George Lucas announced today that he’s selling Lucasfilm—along with the rights to Star Wars and Indiana Jones—to Disney in a blockbuster $4.05-billion deal.
To a generation of Fan Boys (and Girls), Lucas’ move might come as a shock. The way he’s talking, it sounds like George has darkened his light saber right in the middle of a Darth Vader death duel.
“It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers,” he said on the Disney website.
“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.”
Man, that sounds so sad.
But does he have a point? He did keep us waiting for, like, ever between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace.
OK, it was only 16 years (almost exactly) between the films. Then, once we got there, we had that whole Jar Jar Binks thing to reconcile.
Really, the “first” three episodes—while dazzling in some regards—were downright disappointing in others.
Now that we think of it, perhaps it is time for George to pass the baton. But to Disney? Is that cool with you? M-I-C, K-E-Y?
Of course, you can’t blame the man. He’s 68 now, and the deal gives him about $2 billion in cash plus 40 million Disney shares.
It also makes him a creative consultant on the new films, which apparently will come fast and furious.
The next film (say it with us) Episode 7 will debut in 2015. It gets you excited, no?
There’s so much promise behind that little phrase.
For Disney, this is a steal. Not only do they get Star Wars, they also get Indiana Jones and THX1138.
OK, we’re kidding about that last one.
Really, the meat of this little, billion-dollar transaction comes in the Lucasfilm properties: LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound.
Those are some sweet plums.
“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO 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.”
You bet your Mouse ears, it does.
After Episode 7 in 2015 (that’s like three years from now!), you can expect movies every two or three years. Live-action movies, no less. No more Clone Wars weirdness.
Then, with Disney World and Disneyland, don’t be surprised to see theme parks, rides and merchandising out the yin-yang.
Now—maybe, finally, with any luck—Chewbacca will get that starring role we all know he deserves.
Still, George, it's sad to see you leave, although we look forward to you crossing over and becoming one with The Force, Obi-Wan, Anakin and Yoda.