Star Wars Episode VII Is On The Way? What, Really?
Star Wars Episode VII is coming, after Disney buys Lucasfilm.
This is the epitome of big breaking news – The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm and is planning Star Wars Episode VII for 2015!
It might sound like some kind of wind-up, but apparently not. Here’s the press release:
“Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.
“Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on 26 October 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.
“‘Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,’ said Robert A Iger, chairman and chief executive officer 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.’
“‘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 chief executive officer 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.’
“Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and ‘evergreen’ Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years. 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.
“Kathleen Kennedy, current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become president of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode VII is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.
“The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them that already includes successful integration of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.”
And it dribbles on for a bit longer about how wonderful Disney is and how one day it will bring world peace, or something, but those are the salient points.
So while there’s the fear that Disney is taking over the entire entertainment industry in the Western World, there’s also the promise of more Star Wars, presumably with Lucas taking more of a back seat… which is going to please a certain section of fandom.
So what do you think? Good news? Bad news? A double-edged sword? What are your hopes and fears?