Star Wars: Episode 7 planned for 2015 released from Lucasfilm/Disney

as a kid, my friends and I always talked about what Star Wars: Episodes VII-IX would be like. The novels and comics that followed gave some form of satisfaction, but it looks like fans will finally get to see what happens in the Star Wars universe after Return of the Jedi.

Image from Star Wars: Dark Empire


The Walt Disney Company announced today it has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm and is planning Star Wars Episode 7 for 2015!!

Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.

“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “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.”

“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.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and “evergreen” Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years. Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.

Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them that already includes successful integration of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.

Driven by a tremendously talented creative team, Lucasfilm’s legendary Star Wars franchise has flourished for more than 35 years, and offers a virtually limitless universe of characters and stories to drive continued feature film releases and franchise growth over the long term. Star Wars resonates with consumers around the world and creates extensive opportunities for Disney to deliver the content across its diverse portfolio of businesses including movies, television, consumer products, games and theme parks. Star Wars feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box to date, and continued global demand has made Star Wars one of the world’s top product brands, and Lucasfilm a leading product licensor in the United States in 2011. The franchise provides a sustainable source of high quality, branded content with global appeal and is well suited for new business models including digital platforms, putting the acquisition in strong alignment with Disney’s strategic priorities for continued long-term growth.

The Lucasfilm acquisition follows Disney’s very successful acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, which demonstrated the company’s unique ability to fully develop and expand the financial potential of high quality creative content with compelling characters and storytelling through the application of innovative technology and multiplatform distribution on a truly global basis to create maximum value. Adding Lucasfilm to Disney’s portfolio of world class brands significantly enhances the company’s ability to serve consumers with a broad variety of the world’s highest-quality content and to create additional long-term value for our shareholders.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions. The agreement has been approved by the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm.

… and let the screaming begin.


14 thoughts on “Star Wars: Episode 7 planned for 2015 released from Lucasfilm/Disney

  1. While slightly surprising, I wasn’t entirely surprised to hear Lucas was selling to Disney… Disney is in a spending mood lately… and Lucas can’t take it with him! So… it kind of makes sense.

    But Episode 7 in 2015? Last I remember hearing from Lucas was that he was “done” with Star Wars movies… I thought he had pretty much nailed the coffin shut… so I wonder what changed.


  2. Well, *that’s* strange… I’ve been thinking about Star Wars a lot in the past two weeks (I watched Attack of the Clones for the good parts, RotS ditto, plus the Empire of Dreams documentary, I’m reading Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor and thinking of buying Hand of Thrawn) which led to me checking out for three days or more so imagine my surprise when I came across this news earlier! Lucas’s entire reason behind founding Lucasfilm Ltd was that he would have *control* and remain independent (inspired by Coppella’s American Zoetrope, though as it turned out Lucas was less-interested in artistry than commerce hence Howard the Duck etc and his obsession with technology over what was made with it, going to the Dark Side indeed) yet after years of being the spider at the centre of a corporate web he now hands it over to one of the most rapacious corporations out there, I have a bad feeling about this (get it?). It’s certainly interesting that despite his meddling with his earlier work to its detriment because it was *his*( and creating a prequel trilogy that may have some excellent {if much over-CG’d and cluttered} action/effects but suffers from poor characterization, unconvincing plotting, messiness and many frankly ridiculous elements that flatly contradict the original trilogy and/or are nonsensical {the mishandling of Obi-Wan, Boba Fett’s origin, the dullardly “chosen one” prophecy, the idea that “Darth” is a Sith title not a name even tho’ “Lord” is already a title, the pathetic way Lucas lets Anakin off the hook for becoming the evil murdering bastard Vader because he had a bad dream about Padme and was a gullible idiot to boot! Not to mention the idea that SW was always Anakin’s tale} he’s now given his life’s work over to *Disney*! His conversion to the Dark Side is complete. Ironic. I hope Star Wars Episode VII IS the Star Wars it should be but I fear Disney may run the saga into the ground more than its creator has. Of course there have been good novels & comics – Cont’d


    • “His conversion to the Dark Side is complete.”

      That reads very well if you imagine it in Emperor Palpatine’s voice 🙂

      It is in an odd way appropriate for one evil empire to absorb another… to be honest… one thing Disney does seem to do better than other studios, is to respect their own creations. Yeah, they have had a few direct-to-video missteps over the years… but by and large they tend to respect their creations… so if you’re George Lucas and decide to sell, I think Disney was probably the way to go… and Disney probably is the only company that would let Lucas remain a part of the Lucas-verse as long as he wants to be… kind of like how Disney bought Pixar but recognized the talent they had there and didn’t just overrun them… and in fact put some of the Pixar people in charge of Disney animations.

      I am curious about “part 7″… whatever the story might be… how many of the original actors would they be able (or want) to get back in their roles?


  3. Cont’d
    …it’s just a pity that those in charge (at Lucasfilm, Del Rey, and Dark Horse) often screw things up through their arrogance and cupidity. Will this end with Disney taking over or, as seems likely, will it become even worse with Star Wars more than ever product? The prequels under Lucas were not very good in story, character, and logic terms, will those assigned to the Star Wars sequels do better? And is the commitment to make the first in *2015* and others every 2-3 years demented and greedy? Any ideas?!


  4. SJV – Ha. You are wise (I was thinking of Ian McDiarmid’s voice when I wrote that. I watched Jedi last night! Easily the weakest of the original trilogy but the Emperor is a memorable nutcase!). Your observation about the original trilogy actors is a key question, will the new characters and actors they use be anywhere near as memorable? Would Harrison Ford want to play a septuagenarian Han Solo? He was eager to play Indy in the mediocre KotCS but he wasn’t keen on reprising Han back in 1983. Would the audience accept an old Han? Can a new Star Wars film ever have the quality and iconic spark of 1977 and 1980 (or even ’83)? Of course, some modern audiences will eat up any old crap so even a really bad Star Wars movie would not faze them. Perhaps we shall see… 😉


    • To my mind, all the major players (notably Ford, Hamill, Fisher) should be asked. To do anything other than that would be an insult to them… The question, though, is what story would they tell? To reprise the roles, the story would have to feature them as less-major players, perhaps focusing on their offspring as I gather some of the novels have done… but if a movie is done, I would like to see them all reprise and hopefully even if in a small role be given something meaningful and not just a “nod” to their earlier films.

      I do wonder, as I did about the prequels, how much I will care about the Star Wars universe with new main characters again.


  5. Yup. Luke, Leia, Han, Yoda, Threepio, Artoo (idiotic that they were in the prequels tho’), Lando, Obi-Wan, Chewie, even Vader *were* Star Wars. It’s not just the universe it’s really the *characters* and their story we fell for.
    NOTE: The novels do indeed introduce offspring, unfortunately the past decade of post-Jedi novels has seen interminable multi-part sagas with un-Star Wars grue that haven’t tended to treat any of the characters especially well, the offspring have a hard time of it. However, both the Bantam and Del Rey eras have seen some good books, Tim Zahn’s trilogy that started the Expanded Universe off is worth reading (I’m considering buying the sequel duology Hand of Thrawn from a few years later), Shadows of Mindor is enjoyable while I, Jedi has received praise tho’ the lead is an original creation. Strangely they haven’t made too much of the historical SW backstory in the novels save for in some dubious videogame tie-ins (to that Knights of the Old Republic thing).


    • I suppose… but that means we don’t need most movies… because most movies are based on books or comics already published… so let’s just stop making movies at all?


  6. A nice point, SJV. Even with these new Star Wars movies the books and comics will still exist. Pointless arguments over canonicity aside it just means you get to choose which version you prefer (if any), and then there’s your own personal ideas of what happened next if you have some.
    Lucas wants the “Special Editions” with their dubious alterations to be considered definitive, even though, it’s the earlier incarnations that are the iconic real deals. No matter what the Lucas of 1995 or 2003 or whenever says one need not see the Special Editions as the “real” versions, and one can choose to see Dark Empire or the Thrawn trilogy or the new movies as the True What-Happened-Next, just as one may like or not like, pay attention to or ignore the various other novels etc. The Disney features may even be *good*!
    That said, SJV, there are plenty of modern movies based on source material that make me wish they’d decide that making such films *was* pointless. Heh heh heh. ;). Happy Hallowe’en!


  7. UPDATE: According to quite apart from the new Star Wars Episodes Disney apparently intends to copy Marvel by also making films focusing on individual characters, does this mean they’re going to recast? Who knows. It’s hard to see them releasing individual films based around all-new characters, isn’t it? The Marvel pictures were based around characters with decades of comics mythos behind them, after all. I have a bad feeling about this…er, I mean, I, for one, welcome our new Mouse Overlord. 🙂


    • This could easily be abused… but then Lucas kind of did that already… Ewoks? Jar Jar? Need I say more? 🙂

      As you also pointed out… if the new movies are horrible, we can always choose to ignore them. I’ve actually been ignoring the Clone Wars cartoons myself… and so far I’m doing ok 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s