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HeySailor

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Did anyone feel that major disruption in The Force? The mantle is being passed on.

Breaking news from Variety - LucasFilm is sold to Disney for $4 billion in a cash and Disney stock deal. George Lucas is implementing his retirement plans. The current LucasFilm employees and co-chairman, Kathleen Kennedy, will remain on the job, answering to Disney. AND Disney announced plans to bring Star Wars VII to the screen in 2015! Alluded to since the early 80s, I have high hope that the final three films will be made. Heck, I would have been happy if they published books so that we could see how the saga ends.

The Walt Disney Co. has acquired George Lucas' Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in a stock and cash deal. Immediate plans call for the studio to release "Star Wars: Episode VII" in 2015, with two additional sequels to follow.

Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm chairman and founder George Lucas. Kathleen Kennedy, current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become president of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn.

Kennedy also will serve as the brand manager for "Star Wars," working directly with Disney's global businesses to manage the brand. She will also serve as executive producer on the new "Star Wars" movies, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant.

Deal not only gives Disney control of the "Star Wars" franchise -- whose films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box to date -- but also Lucasfilm's live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production units. Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.

The pricetag is based on Disney's stock price on Oct. 26. Disney will pay for half of the acquisition in cash and 40 million shares of stock to Lucas, as part of the deal. Disney also paid $4 billion for Marvel Entertainment in 2009.

"Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas," said Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Co. "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."

Deal comes after Lucas tapped Kennedy as co-chair of Lucasfilm in June, in an effort to let Lucas step back from the company he founded and move forward with his retirement plans.

"For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see 'Star Wars' passed from one generation to the next," said George Lucas, chairman and CEO of Lucasfilm. "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."

Disney has had a relationship with Lucasfilm since 1987, when the first "Star Tours" ride opened at Disneyland. Since then, the rides have opened at the Mouse House's other parks in Orlando, Paris and Tokyo, and the companies have paired up on a variety of consumer products that put Mickey Mouse and friends into the "Star Wars" world. Lucasfilm also licensed its "Indiana Jones" ride to the Disney parks, and ABC had been developing a live action "Star Wars" TV show. Disney and Lucasfilm's board of directors already have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions.

:highfive:

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I felt it! I see a SW theme park in the future. Hey, if we can go to Hogwarts, a girl can dream can't she? :shiny:

There are several book series I'd love to see come to life on film, just because. I am a believer that the book is always better than the movie but there are a few in the SW books library I'd be interested to see on screen.

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