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Darth Vader and George Lucas (R) onstage during Spike TV's "SCREAM 2011" awards held at Universal Studios on October 15, 2011 in Universal City, California.
Walt Disney Co. has made another huge gain in its series of large acquisitions over the last decade. Yesterday, Disney announced it has bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, including rights to the “Star Wars” franchise, the special-effects company Industrial Light & Magic, the sound outfit Skywalker Sound and LucasArts, which publishes video games.
While this came us a surprise to the media, it is definitely in line with Disney CEO Bob Iger’s plan to expand Disney’s reach through the acquisition and control of giant pieces of intellectual property. In 2006 and 2009, Disney acquired Pixar Animation and Marvel Entertainment respectively, both multi-billion dollar deals which resulted in Disney controlling some of the biggest franchises in recent movie history, such as “Toy Story,” “Cars” and “The Avengers.”
The only thing more startling than the price tag of the sale is Disney’s assertion that a new “Star Wars” movie will be out in 2015. This comes after George Lucas announced plans to retire and stepped down as CEO of Lucasfilm in June, as well as his public commitment not to make any sequels or prequels to the movie series, as the recent ones were relentlessly panned by hardcore fans.
Are you a “Star Wars” fan who is worried about your favorite franchise and characters? Will you see the movie no matter what, and maybe even enjoy it now that Lucas is no longer involved himself? Or is it time to just stop and let sleeping Ewoks lie?
Marc Graser, Senior Writer for Variety