Disney buys Lucasfilm for $4 billion, and plans Star Wars: Episode VII

New trilogy will begin in 2015

In one of the most momentous pieces of movie news in recent years, Disney have stumped up $4bn to purchase Lucasfilm and the rights to the Star Wars franchise, with Star Wars: Episode VII set to land in 2015.

The movie will be part of an all-new trilogy, with Episode VIII and Episode IX likely to arrive in 2017 and 2019 respectively. Lucasfilm has already mapped out a new storyline, with George Lucas having consulted on a script for part VII.

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said Lucas in an official 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 (the newly appointed president), 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.

“I have story treatments of 7, 8, and 9,” continues Lucas, “and a bunch of other movies and obviously we have hundreds of books and comics and everything you could possibly imagine. So I sort of moved that treasure trove of stories and various things to Kathy, and I have complete confidence that she’s gonna take them and make great movies.”

Meanwhile, Kennedy confirmed that she is already liaising with writers to advance the script for Episode VII. “We’re in the midst of the really fun part of the process,” she says, “which is we’re sitting down with a couple of writers and we’re starting to discuss ideas and we’re starting to talk about what those stories might be.”

Earth-shattering stuff then, and news that’s going to take a little while to process. In any case, it looks like the Avengers and the Justice League are going to have some fairly hefty competition in 2015…

Watch a video of George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy discussing the future of Star Wars:

Are you as stunned by this as we are? Share your reactions, below!

Comments

    • Oofarvoo

      Oct 31st 2012, 8:02

      It may be a benefit to keep George Lucas away from the SW franchise, but I can't help thinking we are in for Disney style merchandise, films, TV and theme park overload. As for the films, they could turn out to be Marvel comics' Avengers (owned by Disney), true to the comics and loved by the fan base or will they be another SW prequels mess! We will have to wait and see.

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    • dangoodfellow

      Oct 31st 2012, 8:26

      okay, i've slept on it now and my demands are;" Antman be damned, i want Edgar Wright ,Joe Cornish and Simon Pegg on writer/director duties at once! At this stage i'm happy with an 'alternate timeline' story that ignores the heretical trilogy. The only concession to them that i'm willing to make wou;ld be seeing Ewan macgregor as an old shiny blue Obi wan. oh and bring back Mark Hamil!'" help us disney.. you're our only hope! ( man did NOT think i'd ever have to say that!)

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    • geekybaz

      Oct 31st 2012, 8:49

      I think when I heard this, the only sound I could hear was Darth Vader from the Bluray version (NOOOOOOOOOO) and then reading this article, I can kind of see where Lucas is going with it. I just hope (along with Oofarvoo) that there will be more merchandising than ever before, which i suppose is good news to collectors (like me). Final thing - surely you mean IX and not VIIII for nine?

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    • MattMaytum

      Oct 31st 2012, 8:54

      ^geekybaz - Of course we did, we just got confused on our Rocky maths.

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    • bundyse

      Oct 31st 2012, 8:55

      $4bn is a bit expensive to buy back the Howard the Duck licence, so he can appear in the next Avengers movie. Good on you Disney, but the thing that worries me is that Disney have not been that successful in the Sci-Fi department ( John Carter, Mars needs Moms, Treasure Planet, Black Hole, Tron, Muppets in Space)

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    • RaveyDaveyGravy

      Oct 31st 2012, 9:22

      Anything that makes my kids jump up and down with excitement like this news did this morning cant be a bad thing.

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    • CaptainCrazy

      Oct 31st 2012, 9:31

      Brilliant news. Lucas was sitting on a cash cow and only too happy to rehash old news. At least now we will be milked by a more experienced hand.

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    • Monkeynuts30

      Oct 31st 2012, 9:39

      Please, dear God of Cinema, let this be an awful, tasteless and grotesque Halloween prank of an article. The mere thought this could be serious makes me wonder what real estate in the Marianas Trench is worth these days.

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    • thedanieljson

      Oct 31st 2012, 9:39

      @dangoodfellow yes! Joe Cornish is the perfect choice! He knows the franchise well and will be able to inject some much needed humour into things. Good plan.

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    • RiverSong

      Oct 31st 2012, 9:56

      Once again Disney refuses to let a franchise end when it should a lá Pirates) now I love Star Wars so i'm very skeptical about this. On the one hand they could do it justice like the avengers, but on the other hand they could ruin it as well. I don't know how to feel about this, the six films are fine as they are (I choose to ignore the clone wars spin off)

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    • mattburgess

      Oct 31st 2012, 10:00

      Whatever happened to the live action tv spin off that was supposedly 'all but made' ?

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    • barneystinson

      Oct 31st 2012, 10:03

      Having slept on it I have a feeling Lucas is trying to mirror his own creation by first being good (the original trilogy) then becoming swayed by the dark side (the CGI fest of the new trilogy) promptly turning to the dark side because everyone keeps b******g at him "it's not fair" (selling up to Disney) and then just when we think all is lost and episode 9 features a Jar Jar meets the Ewoks song and dance number Lucas buys all the rights back (with loose change found in his neckbeard) and restores the original trilogy so that Han shot first and finally makes the dark and sweary Star Wars: Underworld TV Series with HBO.....redemption complete, balance restored

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    • pingpong

      Oct 31st 2012, 10:28

      Who would've though that Lucasfilm is only worth 4 Instagram? But i think it is good news. I was waiting for a 3rd trilogy since Lucas announced that his plan was to make 9 films overall sometime back in the early 90s. And i was still hoping for this to happen after he changed his mind and the disappointment of the Prequels.

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    • FBALeal

      Oct 31st 2012, 10:40

      Great news. It really is. I am thinking about Marty McFly though. As he travels to Hill Valley in 2015, he will encouter a hologram of a Sith Lord instead of Jaws as Star Wars: Episode VII is playing in teathres, not Jaws 19 :)

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    • RaveyDaveyGravy

      Oct 31st 2012, 12:37

      wonder when the over hype will start - oh, never mind it already has

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    • loveroflostgirl

      Oct 31st 2012, 18:33

      Does the deal include complete rights to the original films because if so (to para-phase a very funny parody lyric), might we now get a blu-ray of the Star wars that we used to know? Also i can't thinking this could open the door for Spielberg to direct in what would surely be the most perfect match of director to film. So very excited, DON'T LET US DOWN DISNEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    • mrbofus

      Oct 31st 2012, 18:39

      "Disney have stumped up $4bn" I think it should be "has", not "have".

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    • Ali1748

      Oct 31st 2012, 19:10

      Coming soon to a cinema near you Star Wars 7 directed by Brett Ratner.

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    • FBALeal

      Oct 31st 2012, 21:18

      The deal does not include any existing Star Wars film. Fox stills owns the original trilogy and the prequels.

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    • Hadouken76

      Oct 31st 2012, 21:22

      I think people would prefer it was in the hands of Disney, than for it to be run into the ground by Lucas. As with Marvel, Disney has the resources to do it justice, so why not?

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    • alexr

      Nov 2nd 2012, 10:44

      If FOX still owns the 'original 6', does this mean the new trilogy won't have any of the original characters? I personally hope that they take the main crux of the Heir to the Empire and Jedi Academi trilogies and build a cinematic storyline that pretty much paralells the books even going down the route of the New Jedi Order series. I know Ford, Hamill and Fisher are much older now than their characters are in some of these stories, but the basic plots could be cannibalised for the screen, much like Marvel comics are for the movies... Disney might actually know what they're doing...

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    • acrestare

      Nov 2nd 2012, 19:44

      I just hope to God that they don't put the castle sequence at the opening logos. Using that in lieu of the Fox logo is really going to f**k up the integrity of Star Wars.

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