Walt Disney Co. will buy George Lucas’s Lucasfilm Ltd. And the Star Wars franchise for $4.05 billion and release three new Star Wars movies, beginning with a seventh episode in 2015:
The new trilogy will carry the story of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia beyond Return of the Jedi, the third film released and the sixth in the saga. After that, Disney plans a new “Star Wars” movie every two or three years. Lucas will serve as creative consultant in the new movies.
Disney’s announcement of the transaction quotes George Lucas, Chairman and CEO of Lucasfilm:
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, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn, and serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films.