We just felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if a million geeks cried out in joy, and won’t be silenced until deep into 2015. This is one of those stories that we didn’t think would happen. Disney is paying an expected $4.05 billion to buy Lucasfilm Ltd, and making immediate plans to continue the saga with Episode 7 in 2015. THR has confirmed this report.
George Lucas had the following to say:
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.
As to the new film, the full press statement from Disney mentioned Episode 7 and future film specifically:
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.
Disney, of course, have a long-standing relationship with LucasFilm, with the Star Tours and Indiana Jones attractions that grace the various theme parks around the world.
For those of us disappointed with George Lucas on the last few Star Wars films, which would be all of us, there is a “new hope” in the promise of passing the franchise on to “a new generation of filmmakers”.
Let’s also remember that the deal will also include other LucasFilm properties such as Indiana Jones and of course, Howard the Duck.
Image Credit: Keys to the Magic Travel
UPDATE: George Lucas explains the future of the Disney/LucasFilm deal