Just this week, The Walt Disney Company officially announced that it is acquiring Lucasfilm LTD, including the legendary Star Wars franchise, in a stock and cash transaction valued at USD $4.05 billion. Lucasfilm, owned wholly by renowned director George Lucas, joins Pixar and Marvel as some of Disney’s most biggest acquisitions.
“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,” states Disney CEO Robert Iger.
“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,” says Lucas.
The deal denotes that Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm LTD and its current operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production, plus the company’s portfolio. The press release expresses its intent for Lucasfilm employees to retain their posts at their headquarters in San Francisco, California.
According to the announcement, Kathleen Kennedy, the current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become its president, and will report to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. She will also serve as the brand manager for Star Wars and become the executive producer for new Star Wars feature films. George Lucas will continue to be a creative consultant.
Disney has also revealed that they are set to release a 7th installment to the franchise (Star Wars Episode 7) in 2015, while Episodes 8 and 9 are in the works as well. The goal, said Iger in a conference call, was to “release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.” They have also announced that there will be “more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.”
When Disney acquired Marvel in 2009, a number of Disney-Marvel crossover memes hit the social media sphere, including hybrids of each company’s characters, like Iron Man and Mickey Mouse (dubbed as “Iron Mouse”). Since the announcement of the ongoing transaction to acquire Lucasfilm, similar memes have popped up here and there. Check out some of the images we found on Mashable!