The creator of the “Star Wars” franchise is no longer in control of his own galaxy.
George Lucas sold Lucasfilm, along with the celebrated space franchise, to Disney today for $4.05 billion.
Yes, “billion” with a “b.”
“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,” Lucas said. “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, now co-chairman of Lucasfilm, becomes president of the company, reporting to Disney Chairman Alan Horn. She’s also act brand manager for Star Wars. The announcement said she will serve as executive producer on new fils in the franchise, with Lucas as creative consultant. The announcement notes that Star Wars Episode 7 is scheduled for release in 2015, with more films expected to follow.
Where to begin?
The sale means we can expect more “Star Wars” episodes, opening the door for other artists to take a crack at Lucas’ legacy. Would Quentin Tarantino be interested in directing a “Star Wars” film? Will the new films be sequels, or prequels, or both?
Can “Star Wars” be reborn for a new generation, or will more sequels simply water down an already troubled brand? Jar Jar Binks, your agent is calling.
Hollywood simply couldn’t resist letting the franchise rest. There’s too much money at stake, not to mention the merchandising possibilities.