wars comics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=48805881 Michael Fitz-Gibbon

    Do we dare hope? 

    No. No. I’m not going back. Not going back. 

    You’ve hurt us enough.

  • Gornllg

    I am worried about George’s health.  I think he knows he doesnt have long to live.

  • Zor-El of Argo

    Yes, Disney owns the Jim Henson Workshop. Which means that Ghost Yoda can be a Muppet again!

  • Zor-El of Argo

    Unfortunately, Lucas has turned Star Wars into something that is “nothing like the original.” Maybe Disney will take it back to basics.

  • Ricardo Mo

     He doesn’t think any of us have long to live. He believes in the whole Mayan 2012 doomsday thing. Why do you think Star Wars characters have been showing up in ads for phones lately? George is cashing in while he still can.

  • Cgronlie

    mindblown beyond belief

  • Hyperactivecomics

    Its never a good idea for creativity when one company controls so many franchises. There is the danger of all the lines growing stagnant. If you only fish out of one pond very soon that pond will be empty!

  • http://twitter.com/Kidcomo Joe Burden

    I wanted to like this multiple times, because as a fledgling film-maker myself, that was thought that turned this whole deal into a good thing, at least in my eyes!

  • Lukos58

    After researching Disney’s diversity policies for a college paper, I was shocked at how for the last 20 years, Disney has quietly been at the forefront of diversity in many ways.  Their hiring practices, intern and talent search programs, attempts to broaden their film and TV products to be inclusive, even the years-long special weekends for LGBT families at their amusement parks, show Disney is a lot less conservative in their work policies and product than you would think. Just because they do it more successfully than most and want to control their product use isn’t a reason to look down on their “philosophy” and in no ways is “regressive.”

  • Ronnie

    Perhaps there’s a nice spot on Alderaan for you. Oh wait…

  • Chris Buchheit

     Sorry, Fox still has those distribution rights.

  • kwsupes

    Joss Whedon works for Marvel and oh by the way Marvel is owned by Disney. Can we say Joss Whedon is my master now?

  • Moosey

    Idiot.

  • LightningBug

    As much as my first instinct is to run screaming from this news (I didn’t like the prequels), I might as well tamp down my nerd rage and get excited about this. After all, I’m pretty sure the thing I didn’t like about the prequels was Lucas, and he’s bowing out. Disney is smart to invest in this, and given the financial potential of the franchise, I can provide no logical reason not to make a million more movies (except that it would be blasphemous — which really it wouldn’t be because after all it’s just a movie franchise). Also, Disney have been good stewards of Marvel’s properties, so why should I expect any less with Star Wars? So with all that in mind: bring it on Lucasfilm/Disney. Let’s see what you can do together!

  • coalminds

    Yeesh is there anything Disney doesn’t own now?

  • Email

    I’ve been a Star Wars fan my whole life. This is just crazy awesome news, I think with Lucas “passing the baton” so to speak will allow new generations to experience the magic and keep this saga alive.

    I could see Episode 7 exploring what happens to Luke post ROTJ while he leads a new generation of Jedi.

  • married guy

    I would LOVE to see Dark Empire on the big screen.
    Lock in Hamill, Ford, and Fisher, plus all new characters to carry the Star Wars universe forward.

    The possibilities are endless really.

  • maul

    I never post replies to anything but I’m sorry, star wars is just apart of my history as anyone else so I feel I have a say. For starters I see a lot of comments bashing episodes 1-3. How else could they have gone? They were great! The stories wove in nicely to the older ones. They selected a perfect actor for young obi wan and introduced some great new characters. Second, this was Georges vision. This guy thought up this entire Universe so how do u figure the creator “ruined” his own story? Technology has evolved so did u really expect them to shoot the films like they did in the 70s? I’m vexed that Disney is taking over this epic saga. which brings me to marvel movies. I can’t comment on the avengers because I haven’t seen it. Every single marvel movie I’ve watched was horrible. I think the only one that was decent was the blade trilogy. I could go on for ages about how horrible x-men was. I can see how some people are mad that episodes 1-3 did try to appeal to younger generations but disney is gonna take it to whole new level. Leave this great saga alone Disney!

  • Miketurbill

    IF disney and lukas film industry produce the next series of films which were set 25 years after the destruction of the death star , so the original actors could play their original roles and intro duction of next generation of actors to carry on franchise as they did in star trek.after all the originaly there were supposed to be nine films.

  • http://squidoo.com/retroblogs Atomic Kommie Comics

     How witty.
    Explains why you liked DS 9.

  • Josh

    Good. You stay home while the rest of us go watch it!

  • Guestsoundsgood

    I remember that episode. Return of Yar, right? How exactly did they address logistical issues while they were spending the episode doing the Denise Crosby alternate universe love story, the hackneyed treatment of theoretical physics (nothing new there…) and the thirty minutes of Whoopi Goldberg screen-time? I mean, I’m really trying to see how that comment is anything but hyperbole. Unless of course by “a far more realistic portrayal of the result of ongoing galactic war” you mean everyone dying. Which I guess sort of would seem a bit more believable than everyone walking out the other side of DS9 alive.

  • Ziekesx

    Kingdom Hearts style o.O

  • whippis

    I think it is fantastic.  Maybe we’ll get les tinkering with what we grew-up loving and get someone who grew-up inspired by Star Wars to return it to first principles and continue the story we all really wanted to see.  Maybe it will be a terrible set of films, but something is better than nothing.  Good for George to let go and congrats on the mondo payday.  Capitalism is wonderful.

  • whippis

    I think it is fantastic.  Maybe we’ll get les tinkering with what we grew-up loving and get someone who grew-up inspired by Star Wars to return it to first principles and continue the story we all really wanted to see.  Maybe it will be a terrible set of films, but something is better than nothing.  Good for George to let go and congrats on the mondo payday.  Capitalism is wonderful.

  • joshua

     I will explain why I liked it.

    1. The characters were deeper.
    2. The stories progressed and evolved from week to week.
    3. Most of the characters were morally grey or became so as the series progressed.
    4. The Maquis and Section 31 showed that things weren’t all sunshine and light with the Federation. Their was corruption in the federation. Some people in the Federation wanted out. The Federation wasn’t perfect and some people were questioning their place in this so called utopia.
    5. DS9 seemed less like a talk show in space like TNG did.
    6. The themes of war addressed in DS9 were prescient and the show is MORE relevant in a post 9/11 world than it was when it aired. Enemies who want our destruction and can look like us? Yup. Corrupt powers in our government manipulating events in the war for their agenda? Yep. Children being orphaned by war? Yup. Unreliable allies who pursue their own agendas? Yup. Enemy combatants who think everyone who doesn’t revere their higher power should be destroyed? Yep. Maverick service men who resort to their own brand of terrorism to even the score with their enemies? Yep. Torture of prisoners? Yep.
    7. The other shows did a lot of universe building but every week they went off to do another adventure. The other shows built the shared universe…DS9 was the only show who made good use of the shared universe.
    8. Voyager and Enterprise were god awful. Voyager was just recycled TNG.
     9. Garek. The most fascinating Trek character ever.
    10. Gul Dukat…a morally complex villain.

  • Guest

    I’m amazed that no one has asked this question yet, as far as I’ve seen. Now that Lucas has been removed from the equation, will we actually get the original versions of the films in a format which is not a complete slap in the face? If Disney is all about the dollar and ratings, how could they not release the original editions to the hordes of fans who’ve been demanding it for years? Lucas is a delusional, ego driven maniac in the midst of a mid-life crisis and needs to be restrained from ruining more of my childhood.

  • MaleKim

    I think Disney might want to consider changing their theme song to something other than “When You Wish Upon A Star.”

  • MaleKim

    Also, go to deviantart.com and do a search on “disney lucas” or “new death star.”

  • Liam

     It can be “The Imperial March” now.

  • Anadiabowie

    I dont get it.

    The Lucas has now sucked it for real. Maybe he has finally gotten tired of Star Wars fans (like myself) that are tired of him fracking up the rotation, as it were… I mean Disney isnt even doing the “Trilogy that shouldve been” aka “The Thrawn Trilogy” that came after Return of the Jedi?!? WTH are they doing then?!?!? You know what– I say eff it,  we all should make our own underground audiodramas.

    Who’s next Disney? Pepsi? o.O