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Disney Buys Lucasfilm, Plans 'Star Wars: Episode 7' for 2015 Release

by
October 30, 2012
Source: THR

Star Wars

No it's not April Fool's. No Hurricane Sandy hasn't driven everyone crazy. This is real. THR has word that LucasFilm has just been bought by Disney for $4 billion with longtime producer Kathleen Kennedy and current Lucasfilm co-chair becoming president. But that's obviously not the biggest news. Apparently news has broken out that Disney is planning Star Wars: Episode 7 for a release in 2015. The story is still developing and we're waiting for more details, but this is about the craziest, biggest bit of news since Marvel started their plan for The Avengers back in 2007. But will Star Wars fans rejoice or cry foul? More below!

Here's chairman and chief executive of Walt Disney Bob Iger signing the papers with George Lucas:

Bob Iger and George Lucas

Lucas had this to say in an official statement announcing the purchase by Disney:

"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 a huge Star Wars fan, there's a breadth of stories in the expanded universe to draw from, and with Kathleen Kennedy in control, George Lucas taking a backseat and Disney (who is now doing wonders with Marvel) working together, maybe this won't be as disastrous as the prequels. As for my personal preference for the story, I'd like to see The New Jedi Order be the focus of what will presumably be a new, but there are over 35 years of books, comics and more that could inform a set of sequels.

The question is just who will direct these films from this new generation of filmmakers? George Lucas has been inching towards retirement, Kathleen Kennedy taking over Lucasfilm was part of that. Is this something that Steven Spieberg would step up to direct? He's one of the few directors George Lucas has trusted with his vision and he even helped with action sequences in Revenge of the Sith, but he's not a new genertion. Maybe J.J. Abrams, who successfully rebooted Star Trek could step up to the plate? There are way too many questions and more details are still emerging so stay tuned to this post for updates.

UPDATE: Executives said, "“What we’re buying, is an extensive treatment for what would be the next trilogy.” So that means there's three more films coming in the Star Wars saga. In addition, they're looking to release one every other year. So count on Episode 8 in 2017 and Episode 9 in 2019. That's one year less than Lucas needed to deliver, so hopefully that doesn't diminish the quality of the sequels.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-White/1458067169 Brad White
    Biggest, Happiest News of my life in recent years!!!!
  • http://twitter.com/Jertown Jertown
    Best line in the article: George Lucas taking a backseat.
    • son_et_lumiere
      indeed. last time he did that, look what Irvin Kershner did. i also quite liked: 'I've always believed that 'Star Wars' could live beyond me', although i first read it as: 'I've always believed that 'Star Wars' could survive without me'.
      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Philip-Cinquegrano/100000932639147 Christopher Philip Cinquegrano
        Empire was def the best, ROTJ's space battles are unmatched even by todays standards
        • your humble narrator
          Agree about ROTJ. I bring up those space battle scenes regularly to enjoy and marvel at the artistry involved in them.
  • SEAHAWKS_MULITIA
    I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!
  • Brandon Carey
    *brain explodes*
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Philip-Cinquegrano/100000932639147 Christopher Philip Cinquegrano
    What pisses me off is he wouldn't let Spielberg direct any of his movies but he sells to disney? Who directs???
    • 311
      Spielberg & lucas same crap completely overrated
    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-White/1458067169 Brad White
      that's not true, he directed 4 of them actually....you even know what you are talking about?
  • http://djkento.com/ Kento
    OH MY GOD!!! And George probably won't write or direct which means... THEY COULD BE GOOD!
  • http://twitter.com/equustel Ali Miller
    I... I don't even know how to react. Just. WHAT?! Will be processing this one for awhile... (Unlike you, Ethan, I really hope they don't draw from the post-EPVI Expanded Universe novels. I think the vast majority of those books turn SW's unique brand of SF fantasy into generic fanfiction, with very few exceptions. I'm hoping for a fresh take...)
    • John
      Yeah, a fresh take would be exciting, maybe a slightly darker tone. I'll be the first to say it... Nolan's Star Wars!!! ;-)
      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Philip-Cinquegrano/100000932639147 Christopher Philip Cinquegrano
        Or Whedon
      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-White/1458067169 Brad White
        OMG, Crazy Speculation
    • http://www.firstshowing.net/ Ethan Anderton
      I think the NJO series is very dark and lends itself to a great series continuance. Some big characters die, there's Mara Jade, Han and Leia's kids. I think it would be great.
    • son_et_lumiere
      exactly what i was thinking. it's Star Wars, it's utterly iconic, it shaped so many of our childhoods... and it's now Disney? where to begin?! i worry about going to the well again and again for as many sequels as the Mouse House can churn out. but then again, the water supply of that particular well is so huge... the possibilities are so great...
    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Philip-Cinquegrano/100000932639147 Christopher Philip Cinquegrano
      I think they know the mistakes they made in Episodes 1,2 and 3 and have had lots of time to figure how to do things right. No matter who takes over directing I hope its at least a fan :)
  • Capo
    You know with Lucas taking a back seat these might actually be good.
  • dale
    How incredibly exciting this is!
  • Branden
    first like a boss IS THIS REAL LIFE??????
  • Zax
    Best News EVER!!! - With George taking a back seat (still love you George) not only can we anticipate a fresh new re-boot of the films, but we undoubtably may even end up with a stunning Disney run Star Wars/Marvel theme park!!
    • Akirakorn
      Already started with Star Tours, a pretty fun ride... but feels more like Universal Studios than Disney. Cars Land is okay, but the Cars Racers ride is awesome. They could remake the Jungle River into Dagobah or something. Would KILL for a full-scale Millenium Falcon, just to walk-through.
  • LosZombies
    So no more Lucas meddling?? Mother of God...
    • Richie G
      No mixed feelings, just happy. Even if Disney mess it up, it will be more than we could have expected if Lucas held the franchise. He said he wouldn't make another after fans gave him such a hard time for eps1-3
  • Blkstar
    Holy F$@#ing S*#T! Episode VII? Never saw this coming. Disney is taking over the Star Wars franchise? I hope Disney knows that if they screw this up, there is going to be a lot of pissed off fan boys.
  • John
    I feel kind of weird right now. Never thought I would see another Star Wars movie. I'm both excited and apprehensive.
  • Brady
    As long as George, Hayden Christiansen, and Jar-Jar stay off te set, I will remain skeptically optimistic. I'm just tired of having my childhood ruined. The prequels were bad enough, now a whole new trilogy?! Why?!
  • Ryderup
    A Star Wars: Ep7 with cameos/roles from Carrie Fisher, Han Solo and Mark Hamill is way more exiting than Ep 1-3 ever was.!
    • Ryderup
      Harrison Ford ofc...
  • http://twitter.com/FidelReyes_ Fidel Reyes
    Could Disney be the chosen ones and bring balance to the force once again? Preminitions, these preminitions happy they make me
  • http://twitter.com/AkiraMoney Akira Money ♕
    *BREAKING NEWS* Boba Fett Joins The Avengers
    • Cristek
      I LOL'ed! Really!
  • http://twitter.com/BabuMoshaaye Insaan wala Human
    I guess Episode 7 may be a sequel to Episode 6 where Darth Maul returns or may be someone from his race returns for revenge from the Jedi or may be Episode 7 may be a prequel to Episode 1 where they put light into Master Yoda's early years in the Jedi Council or the Old Republic,
  • http://twitter.com/BabuMoshaaye Insaan wala Human
    I guess Episode 7 may be a sequel to Episode 6 where Darth Maul or someone from his race comes for revenge from the Jedis or it may be a prequel to Episode 1 where more light is put into the initial days of Master Yoda in the Jedi Council or the Old Republic.
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=636873482 Gus Ledesma
      a backdrop to SWTOR would be AWESOME!!!!
  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
    YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!
  • http://twitter.com/EdwardMCurtis Edward Curtis
    I was as stunned at the initial news as many of you, but it does make some sense if you think about it. There have been Star Wars and Indiana Jones attractions at the Disney parks for YEARS --- even before The Phantom Menace came out. In fact, the day TPM premiered, my buddy Daryl and I visited "Star Tours" at what was then Disney-MGM Studios during the day, and saw TPM at the AMC at Downtown Disney in the evening. And with fresh talent potentially writing and directing these films .... I think we can look forward to some exciting times ahead for Star Wars.
  • stevenfreestyler
    THIS IS THE BIGGEST NEWS OF THE YEAR!! THE BIGGEST TURNING POINT OF AN EVENT SO MASSIVE!!! Nobody knew that this was coming!!! All hail the return of the greatest saga ever made!!! Yesssss!!!!!! and i'm gonna faint!!
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1454815633 Michael Baldwin
    I would like to see them not mess up one of the best things that came out of Hollywood. if anything remake the 1st one...
    • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
      forget remakes...these aren't just any old hit. You can't just re-do them 20-30 years later. The Star Wars saga won't be remade/rebooted for at least another 25-30 years.
      • grimjob
        Hopefully never.
        • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
          That's not realistic. Movies are the new version of storytelling. Just as Homer's epics have been re-told and re-written and re-adapted...so will great films of the more modern era. Great stories survive and inevitably get told in new ways.
          • grimjob
            Remakes are almost always pointless and bring nothing interesting to the table. Sure, there are some exceptions, but those are few and far between. Adapting and re-adapting literature can be done because its all imagination, no two people will see the same things, making it easier for people to be creative and bring their own vision of what that particular book was to them. (Oh Brother,... is one of my favorites) Film is right in front of you. What you see is what you get. It's difficult to take an already established property, with a devoted fan base, and try to change what these people already know and love. It almost never works, and usually just pisses a lot of people off, myself included. With how vast the Star Wars Universe is, any remakes are completely pointless. There are plenty of stories to be told.
          • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
            But Star Wars will live far beyond the 'life' of any regular film. In 30 years, there will still be interest, and the masses of the world won't be wanting to watch 'artifacts' from 70-80 years ago. There will be nothing wrong with re-telling the tales, and modern technology will result in films that are SO different, that they won't come close to feeling like 'cheap knock-offs'
          • grimjob
            SW will definitely outlive the both of us, and the fanbase will be as strong as ever. And I'm sure there will be two sides to this coin, as always: those who want a remake, and the devotees who don't. I just think its unfortunate that everyone seems to think that flashy visuals and an all-model cast make a remake worthwhile. Personally, I don't understand the desire for something "SO different" from an original film that revolutionized the film industry. No matter how good a remake may be, they always lack a certain spark that made its predecessor great, which is why I don't understand the point to it all. Agree to disagree my friend, and may the new trilogy live up to the ridiculous amount of hype it will undoubtedly get.
  • JR
    they should get the team that created the trailers for the old republic online game to do the 7th movie . watching those trailers still makes me feel like the game is going to be awesome... just wish the game lived up to the trailers.
  • DJROBL
    Alright the reboot of Labyrinth can finally happen! Woooohoooo o o ...
  • RidgeRacer4
    Episode VII and a two little ensemble films called Justice League and The Avengers 2 happening in 2015?!? Having trouble processing this due to the influx of awesomeness. "I have a [good] feeling about this":P
  • http://twitter.com/Koalavin KAL-EL
    Star wars the force unleashed movie :)
    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eric-Wilson/100001127302735 Eric Wilson
      Very much so. That would be awesome.
  • THEBATMAN
    NO imposssible i cant believe it and i won't until i see more evidence
  • THEBATMAN
    don't do it disney
  • smo
    stunning news! never thought lucas would sell...
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-White/1458067169 Brad White
    If you haven't seen the video of Lucas, on Star Wars dot com, check it out...GL says he has a lot of treatments & storys for Star Wars movies, including 7,8 & 9!!!
    • your humble narrator
      Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Philip-Cinquegrano/100000932639147 Christopher Philip Cinquegrano
    Good move by Lucas, very unselfish finally. Sold it for a pretty penny too
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-White/1458067169 Brad White
    Indiana Jones Reboots soon too I'm sure!!!
  • Akirakorn
    Why should the almighty Lucas give up his most prize possession?! Because Bob Iger is holding A THERMAL DETONATOR!!!...
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Sleider/1847907840 Brian Sleider
    Meh obvious cash grab is obvious.
  • wudawg
    I hope Disney doesn't decide to add Mickey as a Jedi knight or something foolish like that ... LOL
  • grimjob
    MORE Star Wars?! Yes please!! Plenty of material to pull from.
  • hitlersucks
    i want to see the X-wing series of books as a tv show...
    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Philip-Cinquegrano/100000932639147 Christopher Philip Cinquegrano
      I just want that dark carbon scar'd look they had from the old trilogy and an awesome story
  • BinaryChaos
    Emperor Lucas just gave up his universe???I honestly didn't think I would see the day now I know how those characters felt at the end of Return of the Jedi.
    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Philip-Cinquegrano/100000932639147 Christopher Philip Cinquegrano
      Every king has his reign then dies , thats the natural order of things, (Vickers, Prometheus)
    • your humble narrator
      At the end of the original ROTJ, yes ;)
  • DoomCanoe
    i raised my hands like Darth Vader and screamed "YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
  • Jon W
    Why do you cite only 35 years of books? Have you forgotten about The Old Republic (the real old republic not the prequel)?
  • wylles
    Wow, just wow...Im so mixed up about this, could be awesome, like Avengers, could be weird, like, i dont know, any bad film with any kind of backing from Disney, Hopefully passionate people will get on board for the next films, etc. I really hope, also, well, more so than episodes 7, 8 and 9, they did a trilogy about The Old Republic, they have a background already developed in the online game, I think they could make something very interesting if they set out to...
  • http://www.quanahblogs.com/ Quanah
    Well, that just confirms it. Hell froze over. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought Lucas would pass Star Wars on to another studio. let alone Disney, who is trying to prove they can make quality action films (The Avengers). This is surprising, exciting news. Now, question is: was there an Indiana Jones clause in that contract? C'mon George. Give Disney Dr. Jones too!
  • http://www.quanahblogs.com/ Quanah
    Just realized the end of the world is this year. Dammit. Foiled again.
  • max
    Please don't get the Transformers guys, the Star Trek guys, or any of the LOST guys to write these future installments. No Whedon or JJ direction either.
  • JJ King
    This could be great news and a revitalization or just a continuation of the current disaster (not a fan of ep I, II, III) I'd like to see them be done with the Skywalker Story and move on to new but related material...
  • Xerxexx
    Sweet. Now adapt Star Wars: Shatterpoint. One of the greatest SW stories I have ever read! On my third re-read as we speak. Perhaps we can get more than just a trilogy continuance...maybe some Sith War era films...and some random films from good directors. So many possibilities exists!
  • Bob
    I heard that Disney is changing Yoda's color to yellow... something to do with both words starting w/ the letter "y" and it being easier for directors to read from the script and remember who he is and actors to visualize him there before cgi? I don't know. They're also going to have a sequence where Imperial ATATs and ATSTs dance while chasing the heroes, lightsabers are going to have "safeties" on them so that they do not cleave peoples' limbs off when Jedi swipe them, but only give them minor burns, and that there will be several sing-along scenes, including one in which Princess Leia gets captured and sings the song from Snow White "Someday My Prince Will Come" while awaiting Han Solo to rescue her from an enemy ship.
  • luis
    i am not sure whether to be very excited or not? i mean i love the original trilogy and even though i had always wanted to know what happens after the empire is defeated im not sure if i would like a story following return of the jedi where is possible to NOT see Han Solo, Luke, Leia, even Lando. It would be weird.
  • Zax
    Actually I'm more curious as to what Lucas will do with $4 Billion? I mean seriously! what do you do with that much money?
  • Zax
    This sums it up....
  • redskulllives
    Interesting I want to see how this will play out :D
  • avi
    this is great great news! The best news of 2012!
  • Nielsen700
    This was unexpected.
  • BK
    Disney have not done anything with Marvel yet. For a movie blogger, you sure are clueless. It was still being produced under Paramount but rights were sold to Disney. See what happens with Phase 2 before speaking. After all, after Toy Story 3, the first Pixar movie out under Disney was Cars 2. That should make anyone fear.
  • Tomi
    I hope they reboot the movies in a more darker and grittier style. None of this crappy over polished fluff that Hollywood loves to produce. If they rush it, this will be the case. Its all about the director who lands this project and their vision (possibly vs. the Disney vision). Hope it works out and they get someone in with an original angle the movies. Take cue from what they did to Bond with the last 2 movies, something move emotional, dark and serious.
  • tra la la la la di da
    Again I can tell who wrote this without looking thinking this is a good idea. Darn it Ethan!
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eric-Wilson/100001127302735 Eric Wilson
    OK. Let's see the secret apprentice saga.
  • bozo connors
    lol... Well. Alrighty then. If they go with the Thrawn trilogy, Carrie Fisher better get her ass on a stairmaster & quit smoking. Also... psst, hey Disney, wanna make a quick few hundred mil? I'll take .5% of profits, & a consultant credit... re-release the original trilogy on BD without the "special edition" f/x & edits. You're welcome.
  • timnimbus
    And they Empire wins!!
  • mmmmmmmm
    I could write an essay about this news but, lol check out my reaction to it. Cause this news blew my mind /watch?v=S1ZbOC218Gs

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