I have checked and doubled checked my calendar. April 1st is still a long ways away. So, this is for real? The internet is currently washed over with reports that Disney has acquired LucasFilm at a $4.05 billion price tag in cash and stock options. The board of directors for both Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which now has to pass through a few more legal loopholes, anti-trust laws and, some closing conditions to be final.
First Marvel, then Pixar and now the home of the Star Wars franchise?
LucasFilm’s current owner, founder and plucky independent filmmaker George Lucas, made this official statement:
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next, 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.”
Kathleen Kennedy, the current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm and act as the Star Wars brand manager, reporting directly to alt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Georgie isn’t out of the picture entirely. He will stay on as a creative consultant for a little project called Star Wars Episode 7, to be released in 2015.
Episode. Freakin’. Seven? (along with episodes VIII in 2017 and IX in 2019, confirmed by Disney on a conference call soon after the press release.)
If you’ll excuse me, I have to go have a little lie down now.
UPDATE: Official video of Lucas and Kennedy talking about the announcement.